Since the departure of former Indianapolis Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Lewis Ferebee, Aleesia Johnson has been filling in on an interim basis. Many people in the community have expressed interest in having her continue in that role long term. Those people may get their wish.
Johnson announced yesterday via letter that she would, in fact, seek to become the IPS Superintendent on a permanent basis.
Read her letter below:
April 17, 2019
Dear Team IPS & Community Members,
Over the last three months, I’ve had the honor of serving as the Interim Superintendent of Indianapolis Public Schools as the Board of School Commissioners solicited community feedback and established a process for the selection of the next permanent superintendent of our district. Based on my review of the summary of feedback provided from the community along with my experience to date, I believe that I possess the qualities necessary to lead our district permanently and intend to apply for this important position.
I’ve been around educators my entire life—meeting former students of my grandfather and hearing them talk about what it meant to have him as their principal and watching the relationships my mother created with her students as a middle school teacher—led me to eventually pursue the same path. As a native Hoosier and an Indianapolis resident the last 14 years, I’ve served as a teacher, teacher coach, assistant school leader, school leader, and district leader. While this work has always been challenging, my passion for serving my students and my community has never diminished.
Since joining the district almost four years ago, I’ve been able to visit many joyful classrooms with students who are excited to learn. I’ve talked with teachers and principals who spend hours each day working hard to create the best possible learning environment for their students. The work we do is a labor of love, and it is work that I’m proud to do alongside our team every day.
There are many complex challenges that lie ahead for our district. We must improve the academic achievement of our students and ensure that when they leave us we have kept our commitment to them to be able to live a life of viable choices and expanded opportunity. We must explicitly define what it means to be a member of TeamIPS and be sure that our team members are valued and committed to the highest levels of excellence. We must also maximize our financial resources to ensure that we can sustain our district for many decades to come. We must do all of this through the lens of equity and justice for the students, parents, and community we serve. None of this will happen without rigorous dialogue on how to best accomplish these important goals—conversations that must include our students, our staff, our families, and our greater community.
Because while our schools are delivering excellence for some, we are not yet delivering excellence for all.
It would be my honor to continue leading our district and our team in the future. I look forward to the opportunity to engage the Board of School Commissioners through the interview and selection process.
Interim Superintendent Indianapolis Public Schools
It would be my honor & privilege to continue leading Indianapolis Public Schools. I'm excited to share a little about why I intend to apply to serve as the permanent superintendent. Feel free to read more: https://t.co/ZfOGmhY4Dh
— Aleesia Johnson (@AleesiaLJohnson) April 18, 2019
Community input has been received and the district said they will consider it in the search and the selection.