Cynthia Lane has spent half of her career in public education in Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools. On Thursday she ascended to the top of her profession in the state when she was named superintendent of the year by the Kansas School Superintendents' Association (KSSA).
“I am humbled and honored to have been selected for this award,” Lane said in a statement. “I accept it on behalf of the Board of Education and the team of people in the district and in the community who work tirelessly to graduate each student prepared for college and careers in a global society."
The KSSA says superintendents are judged on professionalism, community involvement and leadership.
“Dr. Lane is a passionate advocate not only in her district, but for students across Kansas," G.A. Buie, executive director of the KSSA said in a news release.
That advocacy has not always set well with legislators in Topeka and has generated some minor controversies.
Lane usually can count on a grilling whenever she appears before lawmakers on school finance issues. The district also found itself in hot water in the Statehouse last session when it spent $47,000 on a new piano to replace a 50 year old piano at Sumner Academy. The purchase came at a time when school funding and efficiency were hot topics in the Legislature.
Lane fired right back in her blog. "Someone watching all of this grandstanding from afar, might interpret this to mean, stop buying pianos for schools and the state revenue shortfall will be solved!"
She has spent the past 14 years as an administrator in KCK. Before being named superintendent in 2010 Lane was an assistant superintendent, director of special education and a building principal. Lane was also director of special education in the Spring Hill District.
Lane is now in the running for national superintendent of the year.
Sam Zeff covers education for KCUR. He's also host of KCUR's Statehouse Blend podcast. You can follow Sam on Twitter @samzeff.