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Wichita Superintendent To Lead Olathe School District

Wichita Public Schools

The superintendent from the biggest school district in Kansas is the "sole finalist" for the top job in Olathe Public Schools.

The district says the school board is expected to finalize the appointment of John Allison at its meeting Monday.

Allison has lead the Wichita district since 2009.  Before that, he was superintendent in the Mt. Lebanon School District in Pennsylvania and has been an administrator in Texas and the Shawnee Mission School District.

Allison just received a contract extension and a $3,441 bonus from the board last month, according to the Wichita Eagle.  His base salary in Wichita is $229,408.

Allison will replace Marlin Berry who left in April to take over the Rogers Public Schools in northwest Arkansas. Berry was making $231,263 when he resigned.

Allison will go from one of the most diverse districts in Kansas to one of the most homogenous. Thirty-three percent of students in Wichita are white, while 34 percent are Hispanic and 19 percent African American.

Olathe schools are 69 percent white. However, the number of Hispanic and multi-racial students has been growing in recent years as have the number of students who qualify for free or reduced lunches.

Allison obtained his bachelors degree from the University of Kansas and his master's  from Emporia State University. He has completed doctoral course work in education leadership at St. Louis University and Southwestern College, according to a web post by the Olathe district.

If approved by the board Monday, the district says he would start on July 1.

Sam Zeff covers education for KCUR. He's also co-host of KCUR's political podcast Statehouse Blend. Follow him on Twitter @samzeff.

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