Indianapolis Public Schools has announced Aleesia Johnson will become the district’s next superintendent. She has served in the role on an interim basis since January following the resignation of former superintendent Lewis Ferebee. Johnson is the first African-American woman to serve as superintendent of IPS.
The district’s Board of School Commissioners cited Johnson’s work over the past six months, including the creation of the Family and Community Engagement Team, the distribution of pay raises for all district employees, and spearheading the creation of a strategic plan for the 2019-2020 academic year.
“The Board is very pleased with the thorough process we led over the last several months," said board president Michael O’Connor. "Ms. Johnson rose to the top of all the candidates. She has a proven track record of effectively supporting educators and is passionate about providing the highest quality education to all students. We are now ready to hit the ground running to continue the district’s positive momentum."
Johnson has been an educator for more than 16 years. Prior to taking the interim role, she most recently served as deputy superintendent for academics.
"I’m excited about the opportunity to continue to serve and encouraged by the team of phenomenal and talented people we’ve built across the district from the classroom to the boardroom," said Johnson. "I commit to do everything I can to lead our team with an urgent and laser-like focus to create the best learning environment for all children."
In March, Johnson was chosen for a cohort of the Future Chiefs program, operated by Washington D.C.-based Chiefs for Change. Board Chair John White praised the selection of Johnson as superintendent.
"Aleesia is a dynamic and collaborative leader who has demonstrated an uncompromising commitment to educational quality and equity over the course of her career," White said in a news release. "Driven by her values and expertise, she will continue to partner with teachers, principals, students, and families to help ensure every child in Indianapolis receives an excellent education."