INDIANAPOLIS - Indianapolis Public Schools has selected Aleesia Johnson to serve as interim superintendent. Johnson, who currently serves as deputy superintendent for academics in the district, will take over for Lewis Ferebee, who announced this week he is leaving to become chancellor of D.C. Public Schools. 

Ferebee's final day as IPS superintendent will be January 4, at which point Johnson will step into the interim job. Johnson, who was appointed by a unanimous vote from the IPS Board of School Commissioners, will become the first African-American female to serve as IPS superintendent.

"Since assuming the role of Deputy Superintendent for Academics, Aleesia has already made significant strides to make sure our students are prepared now more than ever to succeed," Ferebee said in a news release. "Her attention to detail and drive to make sure every student has the best opportunity and environment to grow, flourish and thrive will continue the district's upward trajectory."

Johnson is a native of Evansville and, during her tenure at IPS, has led efforts to expand school-based autonomy throughout the district, develop the Innovation Network Schools model, and launch the district's Post-Secondary Readiness team.

IPS says it will begin its search for a permanent superintendent "sometime in the new year."