Archive for Thursday, February 17, 2005

Education needs leadership

Letter to the editor

February 17, 2005

On Feb. 9, Andy Tompkins, commissioner of education for the state of Kansas, submitted his letter of resignation to the State Board of Education. The children and educators of the state are losing a great leader as a result of the Board's vote to accept his resignation.

During the past nine years, Tompkins has provided a level of leadership for public education unparalleled in the country. His outstanding knowledge, caring attitude, compassionate insight, and genuine interest in providing the very best educational system for our children is felt by everyone with whom he works. During his tenure we have seen unprecedented growth in student achievement. His dynamic leadership style invites each of us to do our very best for the students in our local school districts. As a result, the students of Kansas have consistently performed near the top on any of the national achievement tests.

The State Board of Education now has the monumental task of finding a replacement for Tompkins. The shoes to be filled are large. I would encourage every reader to let your State Board of Education representative know what qualities of leadership you expect in the next commissioner of education.

John Bacon, Sue Gamble and Janet Waugh are the local representatives to the Board. If you would like to share your thoughts about qualities for the next commissioner of education you can reach them through the following methods:

State Board District No. 1:

Janet Waugh, 916 S. 57th Terr.

Kansas City, KS 66106

(913) 287-5165, (913) 299-6910 (FAX),

State Board District No. 2:

Sue Gamble, 17724 W. 67th

Shawnee, KS 66217

(913) 631-8663 (home and FAX). (913) 488-8663 (w)

State Board District No. 3:

John W. Bacon, 14183 W 157th, Olathe, KS 66062

(913) 829-4213 (home and FAX),

Additional contact information for the remaining seven Board members can be found at

It is up to the current generation to provide for the future of the next generation. Our children deserve the best. Let your voice be heard on their behalf.

Sharon Zoellner

Superintendent, De Soto USD 23

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