The Kansas School Superintendents Association (KSSA) is pleased to announce two exceptional district leaders as finalists for the 2019 KSSA Superintendent of the Year. In July, six Kansas Superintendents were nominated by their peers for this year’s award. Each nominee completed a rigorous application process which is reviewed and evaluated by a select KSSA committee. Over the next two weeks, each of the finalist will be interviewed by a committee comprised of former Kansas Superintendents of the Year. The 2019 Kansas Superintendent of the year will be announced on October 26.
Glenn Suppes has been the Superintendent of the Smoky Valley Public Schools since July of 2000. The rural district of 1,100 students has been Glenn’s only stop as a superintendent.
Smoky Valley has a reputation of being progressive academically. Smoky Valley is a rural district of 1100 students from several communities, including Falun, Marquette, Lindsborg, Roxbury, and Smolan.
In 2001, the district began a three-year implementation plan with the assistance of McRel, starting with teacher training. Then in 2004, Smoky Valley was ready to initiate the largest 9-12 Apple 1:1 in the State of Kansas. There have been several isolated high at-risk students who have done extremely well with the technology, but to their educators, the overall implementation has made a huge difference. Teachers have taken advantage of opportunities for learning that were never possible before because of the laptop availability.
Despite the innovating technology programs and creative learning opportunities occurring in the district, Smoky Valley was hit with the devastating state education budget cuts that started in 2009. This eventually forced the closure of one of the two districts elementary schools. Following those difficult decisions, Glen knew it was important for everyone to understand how children would benefit from this unfortunate situation. He continued to lead the district with a major fight for additional educational funding. While dealing with the block grant and decreasing enrollment, the district expanded technology with 1:1 MacBook Airs and iPads and promoted blended instruction. Today his students are receiving more opportunities and support than ever before.
Mr. Suppes and his board recently completed the adoption of a new academic logo and the district has been working on branding of the Smoky Valley School District with the new tagline “We Champion for All Students.”