There was no “I” for Tiffany Anderson’s latest National Award.
Like most of the well-decorated superintendent’s other awards, she credited a support system and community of school advocates in work that recently earned her the 2023 Woman Superintendent in School Leadership award from the American Association of School Administrators.
Anderson, who was in San Antonio for the organization’s conference late last week, told The Topeka Capital-Journal that it was an honor to represent the phenomenal women leaders of Topeka and Kansas.
“Being that it’s Black History Month and next month is Women’s History Month, it’s a true honor to be recognized as a female leader in education, representing all other African-American female leaders,” Anderson said. “It’s very few of us in Kansas, but also very few of us nationwide in the superintendent role, and it means a lot to have the opportunity to elevate the profession, as well as demonstrate the diverse change that educational leadership has had.”
Moreover:Topeka Public Schools Superintendent is honored in Kansas for USA TODAY’s Women of the Year
Since arriving in Topeka in 2017, Anderson has been recognized by several school leadership organizations, including being a finalist for Kansas Superintendent of the Year in 2021 and 2023.
In 2022, the superintendent was named a Kansas representative for the USA TODAY Women of the Year program, recognizing women across the country who have made a significant impact.
Anderson said the awards are as much a recognition of Topeka’s USD 501 as they are of her.
“It’s less about ‘me’ and more about ‘us’ in Topeka and what we’re doing,” the superintendent said. “Many things have happened during my tenure. We have demonstrated ingenuity and innovation during the pandemic and thought of creative ways which I think was different from other places, so it is less about me and more about our team, including teachers and leadership that helped set Topeka apart.”
Anderson will donate the prize money to the Topeka West Senior “Future Superintendent” Scholarship
As part of her Woman Superintendent in School Leadership award, Anderson received a $1,000 financial award and plaque.
She will donate those funds as a scholarship for Ainsley Schimmel, a Topeka West senior in the Teaching as a Profession track at the Topeka Center for Advanced Learning and Careers.
Moreover:These Topeka students are top 10 in the nation for STEM education
Even as a high school student, Schimmel is a rising star in the education profession. As a member of the teacher training organization Educators Rising, Schimmel placed in the organization’s national competition last year. Now serving as student president for the Kansas chapter of Educators Rising, Schimmel will compete in the national competition again this summer.
“Perhaps she will be the next female superintendent in the next few years after she gains her experience in the teaching profession, as she reflects all the qualities of a leader who puts service above herself,” Anderson said.
Rafael Garcia is an educational reporter for the Topeka Capital-Journal. He can be reached at [email protected] or by phone at 785-289-5325. Follow him on Twitter at @byRafaelGarcia.