Dr. Tiffany Anderson
Dr. Tiffany Anderson, Ed. D., a long-time Kansas resident and the daughter of two pastors, has been a public school educator for over 26 years, with the majority of that time as superintendent. She has improved achievement and closed achievement gaps for students of poverty in rural, urban and suburban public school districts. As a superintendent in Virginia, Dr. Anderson led Montgomery County Public Schools in earning the Virginia Governor’s Competence to Excellence Award and after leading as superintendent in Missouri, the Washington Post referred to Dr. Anderson as, “The Woman who made schools work for the poor.” Dr. Anderson became the first African-American female superintendent of Topeka Public Schools, in Topeka, Kansas where the landmark Brown vs. Board case ended legal segregation. Under Dr. Anderson’s leadership, Topeka Public Schools doubled their college course offerings, student attendance increased above 90%, ACT participation increased, and achievement scores have increased across the district. Recently, Kansas Governor, Laura Kelly, appointed Dr. Anderson to serve on the Postsecondary Technical Education Authority (TEA), which was established in 2007, functioning as part of the Kansas Board of Regents.
Since Dr. Anderson arrived in Topeka, the district has earned three national Magna Awards, one of which is for their work in equity. Dr. Anderson was one of Education Week’s 16 leaders to learn from, she was selected a 2020 Kansas Icon in Education by Ingram, and she is one of the 2020 nominees for Kansas Superintendent of the Year.
Dr. Anderson also led the turnaround efforts following the Ferguson unrest in Jennings, Missouri, resulting in the establishment of minorities on the police force, new community policing initiatives and improved academic achievement. As part of her initiatives aimed at addressing equity, Dr. Anderson has led the establishment of a district-run homeless shelter in Jennings, Missouri and in Topeka, she is partnering with local agencies in support of ending homelessness in Topeka through Impact Avenues.
Dr. Anderson earned her undergraduate degree, and later her doctorate, from Saint Louis University in 2001 where she met her late husband, Dr. Stanley Anderson, who was an accomplished OBGYN and one of the first robotic surgeons in Kansas City at Research Medical Hospital. Dr. Anderson received her second doctorate, the Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Eden Theological Seminary, for her service to community and society. Dr. Anderson is also adjunct faculty for multiple universities and for ASCD (Association for Schools and Curriculum Development) where she serves on their 9-member national poverty cadre, which trains districts across the nation. Dr. Anderson serves on numerous Topeka business and not-for-profit boards and on the international sex trafficking board. Dr. Anderson’s publications include her books on transforming schools along with several articles on high performing school cultures, published in local and national magazines and newspapers.
In 2016 and 2017, documentaries were created about Dr. Anderson’s work with addressing poverty and transforming communities. In 2016, Dr. Anderson was recognized as one of the top six People with Purpose at the Oscars for her innovative work in education. In 2014, Dr. Anderson earned national recognition from Education Week as one of the nation’s 16 Leaders to Learn From. Recognitions Dr. Anderson has received include the Lifetime Achievement Award for volunteerism from President Obama; the Salute to Excellence for Women awarded by the Urban League; the Stellar Performance Award by the St. Louis American and the award for Diversity in Business from the St. Louis Business Journal, among others. Dr. Anderson serves on several boards in Topeka that support youth and is a member of the Greater Topeka Chamber Board. Dr. Anderson is a lifetime member of the NAACP and she and her late husband, Dr. Stanley Anderson, have two children, Whitney, a public health graduate and Christopher, a recent University of Kansas graduate.
STUDENTS FIRST: Working as a Team for Continuous Improvement
You can learn more about Dr. Anderson's work by clicking here to view Topeka Public Schools' media coverage booklet.