Dr. Tiffany Anderson

Dr. Tiffany Anderson is the first African American female superintendent of Topeka Public schools and she has been a public school educator for 28 years, with the majority of that time as superintendent. In addition to her role as superintendent, Dr. Anderson advises Kansas officials on postsecondary policies and on equity policies and legislation. In 2019, Kansas Governor, Governor Laura Kelly, appointed Dr. Anderson to the Postsecondary Technical Education Authority (TEA), as part of the Kansas Board of Regents and in 2020, Governor Kelly appointed Dr. Anderson to Co-Chair the Governor’s Kansas Commission on Racial Equity and Justice. Dr. Anderson is a fierce advocate for equity and in 2021, Dr. Anderson was a voice for the nation’s educators and testified to Congress during the Biden Administration on the Digital Divide.

Dr. Anderson has served as a public and postsecondary health advocate and has improved achievement and closed achievement gaps for students in Virginia, Missouri and in Kansas.  While superintendent in Virginia, Dr. Anderson led Montgomery County Public Schools in earning the Virginia Governor’s Competence to Excellence Award. After leading as superintendent in Jennings, Missouri (a suburb of St. Louis) Jennings School District moved from possible state takeover due to poor performance to earning accreditation with distinction and the Washington Post article referred to Dr. Anderson as, “The Woman who made schools work for the poor.” During her tenure in Kansas and in Missouri, the achievement scores, graduation rate and college placement rate increased. Topeka has received 4 national Magna Awards from the National School Board Association and various local and state recognitions under Dr. Anderson’s leadership for equity initiatives in schools, innovative public health programs addressing mental health and for academic achievement.  Dr. Anderson is credited with leading the district to become a trauma informed district which has resulted in the district eliminating teen suicides for 3 consecutive years and reducing homelessness by 20%.

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 is active National Alumni Board Member for Saint Louis University where she was honored with a second Doctorate as an Honorary Doctorate in 2020. Dr. Anderson was recognized with the Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Eden Theological Seminary for her service to community and society. Dr. Anderson is also a professor of practice for K-State and adjunct faculty 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 businesses and not-for-profit boards.  She serves on the Topeka Community Foundation, she’s a chairperson on the Greater Topeka Partnership Board, she’s a member is the Jayhawks area Council Boy scouts of America and she serves on the Topeka Jobs for America’s Graduates Board. Dr. Anderson’s publications include her books on transforming schools along with several articles on public health and equity in education, published in local and national magazines, blogs and newspapers. Her focus on health has been captured in publications by Heinemann Press, The Harvard Gazette, ASCD, and by numerous other agencies.

In 2016 and 2017, national documentaries were created about Dr. Anderson’s work with addressing poverty and transforming communities. In 2020, Dr. Anderson was a Kansas finalist for Superintendent of the Year after serving only 5 years and she was also named as the Kansas Icon in Education. In 2021 Dr. Anderson received the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Living the Dream and the Living Legacy Awards. 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 is a lifetime member of the NAACP and she and her late husband, Dr. Stanley Anderson, have two children who are college graduates and serving in public health in addressing, cancer research and in communications. 

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.

Superintendent Dr. Anderson

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