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 and equity policies. In 2019, Kansas 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.  During Dr. Anderson’s tenure, literacy rates have increased at multiple schools, universal preschool has expanded, a school district daycare was opened in 2022 and, graduation rates have increased above the state and national average at multiple high schools. Currently, the national School Superintendent’s Association (AASA) has selected Dr. Anderson as a 2023 Woman Superintendent of the year.

Dr. Anderson has served as a public health advocate and she provides services to the marginalized through public schools  as part of her personal ministry in meeting the needs of the most vulnerable.  She has improved achievement and closed achievement gaps for students in multiple states. While 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.” During her tenure in Missouri, Dr. Anderson implemented the first trauma informed school district in the nation, she partnered with a medical school and opened the SPOT Clinic in Jennings and she opened a school based homeless shelter, a food pantry and clothing boutique as part of the school’s basic services. Under Dr. Anderson’s tenure in Missouri and in Kansas, the achievement scores, graduation rates and college placement rates increased. Topeka has received national awards for three consecutive years under Dr. Anderson for their leadership in trauma informed systems for schools, creating systems for youth in crises and for innovation impacting families.

Dr. Anderson earned her undergraduate degree, and later her doctorate, from Saint Louis University in 2001. Dr. Anderson earned her Masters in Divinity in 2022 from Nazarene Theological Seminary and previously in 2016 was recognized with an Honorary Doctorate at Eden Theological Seminary for her work within the St. Louis community.  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 PressThe Harvard GazetteASCD, and by numerous other agencies.

In 2022, Dr. Anderson was selected by USA Today as the Woman of the Year Honoree for Kansas which recognized her work in public health in addressing literacy needs, trauma and health with innovative strategies. In 2016 and 2017, national 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. A few of the other 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, and most recently the K-State Excellence in Leadership Award (EEL). 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 technology.

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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