Independence High School Alumni

Independence, Kansas (KS)

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Dr. John Heim

Class of 1976

John Heim named Kansas Superintendent of the Year
November 14, 2008
Release date: 2008-12-22 15:44:52

John Heim named Kansas Superintendent of the Year

John Heim

Emporia Superintendent John Heim has been selected as the 2008 Kansas Superintendent of the Year by the Kansas Association of School Administrators. He has been a superintendent for the Emporia Public Schools since 1997.

“We are proud to have Superintendent Heim representing Kansas at the national level. It is significant when a group of your peers believe you represent the state well among other administrators across the nation,” explained KASA Executive Director Cheryl Semmel. Candidates are assessed according to their professionalism, communication, community involvement and leadership in meeting the needs of students.

Dr. Heim said it is an honor to be selected from a pool of outstanding educational leaders in Kansas. It is especially meaningful that his father, Max Heim, was the second recipient of the award in 1990 while he was superintendent at Geary County.

Dr. Heim said he is particularly proud of the success students, teachers, administrators and support staff students have experienced in Emporia during the past decade. During a period of dramatic change in community and student demographics, achievement is at an all-time high.

“Our community has more students living in poverty, more students whose first language is not English and more than half who represent other cultures. Research has shown that the academic odds are against these groups of students. Yet the teachers, administrators and support staff have held high expectations for all students and they have excelled,” he said.

State assessment scores have improved every year in reading and math, and all student subgroups have improved on their assessments between 60 and 183 percent. At the same time, more students are meeting or exceeding state standards and the number of students in the exemplary performance level is growing.

Dr. Heim has been a superintendent in Kansas since 1988, when he took the position for the Wichita County Schools at Leoti. He was the superintendent at El Dorado for four years and the executive director of the Educational Services and Staff Development Association of Central Kansas at Hutchinson before coming to Emporia. He began his education career as a history and government teacher in 1981.

He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas, a master’s degree in educational administration from Fort Hays State University, and a doctorate in educational administration from Kansas State University. He currently is an adjunct faculty member in The Teachers College at Emporia State University. He also has been a guest lecturer at Wichita State University and the University of Kansas.

Dr. Heim received the Outstanding Service Award from the United School Administrators of Kansas in 2006 and the Communicator of the Year Award from the Kansas School Public Relations Association in 2001. He is currently president of the Partnership in Collaboration of Kansas, past president of KASA and past president of the Kansas Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. He is a member of the Kansas State Department of Education Professional Standards Board and the KSDE Regulations Committee.

Dr. Heim is the 21st recipient of the award given to a Kansas school leader by a committee of his peers and is now eligible for the National Superintendent of the Year Program. The National Superintendent of the Year is announced at the 2009 American Association of School Administrators Conference on Education in March. Superintendents were nominated by their colleagues for leadership for learning, communication, professionalism, and community involvement.

Each year, new obstacles and challenges face our students and our schools. "Now, perhaps more than any time in history, strong leaders and advocates are a vital component to our education system. Superintendents must be the epitome of professionalism, catalysts of innovation and so much more," says Semmel, "John has demonstrated leadership within his district and within the larger education community through his work with professional associations, colleagues and policy makers to positively impact education and to build support in local communities."

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