EDUCATION: Collaboration, communication among goals for Anderson-Harder if chosen as USD 253 superintendent Featured

EDUCATION: Collaboration, communication among goals for Anderson-Harder if chosen as USD 253 superintendent USD 253 Emporia graphic

USD 253 Interim Superintendent Allison Anderson-Harder closed down the district's interview process for the permanent position Tuesday morning.


Anderson-Harder was named to the interim role following the sudden resignation of Kevin Case last November. She is the district's executive director of special services for the Flint Hills Special Education Cooperative and has had several leadership positions during her better than 20-year career with USD 253. She says she plans to rely on staff and administrators for their expertise if she's chosen as superintendent.

Anderson-Harder says the district continues responding to the coronavirus pandemic, and certain aspects of that -- especially the emphasis on remote learning and reducing learning loss -- have stepped up because of the virus. However, she says Village and Walnut have discussed putting their overall efforts on pause so they can handle the coronavirus adjustments while continuing conversations on how best to increase project-based learning.

Anderson-Harder follows USD 252 Southern Lyon County Superintendent Mike Argabright and USD 512 Shawnee Mission Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Darren Dennis, both of whom interviewed Monday. All three candidates have discussed the need for improved communication -- internally or with students, parents and the general public -- as major goals if they are chosen.

As was the case Monday, the USD 253 Board of Education has two executive sessions as part of the interview process for Anderson-Harder on Tuesday afternoon. No action is expected. The board also has its regular meeting at 5:30 pm Wednesday at Mary Herbert. It's unclear whether the board plans to act then.

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