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Friday, February 17, 2012

Fort Thomas Superintendent Accepts Position with The College Board

Via Fort Thomas Independent School website. Hat tip Jess Duke.

Fort Thomas Independent Schools’ superintendent, John Williamson, today announced his decision to retire as superintendent effective March 12, 2012. Williamson is leaving to take a position with The College Board in New York City where he will lead an innovative new national AP program that focuses on 21st century learning skills.

Williamson has been employed with the District since 1999, first as assistant superintendent for teaching and learning. He was named superintendent in 2007. During his tenure, the District has continued to be ranked as the top-performing K-12 district in Kentucky, with three schools being named as National Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence. Williamson has implemented many innovative programs, provided a stronger fiscal stability and modernized the physical infrastructure of the District. Additionally, he is credited with marketing the District which has resulted in a dramatic increase in tuition students as well as adding a chef and nutritionist to the cafeteria program.

“Although this is a great opportunity for John, it is a loss for our District. The experience, leadership and vision John brought will be difficult to replace. However, we are committed to finding the best candidate to continue leading our District forward,” said Karen Allen, Fort Thomas Board of Education chairperson.

“I have been blessed to work with such a professional, talented, giving team of Board members, administrators, teachers, parents, students and, most importantly, community members,” said Williamson. “Our work together has enabled students to achieve at greater levels, helping to continue the rich tradition of educational excellence in Fort Thomas.”

The Board of Education intends to appoint Gene Kirchner, current assistant superintendent for teaching and learning, as interim superintendent, and immediately initiate the superintendent selection process.


  1. I am glad he has found something new. Not so happy we paid for his nonexisting PHD and now his retirement. I hope the next superintendent has more experience and a PHD!

  2. What does a PHD have to do with anything? Looks like the district is better off than when he was hired, pretty much across the board.

  3. Like him or not, you have to admit that John pushed the district forward in ways that probably most never thought would be possible. There are programs now flourishing that without his emphasis would still be in maintenance mode.

  4. Good ridance! I hope the next superintendent is more experienced and grounded in reality. John Williamson was out of touch with how most Fort Thomas RESIDENTS feel about tuition students. We are way over crowded with tuition students at Moyer, yet we take tuition students because John Williamson thinks its good for the district. My child is in a "learning cottage" with 25 students per class because tuition students can choose to go to whichever grade school they choose, but because I'm in the Moyer district I don't have a choice which grade school my kids go to. What if I want my child to go to Woodfill which is a nice brand new school with smaller class sizes now? I have to move to that district or I could move out of district. It used to be that you could pay tuition, but you were put in whatever school had room for you and that could change from year to year. That was the chance you took being out of district. I realize that doesn't make a difference once you hit middle school and HS, but it does make a difference in grade school. All three grade schools are great schools. But, Moyer has 540+ students this year and no where for them to go. And the tuition from those students is divided between the whole district, it isn't allocated to the school the kids go to. If what I've been told is wrong, then someone should correct me, but this is what I've heard and it makes me angry. Not at the families that want to bring their children here and pay the tuition, but that the John Williamson allows the ability for tuition families to "choose" the school even if its overcrowded.

  5. Well at least now we know why our children are being pushed into AP courses they do not want and in some cases are not ready to take with little support from the district. But the school district is ranked 294 and it got him a new job so I guess that's what is important.

  6. I would like to know what programs are flourishing because of him. Are you talking about the Theatre? It would be nice if the students that wanted to try that program could. But with Capstone it locks out some students not willing to commit their life to theatre in high school. All students should have equal access to all classes.

  7. This district was so fortunate to have had him this short time. Few could have been as innovative and forward-thinking in the programs and opportunities he worked so hard to achieve for our kids. Congratulations to him on the amazing opportunity, where he'll continue to develop aspects of education that will give students advantages in the future.

  8. The rant regarding tuition students above is completely inaccurate. Tuition students DO NOT get to chose the elementary school they attend.

  9. I certainly hope that this search committee does a better job of reaching quality candidates then the previous committee.
    Does FTIS get a refund from John for the Phd that was funded for him?
    Why is Moyer overcrowded?
    Why is so much money spent in the district on new furnishings and apparel?

    Our schools are number one because of parental involvement, not the superintendent. This being said, we can do better on the later.