Aleesia Johnson, IPS Deputy Superintendent for Academics, will serve as Indianapolis Public Schools’ interim superintendent. The district made the announcement this afternoon. Current superintendent Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee’s last day will be January 4, 2019, after which Johnson will fill the position. Ferebee was recently announced as the next Chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools. Members of the IPS Board of School Commissioners made the appointment with a unanimous vote of 7-0.

“The Board of School Commissioners has every confidence that Aleesia Johnson is the right fit to lead our district through this interim phase,” said Michael O’Connor, president of the IPS Board of School Commissioners. “She has a proven track record of effectively supporting educators and is extremely passionate about providing all students high quality school options.”

Aleesia Johnson

“Since assuming the role of Deputy Superintendent for Academics, Aleesia has already made significant strides to make sure our students are prepared now more than ever to succeed,” said Dr. Ferebee. “Her attention to detail and drive to make sure every student has the best opportunity and environment to grow, flourish and thrive will continue the district’s upward trajectory.”

Johnson, an educator for over 16 years, has worked in a number of roles throughout Indianapolis, including most recently as Innovation Officer and Deputy Superintendent for Academics for IPS. As Deputy Superintendent, she sets the vision and oversees the implementation of academic strategies that lead to increased student academic outcomes and post-secondary success based on the district’s 3Es (preparing students for enrollment in a two- or four-year college or university, enlistment in the military or employment at a livable wage upon graduation). During her tenure in the district, she has successfully led efforts to expand school-based autonomy across the district, develop the Innovation Network Schools model, and launch the Post-Secondary Readiness team to further support the district’s 3E goals.

A native of Evansville, Ind., Johnson comes from a long line of educators, including her grandfather, Anthony Brooks, one of the few African-American administrators in the Evansville area in the 1970s and 1980s. She is the first African-American female to serve as superintendent of Indianapolis Public Schools.

“It is with great honor and humility that I will serve in this role,” said Johnson. “As a member of TeamIPS, I’ve worked with numerous people who are passionate about providing all of our students with the high-quality education that they deserve. I carry that same passion with me and will do my very best to serve our students, our families, our staff members, and our community well.” 

The district will begin its search for a permanent superintendent sometime in the new year. Get the latest news and updates on the search for the next IPS superintendent here.