The Kansas School Superintendents' Association has selected Smoky Valley Superintendent, Glen Suppes, as the 2019 Kansas Superintendent of the Year. Suppes has been the Superintendent of Schools in the Smoky Valley School District since 2000. Smoky Valley is a rural district in the central part of the state with 1100 students serving several communities including Falun, Marquette, Lindsborg, Roxbury, and Smolan. Glen started his administrative career as a Principal in Healy public schools before moving to Kinsley and Hillsboro. Smoky Valley has been Glen’s only stop as a superintendent.
Candidates for Superintendent of the Year are assessed according to their professionalism, communication, community involvement, and leadership while meeting the needs of students. As Kansas Superintendent of the Year, Suppes will now be considered for the National Superintendent of the Year program. KSSA, in cooperation with the Ogden Financial Group, will host a celebration honoring Glen in Topeka in January, along with providing a $1,000 scholarship to a high school senior to be selected by the Kansas Superintendent of the Year.
Glen received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Fort Hays University in Hays, KS, and his District level certification work was completed at Emporia State University in Emporia, KS. Glen has been very active in his community and the state’s educational leadership organizations, serving on the Executive Board for the Kansas Association of Secondary School Principals, United School Administrators of Kansas, and as former President of Kansas School Superintendents' Association (KSSA). Glen has worked as an adjunct Instructor at Baker University and been extremely involved with Apple Computers providing leadership presentations across the nation.
In 2001 the district began a three-year implementation plan with the assistance of McRel, starting with teacher training. Then in 2004 Smoky Valley was ready to initiate the largest 9-12 Apple 1:1 in the state of Kansas. There have been several isolated high at-risk students who have done extremely well with the technology, but to their educators, the overall implementation has made a huge difference. Teachers have taken advantage of opportunities for learning that were never possible before because of the laptop availability.
Despite the innovating technology programs and creative learning opportunities occurring in the district, Smoky Valley was hit with the devastating state education budget cuts that started in 2009. This eventually forced the closure of one of the district’s two elementary schools. Following this difficult decision, Glen knew it was important for everyone to understand why closing this school would benefit the children in the long run. He continued to lead the district with a major sense of optimism by getting move involved with legislative advocacy at the state and national levels and continuing to fight for additional educational funding. While dealing with the block grant and decreasing enrollment, the district expanded technology with 1:1 MacBook Airs and iPads and promoted blended instruction. Today his students are receiving more opportunities and support than ever before. Mr. Suppes and his board recently completed the adoption of a new academic logo and the district has been working on branding of the Smoky Valley School District with the new tagline “We Champion for All Students.”