May 13, 2022

Ellis native returns home to take reins of Ellis USD 388

Posted May 13, 2022 11:01 AM

Hays Post

An Ellis native and Ellis High School graduate is returning home to take the top position in Ellis USD 388.

The Ellis school board voted to hire Janice Wilson as the new superintendent on Monday.

Wilson, 53, is a 1987 graduate of Ellis High School.

She said she still has family in Ellis and is looking forward to moving back to the area with her husband, Tony. They have five children, ranging in age from 29 to 22, with six grandchildren and another on the way.

Wilson has been an educator for 28 years.

Janice Wilson
Janice Wilson

She has been the principal at Rea Woodman Elementary for Wichita USD 259 for five years. Prior to that position, she was the principal of Jefferson Elementary School, also in Wichita.

Wilson also worked as a fourth-grader teacher, seventh-grader teacher and instructional coach in the Wichita school district.

She began her bachelor's degree at Fort Hays State University before transferring to Wichita State University where she earned her degree in elementary education. She received a master's degree in leadership from Friends University.

Wilson said she would bring several education philosophies to her new job.

"You have to be transparent," she said. "You have to bring new ideas. Building relationships with your staff and students is probably most important."

The Ellis school board on Monday approved a resolution to move forward with a $4.55-million bond issue. The bond would pay for renovations at Ellis Junior/Senior High School, as well as improvements and a new HVAC system at Washington Elementary School.

Wilson said part of her job as superintendent will be to support that bond attempt.

"Part of the superintendent's job is to make sure they are out and about in the community communicating the needs of the schools," she said. "The bond is for basic maintenance. An HVAC needs to be installed into the elementary, which is very crucial because [the HVAC system] is on the brink.

"That is one of my first tasks is to make sure I'm getting the message out to the community and even the students in the schools as well."

Wilson, as a former instructional coach, said she is a supporter of staff development. She said she would like to implement bi-weekly staff development for all of the teachers.

"I know going in I'm going to have to listen, learn and communicate," she said, "and make sure I'm a good communicator."

Although school activities keep her very busy, Wilson said her hobbies include gardening and outdoor activities.

Wilson will start her job with Ellis on July 1.

Current Superintendent Corey Burton is leaving the district to take the superintendent job at Ulysses USD 214.