Aleesia Johnson named IPS interim superintendent; first African-American woman to lead district

Aleesia Johnson

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) announced their interim superintendent while the search continues for a permanent replacement.

Aleesia Johnson, currently IPS’ deputy superintendent for academics, will take the position over after Dr. Lewis Ferebee’s departure on Jan. 4, 2019.

Earlier this week, the school district announced Ferebee was leaving to become Chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools.

The IPS Board of School Commissioners voted her in unanimously, 7-0. Johnson, an Evansville native, is the first African-American woman to lead the district.

“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.”

IPS says Johnson has worked in several roles throughout her 16-year career in education. 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.

“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.”

IPS says the search for a permanent replacement will begin in 2019.