Alan Cunningham began his teaching career in Dodge City in 1974. Now, after 42 years of service to the students and staff of Dodge City Public Schools, he has announced that the 2016-2017 school year will be his last as Superintendent of Schools.
“I believe you just know when it’s time for a change and I know this is the right time for me,” Cunningham said about announcing his retirement. “I have confidence in the school district’s staff and the Board of Education to keep the district on the right path. They’re good people, with the best interests of our students and our community at heart.”
Cunningham became principal at Northwest Elementary School in 1981 and served as the principal at Wilroads Gardens from 1990 through 1992. In 1992, he became the district’s first Technology Director and served in that position until being selected as Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction in 1999. He has been Superintendent of Schools since 2006.
“I believe this school district is unique in so many ways. It has grown over the years, not just in enrollment, but also in its ability to meet the changing needs of our community and its students,” Cunningham said. “Whether it’s offering school choice or providing the latest technologies to help students learn and teachers teach, Dodge City Public Schools has made the commitment to do what is needed and what is best for our students and their families.”
Cunningham and his wife, Sue, raised two children in Dodge City and their two grandchildren currently attend Dodge City Public Schools.
“I have been blessed to have many good friends, fellow educators and mentors over the years. The educators in Dodge City who have influenced my life and career are a virtual hall of fame to me,” he said. “From the classroom teachers I taught with, to the building and district administrators I learned from, I have been privileged to work alongside good people who have dedicated their lives to educate our community’s young people.”
Cunningham and his wife plan to stay in Dodge City after his retirement.
“I’m proud of this community. The people of Dodge City show tremendous support for our schools; whether it’s passing bond issues to build new facilities or the amazing crowds that attend school programs, concerts and sporting events to support our young people, this community is unlike anything I’ve ever seen,” he said. “The pride and support from the people of Dodge City, in turn, results in strong school spirit and pride among our students, too.”
The USD 443 Board of Education will soon begin the process of hiring a new superintendent.
“I want to thank Dodge City and USD 443 for taking a young teacher, fresh out of college in 1974, and letting me learn, make mistakes, grow and still keep me around,” Cunningham said. “It has been my privilege to be a part of this school district and community.”
- Yvonda Offerle, Public Information Officer