Community News

Topeka Public Schools | 5/8/23

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Message from the Superintendent

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Dear Topeka Public Schools Staff and Families:

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week, where we recognize all of our staff as educators! Pictured above are many of our building leaders, who were honored during the Board of Education meeting on May 4. We thank our leaders and appreciate all they do daily for our families.

We believe all of our staff members teach valuable lessons to our students daily, and last week, we celebrated all of them for their dedication and service by delivering small items to each school, and surprising staff who were nominated for their positive impact on students. Over 270 staff members were nominated, and all of them will receive an e-card as a special thank you. We will continue surprising nominated staff throughout this week.

We created a video that’s posted on our YouTube channel featuring students and staff sharing the impact of an educator. We absolutely love our staff and thank them for the love they show to students and to each other. Enjoy the video highlighting these incredible ambassadors of hope in TPS. Thank you to our Communications Department for their work in creating the video.

As we collect feedback, my listening tours have started in our schools and they will continue in the community throughout June and July. Last year, we piloted our first daycare as a result of the feedback and a host of other initiatives. Please check our website and social media to view the locations throughout the summer, or send us your feedback through the District Tip Line.

On April 27, we celebrated our Distinguished Staff Award winners. Videos can be viewed on YouTube and KTPS-TV (Cox Channel 14), and photos from the awards are available on Flickr.

This week, we will be celebrating our graduating scholars. Approximately 1,000 students are graduating, and we are excited to see our parents and staff at their ceremonies. A special thank you is extended to all of the staff and families for their incredible support that has helped these scholars graduate.

Have a wonderful Mother's Day and an amazing end of the year!

Dr. Tiffany Anderson


Topeka Public School Students & Educators Tell Educators I Believe in You

Students Share the Impact Educators Have Made In Their Lives

To highlight the positive impact our staff members make on students each day, we asked students across the district to share how one special educator has made a difference in their lives, simply by believing in them.

In this video, students share that impact and tell educators, "I believe in you!" All of our staff members are educators, and because of your belief in our students, love is reflected across our community in so many ways.

View the full video by clicking the preview above or by visiting the Topeka Public Schools YouTube channel.

Topeka Public Schools High School Commencement Ceremonies

Topeka Public Schools is excited to honor the class of 2023 on Saturday, May 13 at the Stormont Vail Events Center (1 Expocentre Dr, Topeka, KS 66612). Each commencement ceremony will also be live-streamed on the Topeka Public Schools YouTube channel.

Graduation times are listed below:

  • Topeka High School: 9:00 AM
  • Highland Park High School: 12:00 PM
  • Topeka West High School: 2:00 PM

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Please review the Event Day Guide and bag size/clear bag policy from the Stormont Vail Events Center prior to attending graduation. Please note that any bags, clutches, or wallets must be smaller than 9x5" or must be clear in order to enter the facility.

Hope Street Academy's graduation ceremony will take take place in the school gymnasium on Wednesday, May 10, at 10:30 AM. This event will be live streamed on YouTube.

Capital City High School's graduation will take place at TCALC on Wednesday, May 10 at 5:30 PM.

Students or families who have questions about graduation may contact their building/division principal for additional information.

Save the Date for Preschool, Elementary, & Middle School Promotion Ceremonies

Join us in celebrating our scholars as they take the next step in their educational journey! Preschool, elementary, and middle school promotions will be held at the dates and times listed below.

  • College Prep Academy: Thursday, May 11 at 9:00 AM at TCALC
  • Sheldon Head Start: Tuesday, May 16 at 2:00 PM
  • Preschool Intervention Programs: Friday, May 19 at 2:00 PM
  • Pine Ridge Prep: Monday, May 22 at 1:30 PM
  • Shaner/Preschool Programs: Monday, May 22 at 2:00 PM
  • 5th Grade: Tuesday, May 23 - 1:30 PM, 1:45 PM, or 2:00 PM
    Schools will provide additional details
  • 8th Grade: Wednesday, May 24 at 8:00 AM

Promotion ceremonies will be held at each school. Please reach out to your building principal for additional details.

TPS Celebrates Staff With 25 Years of Service & Teacher Appreciation Week

On May 4, the Topeka Public Schools Board of Education honored staff members with 25 years of service to the district and proclaimed the week of May 1-5 as Teacher Appreciation Week.

In Topeka Public Schools, all of our staff members support teaching students academic and life-long lessons daily. Our schools and central office team enjoyed celebrating all staff members throughout last week with tokens of our appreciation.

Teacher Appreciation Week is also celebrated nationally the second week of May, so celebrations at many schools have continued this week. Follow us on Facebook to join in the celebration!

TPS Seniors Recognized for Excellence Through Governor's Scholars Program

The Governor's Scholars Recognition Program honors the top academic 1% of Kansas high school seniors. Scholars are selected from accredited public and private schools throughout the state.

Congratulations to the exceptional Topeka Public Schools students who were honored as 2023 Governor's Scholars!

  • Highland Park High School: Gilbert Barranco, Alma Cruz, & Juan Maldonado

  • Topeka West High School: Carter Cool, Byron Howell, & Amiya Thurman

  • Topeka High School: Alexis Brosa, Adisyn Caryl, Kristoffer Comahig, Kushal Mamillapalli, & Thomas Schmidt

View photos from the recognition ceremony on Flickr.

T'Ahjanae Ray Becomes First Early College Program Graduate

The Early College Program, created in partnership between Topeka Public Schools and Washburn University, was designed for College Prep Academy students to apply for college admissions at the end of their sophomore year of high school and gain acceptance.

In 2021, as a sophomore at Highland Park High School, T'Ahjanae Ray was the first student to be accepted to the Early College Program. Throughout her junior and senior years, she attended Washburn full-time and will graduate this weekend with both a high school diploma and an associate's degree in liberal arts.

We are so proud of this outstanding scholar and look forward to watching her walk across the stage this weekend!

Highland Park AFJROTC Student Named Cadet of the Year By Air Force Association

On May 2, Angiela Henderson, a student at Highland Park High School, was recognized by the Air Force Association as the Kansas Cadet of the Year at their annual awards ceremony.

This prestigious honor is only given to JROTC students with several years of experience who meet specific criteria, such as earning a GPA over 3.5 and scoring in the top 10% of their Aerospace Science class. Awardees must also display leadership, initiative, and high personal and ethical standards.

Angiela now moves on to the regional competition, and the results will be announced later this month! We send a special thank you to Sgt. Scott Moser and Sgt. Sean Hall for their leadership of the Highland Park AFJROTC Program.

Outstanding Topeka West Scholar Recognized as May Senior of the Month

Our May 2023 Senior of the Month, Carter Cool, is a senior at Topeka West High School. Carter is his class Valedictorian, stays active in National Honors Society, and was recently named a 2023 Kansas Governor's Scholar.

Carter is also a superstar on the tennis court, serving as a leader on the team and competing in multiple State Championship Tournaments.

After graduation, Carter plans to attend the University of Kansas (KU) to study biomedical engineering on a pre-med track. He then plans to attend medical school to become a surgeon.

The Topeka Public Schools Board of Education recognized Carter at the board meeting on May 4. Learn more about this outstanding senior in this highlight video.

Photo courtesy of Brent Maycock, KSHSAA Covered.

Exceptional Topeka High Scholar Honored as March Senior of the Month

On May 4, Alexis Brosa, a senior at Topeka High School, was recognized by the Topeka Public Schools Board of Education last week as the March 2023 Senior of the Month.

Alexis is active in soccer, golf, and wrestling, as well as Nu Alpha Theta, National Honor Society, Link Crew, and other organizations. She pushes herself academically by taking many AP courses and was recently named a 2023 Kansas Governor's Scholar. She serves a leader and mentor to other students at Topeka High.

After graduation, Alexis plans to attend Creighton University to study sports medicine and is working to become an orthopedic surgeon.

Learn more about this exceptional scholar in this highlight video.

Topeka West JROTC Drill Team Places in Top 10 at National Competition

Last month, the Topeka West JROTC Drill Team competed against some of the best Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine JROTC teams in the country at the Rocky Mountain All Service Drill Nationals.

Topeka West placed in the top 10 overall, taking 8th out of over 60 Nationally Ranked JROTC schools! They also placed 3rd in Unarmed Regulation, 5th in Varsity Color Guard, and 5th in JV Color Guard.

We are so proud of these outstanding cadets and thank 1SG Johnnie FIelds for his leadership of the Topeka West JROTC program!

TPS Police Officer Earns National Recognition for Exceptional Service at Robinson Middle School

On May 1, Officer Jared Rowley was named the Region 5 Exceptional Service Award winner by the National Association of School Resource Officers!

Officer Rowley was surprised by this exciting news on Zoom after being nominated by his colleagues at Robinson Middle School, where he serves as the SRO. He has also served with the Topeka Police Department for over a decade and previously worked as an EMT and patient care technician.

Officer Rowley is a committed public servant, and we cannot thank him enough for all he has done and continues to do for our community!

Topeka High School Theatre Department Earns Jester Award for Spring Musical

On May 7, the Topeka High School Theatre Department was honored during the annual Jester Awards in Wichita, KS after earning nominations in 17 categories.

Topeka High is one of only 7 schools in the state to be nominated for 10 or more awards, and the only Topeka school to take home an award.

We send a special congratulations to Anna Goering, Autumn Lane, and Jamie Ramos, who were honored as the winner in the Best Small Ensemble category.

Learn more about all of the award nominees in this slideshow.

Enroll for the 2023-2024 School Year!

Online registration for the 2023-2024 school year is now open for students in grades PreK-12!

Returning families have received an email to register their students from Synergy Student Information System. Please refer to the email to register.

Families NEW to Topeka Public Schools will create a new account and register online.

Families can view important dates, a school supply list, and more at on the Online Registration page.

Unified Field Day Offers a Variety of Fun For All Students

The 4th annual Topeka Public Schools Unified Field Day was held at Hummer Sports Park on May 4!

Unified Field Day gives students who may need additional support the opportunity to participate in activities that meet their needs. It also provides a chance for general education students to engage as peer models for students with disabilities.

Topeka Public Schools students and staff joined in workstation games, puzzles, and more! View photos from the event on Flickr.

ShareFest Volunteers Beautify Schools Across the District

On April 29, hundreds of volunteers spent their Saturday morning giving back to Topeka Public Schools as part of ShareFest 2023!

Volunteers beautified 6 schools through landscaping, painting, cleaning up leaves, trimming trees, and much more! Many students from Highland Park High School took part in the event, and spent the morning painting and upgrading the playground at Highland Park Central Elementary!

Learn more about ShareFest Topeka in this video and view photos from the event on Flickr.

Distinguished Staff Award Honorees Celebrated at Reception & Ceremony

On April 27, the 2023 Distinguished Staff Award (DSA) honorees were celebrated during a reception and ceremony at Bishop Professional Development Center. These 13 staff members have positively impacted thousands of Topeka Public Schools students and families!

Pictured are the winners from Whitson Elementary School, Counselor Mallory Jacobs (Certified Support Staff category), Principal Keelin Pierce (Building Leader category), and Nurse Ashley Cooney (Classified Support Staff Category).

The DSA is the highest award that a staff member can receive in Topeka Public Schools. Congratulations to all of this year's recipients! View photos from the event on Flickr or view the event live stream on the Topeka Public Schools YouTube channel.

Jardine Elementary Raising ALS Awareness Through 2nd Annual Steps for Stegman 5K

On Saturday, May 20, Jardine Elementary School will host the 2nd annual Steps for Stegman 5K walk/run in support of Instructional Coach, Dr. Bridget Stegman.

Dr. Stegman was diagnosed with ALS last year, and proceeds from the event will go toward the ALS Association Mid-America Chapter, which provides direct support to Dr. Stegman and other families in their ALS journey. Last year, Jardine was able to donate over $5,600!

This year's event will also feature a bounce house and face painting for all families to enjoy. Tickets may be purchased on-site.

Learn more and register on the official Steps for Stegman page.

Join Us at Topeka West for the Mental Health for All Walk on May 20

Topeka Public Schools has partnered with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and NAMIWalks Kansas to host the Mental Health for All Walk at Topeka West High School.

Join us at 10:00 AM on Saturday, May 20 to raise awareness and break the stigma around mental illness, while celebrating the progress made in our own community.

Learn more and register for this event at

TPS to Host Nationally Renowned Author & Educator for Professional Development

On June 20, Topeka Public Schools will host nationally renowned educator Wiley Blevins for a professional development session!

The session will take place from 8:30 - 11:30 AM at Bishop Professional Development Center, and will be a great benefit to PreK-5 classroom teachers, interventionists, and administrators.

Mr. Blevins is an early reading specialist who holds an Ed.M. from Harvard University and has taught elementary school in the United States and South America. He has written and edited a multitude of phonics and reading materials, and is the author of numerous best-selling professional development books and courses.

View this flyer to learn more and register for the session by completing this form.

Topeka Public Schools is Hiring!

Are you interested in working for Topeka Public Schools? Positions are available in various departments, including teaching, school support staff, food service, custodial, and more!

Join us for Walk-In Wednesdays at the Topeka Workforce Center (1430 SW Topeka Blvd) from 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM throughout the month of May. Interested individuals can apply for a job and interview on-site!

You can also view available openings and apply any time at

District Calendar & Upcoming Events

View the 2022-2023 academic calendar at

As our families and staff plan for the upcoming year, Topeka Public Schools has also released the 2023-2024 academic calendar, which is available on the Communications Department drop-down menu.

Below are important dates for the month of May 2023:

  • May 1-31: Better Hearing & Speech Month
  • May 1-5: TPS Staff Appreciation Week
  • May 8-12: Teacher Appreciation Week
  • May 10: Hope Street Academy Graduation
    Gymnasium | 10:30 AM
  • May 10: Capital City High School Graduation
    TCALC | 5:30 PM
  • May 11: College Prep Academy 8th Grade Promotion
    TCALC | 9:00 AM
  • May 13: High School Commencement Ceremonies
    Stormont Vail Events Center | See above for times
  • May 16: Sheldon Head Start Promotion
    Sheldon Head Start | 2:00 PM
  • May 16: Retirement Reception
    Bishop Professional Development Center | 5:15 PM
  • May 18: Board of Education Meeting
    Burnett Center | 5:30 PM
  • May 19: Preschool Intervention Program Promotions
    All PIP Locations | 2:00 PM
  • May 22: Pine Ridge Prep Promotion
    Pine Ridge Prep | 1:30 PM
  • May 22: Shaner/Preschool Promotions
    Shaner & All PreK Locations | 2:00 PM
  • May 23: 5th Grade Promotions
    All Elementary Schools | 1:30 PM, 1:45 PM, or 2:00 PM
  • May 23: Last Day of School (Grades 6-7)
  • May 24: 8th Grade Promotions
    All Middle Schools | 8:00 AM
  • May 24: Last Day of School (Half Day - All Grades)
  • May 25: Staff Professional Development
  • May 29: Memorial Day

Legislative Advocacy

Stay up-to-date with everything you need to know about the 2023-2024 Kansas Legislative Session on the Current Events page at

The Topeka Public Schools, Unified School District No. 501 is committed to affirmative action and equal opportunity. No person shall, on the basis of age, race, color, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, disability, national origin or ancestry be denied lawful access to any appropriate educational service, program or activity provided by the school district. For students, the Title VI, Title IX and Section 504 compliance coordinator compliance coordinator is the General Counsel for the district. For employment, the EEO/AA and Title VII compliance officer is the general director of human resources. Compliance coordinators may be contacted at 624 S.W. 24th Street, Topeka, KS 66611-1294, (785) 295-3000.The clerk of the Board of Education has been designated to receive and redirect or handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies, regulations and procedures. The clerk may be contacted by calling (785) 295-3059 or by writing to 624 S.W. 24th Street, Topeka, Kansas 66611-1294.

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