Archive for Wednesday, March 14, 2007

TMS principal eyes state education commissioner post

March 14, 2007

Tonganoxie Middle School principal Steve Woolf is setting his sights on Topeka.

Woolf, who is in his eighth year as a Tonganoxie principal, said he applied Friday to become Kansas' Commissioner of Education.

A native of Claflin in central Kansas, Woolf said he's expecting word from the State Board of Education in the next few days on whether he'll be granted an interview.

"I'm sure they've got a lot of fine applicants," Woolf said. "I hope they consider me one of them."

The deadline for applications was Tuesday. Dale M. Dennis is serving as interim commissioner, replacing Bob Corkins, who resigned in November.

Overall, Woolf has served 20 years in education, 16 as an administrator. He worked in the Ottawa and Ulysses school districts and also served a short stint in Colorado before coming back to Kansas to take the job in Tonganoxie.

In 1995, while at Ottawa Middle School, Woolf won the prestigious Milken National Educator Award. And while in Ulysses, Woolf won the state's principal of the year award.

The 44-year-old TMS principal said he had aspirations of being state commissioner before Corkins resigned.

"I was thinking about it well before the former commissioner resigned, but when he resigned, I decided this was something I probably ought to do," Woolf said.

If Woolf were named to the highest nonelected position in the Department of Education, he plans to commute from Tonganoxie to Topeka.

"I love kids in Tonganoxie," Woolf said. "What a wonderful group of kids and staff. "This is an opportunity to expand your influence to reach more kids."

After graduating from Claflin High School, Woolf attended Barton County Community College before graduating from Kansas State University. He also played football for the Wildcats.

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