TOPEKA (KSNT) – Students returned back from winter break just five days ago at Topeka Public Schools.

Tiffany Anderson, the USD 501 Superintendent, spoke with 27 News about some events and happenings parents and students might’ve missed during their time away.

Topeka Public Schools honored one of their own with the KSDE Horizon award. This award is given out to teachers who represent exemplary standards and successfully completed their first year of teaching. This years’ recipient was Megan Maness, a special education teacher at French Middle School.

Anderson also highlighted the K-State Leadership Program Partnership, as they have their largest graduating class to date with 25 leaders graduating in the spring semester.

“Most of our school leaders right now, when through that program and were hired as a result,” said Anderson.

She emphasized how this help’s students skyrocket in their career, allowing them to get leadership roles all over the state, even within the district.

The district also has early graduation coming up on Jan. 26. Anderson specified the exact number of students graduating this month, as well as their reasoning behind starting early-graduation in the interview.

Starting this week, the Kansas legislature began a new session. Topeka Public Schools recently hired a new lobbyist, Jim Edwards, just in time for the occasion. He was described by Dr. Anderson as an experienced professional, and they are excited for him to provide advocacy for public education issues. Anderson speaks about specific issues they would like to see advocated for in the second part of the interview below.

Finally, Anderson spoke out about the 30 Ukrainian families that TPS has welcomed to the Top City, all the while providing shelter, food and clothing to them.

“Topekans are amazing so we just want to thank everyone for their support thus far,” she said.

For ways to help those families and get involved with the efforts, click here.