USD 305 Superintendent Finalist: John Thissen

The third of four candidates vying to be the next superintendent at USD 305 schools spent Wednesday in Salina.

John Philip Thissen spent a day which included interviewing with the school board, meeting with district administration, faculty, and staff and meeting with the public.

Thissen has a total of 35 years in public education, currently serving as superintendent of schools in Hays USD 489. He has served as superintendent for 12 years between Hays and Herington USD 487, 17 years as a middle school principal in McPherson USD 418, Great Bend USD 428 and Geary County USD 475 and 5 years as a teacher in Herington and Pretty Prairie USD 311. Thissen taught secondary science and coached.

Thissen told KSAL News he has always admired USD 305, and Salina is attractive to him for several reasons.


Thissen is proud of several career accomplishment. Among them, while in Great Bend he was instrumental in two middle schools consolidating. In Herington, he was instrumental in a bond project.


Thissen is the third of four finalists that the board will interview. Finalists were selected for interview based on their fit with desired characteristics that were developed with input from focus groups and a community survey. The other finalists include William Biermann and David McGehee.

The fourth finalist will be announced Thursday morning.