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Alumni Profile: Dr. Thomas Tucker, Ph.D.

Born and raised in northeastern Arkansas, Dr. Thomas S. Tucker ('88) is a trailblazer in the field of education. With nearly 30 years of experience in the public school systems of Kansas and Ohio, Tucker has donned hats as a classroom teacher, assistant principal, principal, director of secondary curriculum and superintendent over the course of his career.

The youngest of 11 children born to farmers, Tucker learned the value of hard work and education from his parents and grandparents. And now, education is not only a career, it is also a family affair for the 53-hear-old and his wife, Janae, an elementary school teacher. The Tuckers are certainly living out the example before their own four children, as well as the thousands of other young people impacted by the couple's calling to education.

After receiving his bachelor's degree from Philander Smith College in 1988, Tucker continued his education at The Ohio State University, where he obtained a master's degree in educational policy and leadership, as well as a Ph.D. in education with an emphasis in higher education, student affairs and communication.

Philander Smith College is one of the black colleges supported by the Black College Fund which provides financial support to maintain solid, challenging academic programs; strong faculties; and well-equipped facilities.

Currently, Dr. Tucker is Superintendent of Douglas County School District near Denver, Colorado. He began leading Colorado's third largest public school system, with 68,000 students, in July 2018. Previously, he served three years as Superintendent of the Princeton City Schools in Cincinnati, Ohio.

In 2008 he became the first African American to be named Superintendent of Licking Heights Local School District. In his first year of leadership, he helped that district to earn its first ever "excellent rating" from the Ohio Department of Education.

In 2011, Tucker achieved another "first" as the first Black to be named Superintendent of the Worthington City School District in the Columbus, Ohio-area. The following year, he would help pass an incremental levy and no-new taxes $40 million bond issues—the first school district leader in Ohio to attempt and pass an incremental levy and bond issue on a single ballot.

Dr. Tucker is passionate about improving classroom success by utilizing proven teaching methods, intensive research, effective communication skills, and extensive community engagement. He believes every student in America—regardless of zip code or ethnicity—deserves a rewarding educational experience as shaped by excellent teachers, building principals and superintendents. For his work, Tucker has been widely lauded. He is the only superintendent in the country to earn both the American Association of School Administrators' National Superintendent of the Year Award (2016) and the National Alliance of Black School Educators' National Superintendent of the Year Award (2013).

Philanderian Magazine, Fall 2018

One of seven apportioned giving opportunities of The United Methodist Church, the Black College Fund provides financial support to maintain solid, challenging academic programs; strong faculties; and well-equipped facilities at 11 United Methodist-related historically black colleges and universities. Please encourage your leaders and congregations to support the Black College Fund apportionment at 100 percent.

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