Biography - Michael A. Fulton
Dr. Mike Fulton is superintendent of the Shawnee Mission School District (SMSD) in Johnson County, Kansas, a district which serves more than 27,000 students. He began his tenure with SMSD in July 2018. All five high schools in SMSD are recognized by U.S. News and World Report as among the top high schools in the country, and the district is in the top six percent of school districts nationwide.
During his tenure in Shawnee Mission, the district has engaged the community in developing and implementing a vision for learning. Students, parents, and staff collaborated to create a mission statement, common beliefs, and a commitment to ensuring every student has a personalized learning plan that prepares them to be college and career ready and has the interpersonal skills they need for life success. This community commitment builds on Shawnee Mission’s tradition of academic excellence and recognizes its growing diversity as a strength to be celebrated.
Dr. Fulton previously served in the Pattonville School District (MO) for 23 years, the last 11 as superintendent. Prior to Pattonville, Fulton taught middle school and served as assessment coordinator in the School District of Clayton (MO). He began his teaching career in Bloomington (Ill.) District 87 where he taught grades five and six. On assignment from District 87, Fulton taught Curriculum and Instruction for one-year at Illinois State University. Fulton earned a bachelor’s degree from Southwest Missouri State University, a master’s degree from Illinois State University, and a doctoral degree from Saint Louis University.
During Fulton’s time in Pattonville, the district evolved into one of the most diverse school districts in Missouri and the nation. As diversity grew, so too did the district’s academic performance, leading the St. Louis Post Dispatch to recognize Pattonville as a district that “beats the odds” on state test scores. Pattonville grew to national stature on multiple rankings by engaging students, parents, staff and community members in creating solutions that promoted competency-based approaches to learning, ensuring student mastery and application of priority standards.
Fulton chaired or co-chaired several Missouri statewide committees related to student learning, assessment and accountability, including the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (DESE) Task Force for Proficiency-Based Learning. He helped found two major state-wide initiatives, the Show-Me Performance Assessment Consortium, which trained teachers state-wide in the development and use of classroom performance assessment; and, the Missouri Assessment Partnership, a consortium of school districts committed to reconceptualizing state assessment as a tool for learning growth and instructional improvement.
Fulton has served on the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) Governing Board, the Kansas-Missouri Superintendents Leadership Forum Board and on the Missouri Association of School Administrators (MASA) Executive Committee. Honors include MASA’s two highest recognitions for Missouri superintendents, the Robert L. Pearce Award in 2014 and the Missouri Superintendent of the Year award in 2016.