Superintendent's Message

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Scott McWilliams
Dr. Scott McWilliams
Superintendent of Schools

About Auburn-Washburn

Welcome to the Auburn-Washburn School District! We are fortunate to serve nearly 6,150 students in 128 square miles located in southwest Topeka, the state's Capital City, and Shawnee County. Auburn-Washburn is an amazing place to learn and work due to our engaged patron and business community, informed parents that value the importance of an exemplary education, dedicated and talented administrators, teachers, and support staff, and of course, outstanding students that come to school ready and willing to do their very best. We base all decisions on what is in the best interest of students, and in doing so, we have built a stellar reputation as a respected, high performing, 6A school district. We also provide a large variety of co-curricular, performing and fine arts, and athletic opportunities, and our students perform and compete extremely well with students in Kansas and the nation.

We do not look at our nearly 6,150 students as a whole, rather, we focus on the strengths, needs, and dreams of every child, every day. We have seven K-6 elementary schools that, on average, serve about 500 students that feed into Washburn Rural Middle School, a 7th and 8th grade building that serves just under 1,000 students, that feeds into Washburn Rural High School, a comprehensive 6A high school that serves just under 2,000 students. We also have an early childhood center and two alternative learning centers. In each school and center, we pride ourselves on building positive and meaningful relationships with students and families first and then focusing on high academic achievement and the development of skills for success.

Auburn-Washburn is led by our Mission, Vision, Core Values, and Strategic Plan. Our Mission, Vision, and Core Values can be viewed on our Mission page, but can be summarized by our tagline: Inspiring, Challenging, and Preparing Every Child, Every Day. Our current five-year strategic plan, Strategic Plan 2026, was built based on feedback from approximately 500 Auburn-Washburn students, staff members, patrons, business leaders, and elected officials. We hosted 30 strategic planning meetings in our schools during the 2019-20 school year, and the feedback received was invaluable. Based on feedback, we established these two student goals:

Goal 1 – Challenging Every Student: To improve the academic performance of each student

High academic performance is the cornerstone of the Auburn-Washburn School District. Student achievement in Auburn-Washburn is consistently above the state average on State Assessments and above the national average on the ACT. Multiple academic measurements will be established at the elementary, middle, and high school level that will be tracked and acted on over the five years of Strategic Plan 2026.

Goal 2 – Preparing Every Student: To develop "Portrait of a Learner" attributes with each student.

Auburn-Washburn stakeholder feedback clearly stated that it takes more than high academic achievement to best prepare students to become happy and responsible citizens in a global community, the workplace, and in life. The most frequently listed attributes were: confidence, a team player, conscientiousness, critical thinker, problem solver, resiliency, effective communicator, and work ethic. Our task for Strategic Plan 2026 is to identify meaningful ways to develop and integrate these attributes at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.

In addition to student goals, we have established the following five district priorities in Strategic Plan 2026:

  • Birth to Age 5:
    To increase the number of three- and four-year-old students enrolled in early childhood programs so each student enters kindergarten at age five socially, emotionally, and academically prepared for success.
  • Social-Emotional Needs:
    To identify successful ways to address students' social-emotional needs and to seek factors within our education system that impact students' social-emotional needs.
  • Instruction and Programming:
    Target student engagement strategies, integrate financial literacy standards, and integrate technology at each grade level.
  • Career and Technical Education:
    Create ways for students to learn in innovation-focused, industry-standard work spaces and to collaborate with local business partners and skilled professionals.
  • School Capacity and Configuration:
    Develop a Master Facility Plan that will guide our work on current and future facility and programmatic needs.

Points of Pride

Our students and staff accomplish amazing feats each year. Check out our Points of Pride to review our accomplishments from previous school years.