Funeral services have been arranged for Alan Cunningham

On Tuesday, Aug. 8, USD 443 received word of the death of former Superintendent Alan Cunningham.  It’s a tragic loss of a man who dedicated his life to his family and the community of Dodge City.  He was an educator for Dodge City Public Schools for 43 years before retiring in July.

Cunningham began his long, illustrious career as an educator in 1974.  He became principal at Northwest Elementary School in 1981 and served as the principal at Wilroads Gardens from 1990 through 1992.  He then became the district’s first Technology Director and served in that position until being selected as Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction in 1999.  He was named Superintendent of Schools in 2006 and led the district for 11 years.

Cunningham was deeply involved in the community he called home for so many year and served on numerous boards, including:  Western Plains Medical Center; Chamber of Commerce; Dodge City Community College Foundation; and the Dodge City/Ford County Economic Development Corporation He was instrumental in the success of the Kansas Teachers’ Hall of Fame, a cause he dedicated a great deal of time to.  His presence and leadership will be missed throughout the community.

Cunningham was a devoted advocate for children and public education and was a role model and mentor to many.  He was an active member of both the Kansas/Missouri Superintendent’s Council and the Southwest Plains Regional Service Center Superintendent’s Council.  Cunningham served as an Officer for Schools for Fair Funding and was an integral part of that lawsuit, fighting for adequacy and equity for all children.  His peers and those who worked alongside Cunningham had a tremendous amount of admiration and respect for him as a Superintendent, and as a person.

Cunningham was a member of the Kansas School Superintendents Association and the United School Administrators of Kansas.  He was a founding member of the Therapeutic Education Center.

Alan is survived by his wife, Sue; his son Jeff and his wife, Melissa; his daughter, Kelly, and his two granddaughters, Paige and Hailey Jordan.  He is also survived by his mother and three brothers:  Robert and his wife Barbara; David and his wife Sandy; and John; as well as his mother-in-law, Mae Barnett.

Services are planned for Friday, August 11 at 10 a.m. at the Civic Center.