For decades, education in Indiana has been at the top of Terry Thompson's priority list, and now his peers have placed him at the top of their list — by awarding him the prestigious title of 2010 Indiana Superintendent of the Year.

Thompson, who earned two doctoral degrees in education from Ball State University in 1988, was selected from a field of seven superintendents who were named District Superintendent of the Year in September by the Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents, and will now represent the state of Indiana as its nominee for the American Association of School Administrators' (AASA) National Superintendent of the Year award.

Thompson has been superintendent of the Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township in Indianapolis since 1996, and his leadership and dedication have turned the township into one of the premier school districts in the state. His efforts include the implementation of 26 AP courses, the opening of a central preschool center, and the launch of an early college high school, in which students in the district earned 8,000 college credits in 2008-09.

Thompson is also credited with starting HOSTS (Help One Student to Succeed), a program designed to enhance the reading skills of elementary students. More than 1,000 volunteer mentors participate in the program, including Thompson — who calls it the highlight of his week.

Over the years, Thompson has served as an exemplary model of what it means to dedicate one's career to the service of public education and credits much of his success to the academic excellence he received at Ball State.

"I still remember professors in Teachers College by name — Ted Drake, Jack Riegle, George Swafford, Phil Ballou, Jay Church, James McElhinney, and many others — who provided me with an outstanding educational administration foundation, which has served me well in my career as a public school superintendent."