Teresa Beshore, Director of Special Education
Teresa Beshore believes that every child deserves an excellent education, and that absolutely no challenge should limit his or her opportunity to receive that. Prior to teaching at the Kauffman School, Ms. Beshore taught for three years in the Kansas City Public Schools as a special education teacher at Faxon Elementary School. She received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary and Special Education at Elizabethtown College (Pennsylvania) and is an alumna of Teach For America - Kansas City. Ms. Beshore loves her neighborhood and her city and longs to see lasting transformation across all of Kansas City.
Shelli Brown, Dean of Students
Shelli Brown has never met a student who did not have greatness in them, and is excited to spend another year helping students discover their own greatness. Before teaching in Kansas City, Ms. Brown earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and English from Auburn University. She was a 2011 Teach For America - Kansas City corps member and completed her Master in Special Education degree from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Ms. Brown is happy to be teaching with a staff of teachers who are dedicated to proving what is possible for students in Kansas City.
Nick Burgmeier, Instructional Coach
Nick Burgmeier believes that every student deserves, and is capable of, reaching his or her full potential. He is committed to holding students to the highest standards and getting them ready to accomplish their collegiate goals before pursuing great careers in a fields of their choosing. Prior to teaching at the Kauffman School, Mr. Burgmeier taught seventh-grade math for two years at East High School in the Kansas City Public Schools. Mr. Burgmeier is an alumnus of Teach For America - Kansas City. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies with a minor in Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. He received his Master of Education in Middle School Education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. After observing at the Kauffman School, Mr. Burgmeier immediately felt at home. He loved the staff and student culture and couldn't wait to take part and contribute to it. He is very excited to have another successful year!
Cat Cain, Operations Manager
Cat Cain believes that all children can surpass any challenge presented to them and that a quality education is an essential right that should be available to students of every background. She is excited to be a part of a team that pushes its members toward a “whatever it takes” attitude regarding student success and achievement. Prior to joining the Kauffman School team, Ms. Cain taught for two years at Phillis Wheatley Elementary in the Kansas City Public School district. She is an alumna of Teach For America - Kansas City. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sports Management from Texas A&M University and a Master of Education degree from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Erynn Campbell, Human Resources Specialist
Bio coming soon!
Ben Carman, High School Principal
Ben Carman envisions a future in which every one of Kansas City’s children receives an education that prevents where they grow up from defining how successful they become. Before joining the team at the Kauffman School, Mr. Carman taught middle and high school inclusion exceptional education at Central Academy of Excellence (formerly Central High School) in the Kansas City Public Schools. He is an alumnus of Teach For America - Kansas City. He holds a Master of Education in Special Education from University of Missouri-St. Louis and a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Wesleyan University. Mr. Carman looks forward to working and growing with the Kauffman School team to enable students to fulfill their potential as college graduates and successful adults that will positively impact society.
Dana Coleman, 7th and 8th Grade Principal
There aren’t a lot of things that make Dana Coleman's day brighter than seeing a student’s interest spark in a rigorous math class. She believes all students can be successful regardless of their backgrounds, and is dedicated to developing teachers who create classrooms where students are challenged and supported. Mrs. Coleman earned her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia and her Master of Education degree from the University of Missouri-Saint Louis. Before joining the Kauffman School, Mrs. Coleman was a Teach For America corps member, where she taught seventh- and eighth-grade math and science. Mrs. Coleman could not be more thrilled to work with the dedicated teachers, parents, and students that will send all PREPsters to and through college. She’s just crossing her fingers they all pick Mizzou.
Kristen Crites, Athletics and Activities Director
Kristin Crites believes that all children are capable of success when they are given the proper tools and support. Her experience as a collegiate athlete and coach has solidified the importance of teamwork, goal-setting, and the self-motivation and effort needed to succeed. These are all qualities that will manifest themselves in her classroom. Ms. Crites studied physical education at Baker University where she received the Kansas Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (KAHPERD) Student Major of the Year award in physical education. She went on to receive her Master of Arts in Education, also at Baker University. Ms. Crites began her professional career at Foreign Language Academy in Kansas City, Missouri, where she taught a culturally rich population of kindergarten through eighth graders. Ms. Crites is excited to be part of the Kauffman team’s efforts to foster the education and personal growth of each student as they pursue their lifelong learning goals.
Nita Daniels, Dean of Students
Nita Daniels has answered the call to encourage students to reach their full potential regardless of the obstacles life brings. Her passion comes from growing up in the same neighborhoods our kids come from and knowing they, too, can be whatever they choose through education and awareness. Before joining the Kauffman School, Ms. Daniels served with the Kauffman Scholars, Inc., program advocating for families. As a life-long supporter of Ewing Kauffman and his vision, Ms. Daniels created and implemented best practices that developed a strong team environment and cultivated a strong sense of belonging. Ms. Daniels is a member of Black Business Women of America Association (BBWAA) and the After-School Alliance (ASA) and an alumna of Stafford University in the United Kingdom. She continues her global connections by providing rescue services to earthquake victims in Haiti and educational benefits to students in Johannesburg, South Africa. The coming school year brings Ms. Daniels excitement because she knows our students are getting that much closer to experiencing the success of being college graduates.
Lindsey Dolge, 5th and 6th Grade Principal
Lindsey Dolge believes education is a gateway to opportunity. She leads with the conviction that every student has the ability to make significant academic progress while being held to high academic and behavioral expectations. Ms. Dolge worked with the founding team at the Kauffman School as a writing teacher, and later served as an Instructional Coach. She now serves as principal and continues to coach reading teachers. Prior to joining the Kauffman School team, Ms. Dolge worked at a local charter school in Kansas City, Missouri and spent her summers supporting and coaching first-year teachers. She holds her Masters of Education from Rockhurst University. This year, Ms. Dolge anticipates building on the strong foundation laid last year with staff and students. Her team is ready to prepare fifth and sixth graders for college and empower them to be successful leaders and global participants.
Keshia Greve, Instructional Coach
Keshia Greve believes every student can go to and through college. She is committed to holding her students to high expectations in order to prepare them for college. Prior to teaching at the Kauffman School, Ms. Greve taught seventh-, eighth-, and ninth-grade math in Oklahoma City Public Schools at Oklahoma Centennial Mid-High School. Ms. Greve is an alumna of Teach For America - Oklahoma. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. Ms. Greve was drawn to the Kauffman School because of its incredible teacher development and high expectations for students. She is excited to be a part of the growing and strong high school team!
Kristin Hart, Dean of Students
Kristin Hart feels humbled to work everyday with such an amazing staff and inspirational students! Previously, Mrs. Hart taught second grade at James Elementary in Kansas City, Missouri and is an alumna of Teach For America. She spent her two summers in Tulsa, Oklahoma, supporting and coaching incoming Teach For America corps members. Mrs. Hart received her Bachelor of Arts in Speech: Communications at Saint Mary’s College and her Master of Education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Mrs. Hart earned an additional degree from RELAY Graduate School of Education.
Jerrad Jones, Director of Finance
Jerrad Jones combines his passion for improving his community with his support of the school's financial management while serving as the Director of Finance. Prior to joining the Kauffman School, Mr. Jones worked in affordable housing development in both Kansas City and Chicago. He received a Bachelor of Sciences in International Studies from the University of Nebraska in Omaha, NE where he served two years as an Americorps member. He later received a Master of Business from North Park University in Chicago, IL. Mr. Jones was drawn to the Kauffman School because of the opportunity to apply his education and experience to serve the school's scholars and to be part of the strong adult culture.
Maple Kirby, Instructional Coach
Bio coming soon!
Georgina Leslie, Instructional Coach
Georgina Leslie believes every child deserves a high-quality education and should have the opportunity to graduate from college. She is thrilled to be part of a team that makes sure students are held to high expectations and rigorous academic standards in every classroom. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English and Russian Area Studies at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, and her Master in Education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Prior to joining the Kauffman School, she taught fourth grade at African Centered College Preparatory in Kansas City, Missouri, as a corps member with the Teach For America program.
Hannah Lofthus, Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Hannah Lofthus is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Schools in Kansas City, Missouri. In 2014-2015, Kauffman students earned an average of 1.53 years growth in reading, and nearly every grade and subject met or exceeded the state average proficiency in the first year of Common Core State Standards aligned exams. Before entering EMKS, under a third of the founding class passed their 4th grade state exams. Four years later, the same students outperformed 93% of the state in English Language Arts, 96% of the state in Science, and 99% of the state in Mathematics. A five year study conducted by Mathematica Policy Research shows that students that attend the Kauffman School for three years achieve an average of 4.61 years learning in math and 4.64 years learning in reading. This impact, measured in additional years learning, is nearly double the impact of charter schools in Boston and New York City and 2.5 times greater than KIPP middle schools nationwide. Notably, the Kauffman School achieved these results in its first four years of operation.
Before joining the Kauffman School, Ms. Lofthus worked in the Uncommon Schools Network in New York City and is a 2007 Teach for America alumni. In 2015, Ms. Lofthus was inducted into the Mid-America Education Hall of Fame. In 2016, the Kauffman School was named Missouri Charter School of the Year and Ms. Lofthus received the Ryan Award which is awarded to high-impact leaders who accelerate student achievement.
Annie Murphy, Instructional Coach
Annie Murphy believes that every student deserves access to an excellent education and is capable of achieving at high levels. Prior to teaching at the Kauffman School, Mrs. Murphy taught seventh- through twelfth-grade French in the Kansas City Public Schools at Southwest Early College Campus. Mrs. Murphy is an alumna of Teach for America - Kansas City. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and French at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. She went on to receive her Master of Education in Secondary Education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Mrs. Murphy was drawn to the Kauffman School because of its pursuit of excellence for all students and high expectations and support systems for teachers.
Deon Myer, Dean of Students and Instructional Coach
Bio coming soon!
Annie Olsen-Meehan, Social Worker
Annie Olsen-Meehan believes that every student deserves a well-rounded education. She is committed to helping all students feel safe and have the skills to pursue their dreams. Prior to working at the Kauffman School, Ms. Olsen-Meehan as the Social Worker for Leadership Prep Charter School, part of Uncommon Schools, for seven years. Ms. Olsen-Meehan received her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Social Welfare from the University of Kansas. She moved back to Kansas to be closer to family and joined the Kauffman School because of its focus on creating a joyful learning environment for every child. She is excited to continue supporting students social/emotional needs to help them in their pursuit of going to college.
Katie Pasniewski, Chief Operating Officer
Bio coming soon!
Candace Potter, Talent Recruiter
Candace Potter wholeheartedly believes that all kids deserve teachers and leaders that recognize the depths of their potential. That is why she is committed to finding leaders with that mindset for the Kauffman School. Originally from Wichita, Kansas, Ms. Potter attended Saint Louis University where she majored in Marketing and Communications. After graduating, she taught ninth grade English at Wooddale High School in Memphis, Tennessee as a Teach For America corps member. Motivated by her own students' desires to have more teachers who believed in them, Ms. Potter joined Teach For America's national recruitment team and spent several years recruiting new teachers from the University of Kansas, Kansas State University and University of Missouri. Ms. Potter was drawn to the Kauffman School because she wanted to be part of finding the foundational teachers and staff that will set up the Kauffman School (and our students) for many more years of success.
Bailey Reimer, Senior Operations Specialist
Bailey Reimer just loves the Kansas City community, and knows that the families and students here deserve a school that will help every student on his or her path to graduating from college. Before joining the Kauffman School's operations team, Ms. Reimer was a kindergarten teacher and grade team leader at Chicago Public Schools' CICS-Basil Elementary. Ms. Reimer is a 2013 alumna of Teach For America - Chicago and a former TeachPlus Policy Fellow. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics and American Studies from the University of Kansas and her Master of Arts in Teaching in Elementary Education from Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois. Ms. Reimer joined the Kauffman School because she knows that schools with excellent, efficient systems enable teachers to teach and students to learn.
Amy Rosenwald, Instructional Coach
Amy Rosenwald believes that education can be a pathway to success for all students and is committed to ensuring students grow to be self-empowered, independent, and confident leaders. Prior to joining the Kauffman School team, Ms. Rosenwald served three years as a middle school teacher in Mission, South Dakota, where she helped develop year-long curriculum for all secondary literacy classrooms. Ms. Rosenwald, an alumna of Teach For America, received her Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies and History from the University of Minnesota, and Master of Education from Black Hills State University. Ms. Rosenwald is proud to be part of PREPsters’ journey to college graduation.
Hadiza Sa-Aadu, Data and Technology Specialist
Bio coming soon!
Caitlin Sharp, Director of Technology and Data
Caitlin Sharp believes that an excellent education for all students is the most important mission of a community. Prior to coming to the Kauffman School, Ms. Sharp helped state education agencies design and build technology and data systems that would focus on continuously improving student outcomes. She draws on her experience as a third grade teacher and data coach at PS 230 in The Bronx, where she worked as a Teach For America - New York City corps member. Ms. Sharp received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Southern Methodist University and her Master of Arts in Public Policy from The University of Texas at Austin. She is the former Chair of the Teach For America - Austin Alumni Association and a founding member of Austin Kids First. Ms. Sharp was drawn to the Kauffman School by the innovative, high-performing culture and the great things happening in Kansas City.
Melissa Sprockel, Instructional Coach
Melissa Sprockel is committed to the vision that all students in Kansas City deserve a great education. Students deserve a school where they are nurtured to develop their passions, challenged to high expectations, and supported to reach success. Ms. Sprockel earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Boston College and is currently working toward obtaining a Master in Education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Prior to joining the Kauffman School, Ms. Sprockel was a 2011 member of Teach For America where she taught fifth and sixth grades for two years at Phillis Wheatley Elementary School in the Kansas City Public Schools district. She spent two years teaching seventh grade science at the Kauffman School and now is an Instructional Coach. Ms. Sprockel is so excited to work alongside such dedicated teachers, parents, and students, making our mission of getting all our PREPsters to and through college possible.
Hayley Steel, Dean of Students
Bio coming soon!
Alecia Tumpap, Instructional Coach
Bio coming soon!
Cescily Turner-Phillips, Dean of Students
Cescily Turner is a passionate teacher who believes that with the right motivation, tools, and encouragement, young people are capable of reaching new heights. Originally from inner city Chicago, Illinois, Ms. Turner grew up in an environment where she saw many opportunities for change and growth, and has since decided to make education her mission. She believes in pushing young people to reach their highest potential in spite of circumstances. Ms. Turner looks forward to continue getting to know and embracing her new community, while making a substantial impact on the lives of Kansas City youth. Prior to moving to Kansas City and joining the Kauffman School family, Ms. Turner taught Language Arts for three years in Columbia Public Schools at Gentry Middle School (sixth and seventh grades) and West Junior High School (eighth grade), as well as coaching eighth-grade basketball and facilitating a number of after-school activities. Ms. Turner received a Bachelor of Science in Education, a Master of Education in Learning, Teaching, and Curriculum, as well as a Certificate in Multicultural Studies from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She is truly thrilled to be in Kansas City working with great people to make a difference that is sure to go far beyond the classroom.
Justin Vavroch, Data Services Contractor
Justin Vavroch believes every Kauffman School student can, and will, graduate from college. He supports the academic success of Kauffman School students by providing performance data and assessment results to students, parents and instructional leaders. Prior to joining the Kauffman School, Mr. Vavroch worked as a data analyst for various healthcare and education agencies. He received both his Bachelors and Masters in Business Administration from the University of Iowa. Mr. Vavroch came to the Kauffman School both because of his belief in the abilities of local students, and because of his love for Kansas City. He cannot wait to support PREPsters this year, as they continue their path to college graduation.
Rachel Walker, Director of College Access
Rachel Walker believes that all students deserve access to a college education to help unleash their full potential and to be the authors of their own lives. Before coming to the Kauffman School, Ms. Walker helped students go to and through college in a variety of professional roles: as the Director of Upward Bound at the University of Washington, as the Assistant Director of Upward Bound at South Seattle College, and as the Learning Center Coordinator at the non-profit Treehouse for Kids. Ms. Walker received her undergraduate degree in English from Bethel College in North Newton, KS, and her master’s degree in Public Administration from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. She cannot wait to see the first, "You Got In!" letters arrive for our students!
Margaret Watermann, Data and Technology Specialist
Bio coming soon!