School Board

Kauffman School board of directors and staff members are the foundation of the school. Regularly scheduled board meetings and committee meetings are posted at the school at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled meeting time.

Please refer all communications to the Kauffman School Board of Directors to [email protected] or 4801 Rockhill Rd. Kansas City, MO 64110.
Board Members

 

Kristin Bechard (Board Treasurer)

Kristin Bechard is the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, and provides insight and guidance to support the Foundation's finance initiatives. She is responsible for the Foundation and affiliated organization's finance functions, Grants Administration, Technology and Facilities.

Prior to joining the Kauffman Foundation, Ms. Bechard was a senior corporate tax specialist for American Century Investments, where she applied current tax updates and laws to pursue tax opportunities for the company, and represented the firm with federal and state tax authorities. Ms. Bechard joined American Century in 2000 as an internal auditor. Previously, Ms. Bechard served as a tax accountant with Arthur Anderson LLP in Kansas City, Missouri. She earned a bachelor's degree in accounting and business administration, and a master's degree in accounting and information systems, both from the University of Kansas. She is a licensed CPA, and has been a member of the Missouri Society of CPAs since May 2001.

Brett Hembree

 

Brett Hembree is a Senior Strategy, Learning, and Evaluation Officer at the Walton Family Foundation. In this role, Brett provides measurement and learning support to inform strategic decision making and ultimately increase the impact of the Foundation’s work on students, families, and communities.

Previously, Brett was the Senior Evaluation Officer at the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, where he led the organization’s strategic learning initiatives and supported program teams in crafting rigorous and meaningful evaluations. In this role, he designed and managed evaluations of several Kansas City-based education organizations, including: the Kauffman School, the Kansas City Teacher Residency, Kansas City Scholars, and SchoolSmartKC. Brett also previously served as the Managing Director of Research and Evaluation at Teach For America and began his career as a middle school science teacher at Paul Public Charter School in Washington, DC.

Brett earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Kansas State University and a Master of Public Affairs from Princeton University.

 

Hannah Lofthus, (Founder and Chief Executive Officer): Non-voting Officer

Hannah Lofthus is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Schools in Kansas City, Missouri. 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. 

Tracy McFerrin (Board Chair)

Tracy McFerrin is a philanthropic advisor with more than a decade of experience helping foundations and other organizations engage in strategic and impactful charitable giving.  She was vice president of a family foundation that granted more than $35 million annually to the nonprofit sector.  In this role, Ms. McFerrin provided leadership in strategic direction, project management and partnership development on community initiatives and grantmaking to address issues such as education equity, neighborhood revitalization and access to high quality social services.  She has been sought out as a speaker and thought leader on various topics in philanthropy. 

Ms. McFerrin has held leadership roles on numerous nonprofit boards, including serving as chair for the University of Kansas Medical Center Research Institute, Kansas City Public Television – Channel 19, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City.  She is an avid volunteer, currently serving as a mentor for high school students with Pathways to Education in Toronto, a director for Scientists in Schools in Toronto, and as trustee of the Ewing Marion Kauffman School in Kansas City, Missouri. 

Prior to working in philanthropy, Ms. McFerrin practiced law providing counsel to and representing businesses in legal matters ranging from corporate governance and employment law to general business litigation. She has a law degree from Harvard Law School and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Howard University.  She lives in Toronto with her husband and teenage daughter.

Juan Rangel

Juan M. Rangel, Jr. is the Family Engagement Director at School Smart Kansas City where he works to ensure all families and students are able to access out of school supports critical to student success and build partnerships with educators and their schools to improve academic achievement.
 
Juan previously worked at Donnelly College in Kansas City, Kansas where he led programs to support disadvantaged high school students in successfully transitioning and persisting through college as the Director of Gateway to College. Prior to Donnelly, Juan was the Director of Community Engagement for Metropolitan Community College/Institute for Workforce Innovation in Kansas City and also spent 12 years at the National Conference for Community and Justice, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting bias, bigotry and racism through education, awareness-building and conflict resolution training.
 
Juan holds bachelor’s of science degrees in international business, marketing, and Spanish from Northwest Missouri State University and has his master’s degree in urban education from Kansas State University.

 

Corey Scholes

Corey Scholes is an educator-in-residence for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, where she advises the Foundation on strategic program initiatives and opportunities related to education. One of her first major responsibilities at the Foundation was to help start the Ewing Marion Kauffman School, where she served as interim CEO during the school’s launch. She has also developed and executed the Foundation’s strategy around attracting, developing, and retaining talent in the education sector in Kansas City. Her team is responsible for bringing programs like City Year, KCTR, and Kansas City Plus to Kansas City to make the talent pipeline more robust and able to support the Foundation’s other K-12 investments.
 
Prior to joining the Kauffman Foundation, Scholes was a school designer for Expeditionary Learning in New York, where her responsibilities included teacher education, curriculum, and leadership development, school sustainability structures, and new school recruitment. She also was a consultant for Heart of Change in New York, giving professional development presentations to members of school leadership. Earlier, Scholes was a principal for Southeast K-8 and Lincoln College Preparatory Academy, both in Kansas City, MO.
 
In addition to her leadership positions, Scholes was an instructor for the University of Missouri-Kansas City Department of Education where she taught several graduate-level courses. Scholes has held several civic positions in Kansas City, including the Boards of Directors of Paul Mesner Puppets and Youth Friends. Currently, she is the Vice Chair of the School Board and Chair of the Academic committee for the Brooklyn LAB Charter Schools.
Scholes earned a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Westminster College in Fulton, Mo., and a Masters of Education in curriculum development from DePaul University in Chicago, Ill. She holds a special education certificate from DePaul University and a supervision and administration certificate from National Lewis University.

 

John Tyler (Board Secretary): Non-voting Officer

John Tyler has been general counsel and corporate secretary for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation since 1999. Mr. Tyler works closely with other leadership and program personnel to design and operate initiatives, by understanding the theoretical and making it practical while complying with the law. Mr. Tyler frequently contributes to the Foundation’s policy work as a speaker and author on diverse topics such as reforming U.S. policy regarding high-skilled immigration, hybrid forms and their roles and regulation, and the need to improve university technology transfer. He also serves the Foundation as a liaison to national philanthropy and advocates for philanthropy more generally as a scholar and speaker. Among topics for his more than 100 presentations and two dozen publications are challenging presumptions that foundations’ and charities’ assets are “public money,” analyzing calls for mandating greater transparency and traditional notions of accountability, and advocating for greater engagement by foundations with policymakers. Among the national boards on which Mr. Tyler serves or has served are the Philanthropy Roundtable, the Philanthropic Collaborative, NYU law school’s National Center on Philanthropy and the Law, and Independent Sector’s public policy committee. Mr. Tyler’s Kansas City-based board service and leadership positions include the school board for the Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph, Genesis School, Archbishop O’Hara High School, Kauffman Scholars, and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City.

Before joining Kauffman, Mr. Tyler was a partner with one of Kansas City's oldest and largest law firms, Lathrop and Gage, where his practice focused on commercial litigation, personal injury litigation for railroads, and employment law. His undergraduate and law degrees are both from the University of Notre Dame.

Jerry Williams

 

Biography coming soon!

 

 

 

Upcoming Board Meeting Dates - 2022
  • January
    • Committee: January 18 (Tuesday)
    • Board: January 19
  • February
    • Committee: February 14
    • Board: February 16
  • March
    • Committee: March 7
    • Board: March 9
  • April
    • Committee: April 11
    • Board: April 13
  • May
    • Committee: May 9
    • Board: May 11
  • June
    • Committee: June 13
    • Board: June 15
  • July
    • Committee: July 11
    • Board: July 13
  • August
    • Committee: August 8
    • Board: August 10
  • September
    • Committee: September 12
    • Board: September 14
  • October
    • Committee: October 17
    • Board: October 19
  • November
    • Committee: November 7
    • Board: November 9
  • December
    • Committee: December 12
    • Board: December 14
Board Meeting Minutes