Our administrative team includes both instructional leaders and non-instructional leaders that collectively believe in supporting teachers to focus wholly on strong educational experiences with their students daily and in supporting students and families to have the resources and support needed to maximize their learning experiences at the Kauffman School. We aim to build a racially-diverse administrative team - currently, 48% of our school administrators identify as leaders of color. For more information about administrative roles at the Kauffman School, visit our Current Opportunities page here.
Richard Abram II, Dean of Students
Richard Abram II joined the Kauffman School team because he aligned with the mission of “creating college graduates.” He believes all students deserve equitable educational experiences and education is the most powerful tool for success. Mr. Abram’s life’s work has been serving youth and promoting academic achievement. He is experienced in working in schools and has a strong understanding of the educational system, youth development, and social-emotional supports. His desire is to teach students educational and social concepts that will prepare them to be contributing members of society. Mr. Abram has served in education and youth development for 17 years through various role including Behavior Interventionist, College and Career Specialist, Youth Specialist, and Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kansas City Site Director. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts from Columbia College, and a Master of Science in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Grand Canyon University, and an Educational Specialist degree in School Psychology from Emporia State University.
Byron Ashford, Dean Room Monitor
Kathleen Barbosa, Dean of Instruction
Kathleen Barbosa started teaching through Teach For America - Indianapolis at KIPP Indy. She taught 8th grade math for three years, before moving back to the Kansas City area to be closer to family. Ms. Barbosa attended Truman State University where she got her undergraduate degree in English and Communication. She earned her master’s degree in education from Marian University. She led on the 5th grade math team as a Grade Level Content Lead before shifting in the Instructional Leader Fellow role!
Gordon Brown, Dean of Students
Gordon Brown believes that every student has the potential to rise above circumstances that they believe are hindering them, with the help and encouragement given to him/her by the people that surrounds them. Mr. Brown has been in education for 33 years, teaching Heath and Physical Education in North Carolina, in Park Hill School District and within Kansas City Public Schools district. He has also worked as a Dean of Students at various schools throughout Kansas City. Mr. Brown received his Bachelor of Arts. in Health from Catawba College in Salisbury, NC and his Master of Arts in Education and Leadership from Trident University in Cypress, CA. Mr. Brown believes that Kaufman School is changing the mindset of education within Kansas City and proving that with structure and transparency, educational success within our urban community can and will occur.
Cat Cain, Director of Network Operations
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
Ms. Campbell is no stranger to the Kauffman family through her participation in the Kauffman Scholars program. Prior to working at the Kauffman School, Ms. Campbell began her career in human resources with a subsidiary of Koch Industries, Flint Hills Resources. She also worked with the St. Mark Child and Family Development Center. Ms. Campbell is an alumna of the Kauffman Scholars program which granted her a full-ride scholarship to attend the University of Kansas. There she received her Bachelor of Sciences in Business Management and Leadership with a concentration in Human Resources. She is excited to be a part of the Kauffman School and support the mission of creating college graduates!
Ben Carman-Brown, High School Principal
Ben Carman-Brown 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-Brown taught middle and high school inclusion exceptional education at Central Academy of Excellence (formerly Central High School) in the Kansas City Public Schools district. 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-Brown 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.
Shelli Carman-Brown, Dean of Instruction
Shelli Carman-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, Mrs. Carman-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. Mrs. Carman-Brown is happy to be working with a staff of teachers who are dedicated to proving what is possible for students in Kansas City.
Ellen Clayton, College Persistence Counselor
Kristin Crites, Director of Athletics and Activities
Ellen Clayton believes that all students should have access to equitable resources in college. While working at a higher education institution, she noticed significant gaps in who had access to resources on campus. She is committed to leveling the playing field for all students, and helping students gain the tools they need to graduate from college. Prior to teaching at the Kauffman School, Mrs. Clayton taught Algebra II and served as the Special Projects Manager at Freedom Preparatory Academy in Memphis, TN. Mrs. Clayton is an alumna of Teach For America-Memphis. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from DePauw University in Greencastle, IN. Mrs. Clayton was drawn to the Kauffman School because of its unique commitment to walking alongside students after high school graduation on the mission to create college graduates. She is excited to work alongside our first ever class of alumni and see them discover their purpose and passion in college.
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, MO, 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, Senior 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.
Beth Edmonds, Data Specialist
Beth Edmonds believes that everyone learns every minute of every day. She is committed to ensuring that students use the learning opportunities they have to grow each and every day. She has taught at the Kauffman school for three years before transitioning to the Network Team as a Data Specialist. Prior to teaching at the Kauffman School, Ms. Edmonds taught at Eisenhower Middle School in Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools district for four years. Ms. Edmonds has earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Education from Emporia State University, a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Kansas, and Ed.S. Reading Specialist from Arkansas State. Ms. Edmonds works at the Kauffman School because of its culture and expectations. She is excited to see students in the building again and to see academic and personal growth this year!
Jamon Finley, Dean of Instruction
Jamon Finley was drawn to working in education because he believes that representation matters – he deeply believes that students should see adults that look like them leading their schools, and he believes teachers should see educators of color leading teachers and students. Mr. Finley graduated from University of Missouri-Columbia in 2015 with a degree in human development and family science. While at Mizzou, he was a tutor for JumpStart and fell in love with education. He pursued the Teach For America program as an avenue to obtain certification and worked in both first grade and second grade classrooms for several years as a lead teacher. He joined the Kauffman School team as a Dean of Students because he was looking for an opportunity to take his strong classroom skills and help teachers replicate those skills throughout a building, which he does daily as he supports teachers and students in building strong school culture. He is looking forward to a year where he will see both students and staff be flexible and adaptive to meet students’ needs!
Isaac Freeman, Network Team Leader
Isaac Freeman believes that being a great educator means knowing that excellence can come from anywhere. If we meet kids where they are, we can rise together. He is committed to making an impact on the lives of students. Before coming to Kauffman, Isaac taught middle school English for eight years in Dallas. He then moved to Oklahoma City to work for Teach for America. He grew up mostly in Phoenix and Oklahoma City. He received his bachelor's degree in International Security Studies and Political Science from the University of Oklahoma and earned a Master of Science in Secondary Education from Johns Hopkins University. Isaac is so excited to be part of the Kauffman team because it seems like a great place for learning to happen. He is excited to find new ways to make an impact.
Carolyn Gatewood, Dean of Instruction
Carolyn Gatewood believes every student is capable of and deserves an excellent education. She is committed to building strong relationships with her students and their families, in order to help equip her scholars with the skills, mindsets, and knowledge necessary to be successful in college and beyond. Coming from a family of educators, Ms. Gatewood always knew that she wanted to teach. She attended Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education - English. After graduation, she moved to Louisiana where she taught 9th, 10th, and 11th grade ELA at a rural, public high school outside of Baton Rouge. After three years in the South, Ms. Gatewood returned to Kansas City and joined the Kauffman School where she was drawn to the school's belief in equitable education for every student, no matter their background, and their deep investment in adult culture and teacher development. She is excited to be back home and working alongside students, families, colleagues, and communities to help re-write the narrative of education in Kansas City.
Stephanie Gounder, Chief Academic Officer
Stephanie Gounder is the Lead Principal at YES Prep Brays Oaks, a 6th-12th grade charter school in Houston, Texas. In 2008, she started her teaching career at Glen Oaks Middle School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana as a Teach For America – South Louisiana Corps Member. Stephanie moved to Houston in 2010 and has been at YES Prep Brays Oaks ever since. During her 11 years at Brays Oaks, Stephanie has served as a middle school English teacher, Literacy Specialist, Dean of Instruction, Director of Academics, Assistant School Director, Principal, and Lead Principal. Since beginning as Principal in the 2015-2016 school year, Stephanie led the campus to 9% growth in passing rates on state assessments, growth from a “C” to a “B” in Domain I of the Texas state accountability rating, and the highest AP exam passing rate of all YES Prep campuses. Stephanie has a B.A. from Amherst College and an M.A. in Public School Leadership from Teacher’s College at Columbia University. A first-generation American, Stephanie grew up in the Pacific Northwest and is the daughter of immigrants from India and France. She’s also the proud mother of Adele, born in August of 2019!
Kevin Hill, Social Worker
Kevin Hill believes every student should have access to a quality education no matter what community they may live in. He is committed to helping students achieve their full potential. Prior to joining the Kauffman School team, Mr. Hill spent multiple years providing therapeutic services to foster children and youth in residential care. Mr. Hill received both his Bachelor of Science in Communication and Rhetorical Studies and Master of Social Work from Syracuse University. Mr. Hill was drawn to the Kaufman School because of its mission to create college graduates. He is excited about building meaningful relationships with the students we serve.
Bailee Hudson, Operations Specialist
Bailee Hudson holds belief in the power of young people, knowing that each classroom is filled with world-changers and earth-shakers. She believes that every student deserves equitable access to education in an environment that values them and pushes them to grow. Prior to joining the Operations Team, Ms. Hudson served with City Year Kansas City in an 8th grade math/algebra classes, while also working with students on their social-emotional learning. She earned her bachelor's degree from Missouri State University in Organizational Communication, with a minor in Spanish. Her passion is serving others no matter the capacity, and she is so grateful that EMKS gives her space to do so.
Abigail Huff, Social Worker
Abigail Huff believes that all students are capable of doing amazing things. She is committed to supporting students in reaching their full potential. Prior to joining the Kauffman School team as a social worker, Ms. Huff served as a City Year AmeriCorps member at the Kauffman School. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI. She received her Master of Social Work from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She was drawn to work at the Kauffman School because of the positive and supportive staff culture. Ms. Huff is excited to get to know the students and support them in achieving their goals.
Dr. Amber Hurd, College Counselor
Dr. Amber Hurd believes that students do not care what we know until they know that we care. She prides herself on building relationships with her scholars and truly believes that every student can learn and meet high expectations. Dr. Hurd overcame many childhood obstacles including poverty and violence and chose to use those experiences to drive her passion. Dr. Hurd has worked in education for seventeen years serving as an English & Public Speaking Teacher, Instructional Coach, and College & Career Counselor. During her tenure, she has taught, counseled, and mentored many youth. Prior to joining the Kauffman School family, she also served as an Academic Advisor and Success Coach at Northwest Missouri State University. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Greenville University, a Master of Arts in Education from Columbia College, a Master of Arts in Counseling from Missouri Baptist University and a doctorate in Educational Studies from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Dr. Hurd was drawn to the Kauffman School because of its mission of creating college graduates and its culture of excellence.
Jerrad Jones, Director of Finance and Strategy
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 and Strategy. 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.
London Koehn, Dean of Instruction
Natosha Landrum, Dean of Students
Natosha Landrum believes that in order to teach a child, you must connect first. She is committed to holding students to high expectations that transfer to the community. Prior to working as a Dean of Students at the Kauffman School, Ms. Landrum taught special education and behavior interventions in Grandview School District and then Belton School District. She received her Bachelor of Arts at University of Missouri-Kansas City. Ms. Landrum was drawn to the Kauffman School due to the emphasis the school places on college - something she did not experience in her own schools as a student. She is excited to be here and ready to meet each student. Lets go Kauffman! We got this!
Georgina Leslie, Dean of Instruction
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.
Angela Lupton, Manager of Special Education
Jay Marshall, Information Technology Coordinator
Growing up as the child of a soldier, Mx. Lupton moved around the country and world living in Missouri, Alabama, Washington, and Germany, all by the age of seven. This exposure to many different communities imbued the value of equity and standing up for what is right at an early age. Mx. Lupton has been in special education since 2003 when they began working with a single child with autism and it changed the path of their life forever. Mx. Lupton is driven by a strong sense of justice and equity for all students in education and in our communities. Prior to working at the Kauffman School, Mx. Lupton taught special education at Crossroads Academy and also taught in the North Kansas City School District in a self-contained setting for students with autism. They received a Bachelor of Arts in English and Master of Arts in Special Education from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a Master of Arts in Women’s History from Sarah Lawrence College. They are passionate about autism, cultural competency, and social emotional learning. Outside of school, Mx. Lupton is an avid woodworker, reader, cook, and music lover. They love spending time with their twin daughters, Gray and Nora.
Jay Marshall believes that technology is the lifeline of the world that we live in. His goals are to develop and maintain highly effective, reliable, secure, and innovative information systems to support instructional, administrative, and research functions. Mr. Marshall’s experience prior to joining the staff at the Kauffman School includes seven years of IT experience. He is an alumni of the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO where I majored in Computer Science with a minor in Business Management. What excites him the most about his work at the Kauffman School is being a part of a community that has the common goal of not only creating high school graduates, but creating college graduates. He looks forward to the upcoming school year and all of the challenges and opportunities it will bring.
Emily Martin, Social Worker
Emily Martin believes every child should have someone to turn to that they can trust. She is committed to helping students express themselves along with helping them solve and cope with their problems they may face every day. Prior to working at the Kauffman School, Ms. Martin taught preschool for two years in Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools at Mary Elizabeth Pearson while pursuing her Master of Arts in Social Work at the University of Kansas. She received her Bachelor of Social Work at the University of Central Missouri. During her last year of her master's program, Ms. Martin had the opportunity to be a practicum student and intern for the Kauffman School. She was drawn to the Kauffman School because of the relationships she built with the students and the social work program Kauffman School offers. She is excited to continue her work, form new relationships and help students prepare for their successful futures!
Wendy Miya, Persistence Counselor
Wendy Miya believes that every student deserves the opportunity to create a life that is gratifying to them. She is committed to guiding students through the challenges that they may encounter after high school. Prior to working at the Kauffman School, Ms. Miya was a Persistence Counselor at KIPP Delta in Helena, AR. She moved to the Delta area in 2017 as a Teach For America corps member. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications at The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. Ms. Miya was drawn to the Kauffman School because of its culture of excellence and its relentless support of students, families, and staff.
Tylice Merritt, Office Coordinator
Tylice Merritt believes that all children are capable of success. With the appropriate support and guidance, a child can accomplish any aspirations they may have. Ms. Merritt, a mother of four, believes that children are taught best when led by example. A native of Kansas City, MO, Mrs. Merritt was drawn to serve in an academic atmosphere after 15 years of service in the banking industry. Her love for families and the community brought her to the Kauffman School. She believes that the Kauffman School provides each student the equal opportunities and tools to become both academically and professionally successful. Ms. Merritt enjoys building strong relationships with parents, as well as assisting teachers and staff with the day to day responsibilities of running an effective school environment.
Henry Munk, Senior College Counselor
Henry Munk believes every student deserves to both attend the college of their choice, but also to graduate from the college of their choice. He is fiercely committed to helping students throughout the college admissions process, and believes there are higher education opportunities for all students. Prior to working at the Kauffman School, Mr. Munk taught AP World History at Freedom Preparatory Academy in Memphis, TN. He received his Bachelor of Sciences in Secondary Education and History from Vanderbilt University. Afterwards, he received his Master of Science in Education in Higher Education Administration from The University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Munk was drawn to Kauffman because of their undying commitment to create college graduates and because of its unique school culture. He is excited to celebrate students' acceptances into college throughout this school year!
Annie Murphy, Dean of Instruction
Annie Murphy believes that every student deserves access to an excellent education and is capable of achieving at high levels. Prior to working at the Kauffman School, Mrs. Murphy taught seventh- through twelfth-grade French in the Kansas City Public Schools district 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, TN. 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.
Katie Pasniewski, Chief Operating Officer
Katie Pasniewski believes a strong operations model underpins a school's success; she is committed to removing barriers so that teachers can focus on teaching and students can focus on learning. Prior to joining the Kauffman School team, Mrs. Pasniewski served as a leadership coach and school operations consultant. She also spent nearly 10 years in operations leadership at Excel Academy in Boston, MA most recently as Excel's Managing Director of Finance and Operations. Mrs. Pasniewski is an alumna of Teach For America - Philadelphia, where she taught eighth and ninth-grade English. She received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Mrs. Pasniewski is thrilled to lead the Kauffman School's operations, finance, human resources, data, and technology teams.
Sam Preston, Operations Specialist
Samantha Preston believes that every student deserves access to quality education regardless of zip code. She is committed to ensuring students feel supported and empowered to become change makers. Prior to working at the Kauffman School, Ms. Preston served two years with City Year Kansas City at Northeast High School. She received her Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Economics from the University of Pittsburgh. Ms. Preston was drawn to the Kauffman School because of its passion for student success and is excited to watch Kauffman School students reach their fullest potential.
Becky Quatrocky, School Nurse
Becky Quatrocky believes that working at the Kauffman School gives a unique opportunity to help mold the people that will be our future. She encourages students to be kind, compassionate, empathetic, goal driven, and have integrity. Prior to working at the Kauffman School, Nurse Quatrocky worked as Director of Nursing at a rehabilitation facility and is an alumni of Metropolitan Community College where she completed her LPN and RN. Nurse Quatrocky chose to work at the Kauffman School because of its positive school culture. She is excited to contribute to this culture and student success by supporting student's physical, emotional, and social health needs throughout the school year.
Bailey Page, Operations Manager
A KC native, Bailey Page loves the Kansas City community, and knows that the families and students here deserve a school that will help every student on their path to graduating from college. Before joining the Kauffman School's operations team, Ms. Page (then Ms. Reimer) was a kindergarten teacher and grade team leader at Chicago Public Schools' CICS-Basil Elementary. Ms. Page 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. Page joined the Kauffman School because she knows that schools with efficient systems support teachers and students so they can learn.
Amy Rosenwald, Middle School Principal
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, SD, 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.
Tiffany Segers, Director of College Access and Success
Tiffany Segers believes every student should have access to high quality education to prepare them for the post-secondary option of their choice! Before coming to the Kauffman School, Mrs. Segers was the Persistence Manager for KIPP Through College program at KIPP St. Louis. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from University of Missouri-Columbia. She went on to receive her Masters of Arts in School Counseling from Lindenwood University-St. Charles. Mrs. Segers was drawn to the Kauffman School due its strong belief in students' ability to achieve at high levels. She is excited to partner with students and families this year!
Zach Sellers, Operations Specialist
Zach Sellers believes that education and positive adult influences can significantly alter the trajectory of a student's life and outcomes. Zach previously worked as a social worker and oversaw the donations and food pantry at Operation Breakthrough and received his Bachelor's Degree in Social Work from Park University in Parkville, MO. Zach is a lifelong Kansas Citian and is excited for the opportunity to see students grow and learn and be a supportive teammate in helping teachers be successful catalysts for learning.
Melissa Sprockel, Talent Developer
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 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 before moving into the Instructional Coach role. 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.
Alecia Tumpap, Dean of Instruction
Alecia Tumpap believes all students are capable of achieving greatness. She is committed to holding students to high standards to ensure that they are able to overcome any obstacle that may impede their future success. Prior to working at the Kauffman School, Ms. Tumpap taught ninth-grade science at Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts in the Kansas City Public Schools district. Ms. Tumpap is an alumna of Teach For America - Kansas City. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA, and went on to receive teaching certification from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Ms. Tumpap was drawn to the Kauffman School’s rigorous curriculum and strong school culture. She is looking forward to coaching teachers on how to provide the academic skill sets and personal supports necessary for students to reach their highest potentials.
Daniel Velazquez, English Learner Program Manager, Family & Community Liaison
Daniel Velazquez believes all humans deserve the opportunity of an excellent education, and that equity of voice enriches and positively impacts our community. He is excited to work at the Kauffman School in the pursuit of its mission to create college graduates, and his students and colleagues inspire him every day. Prior to Kauffman School, Mr. Velazquez started the English Language Learners (ELL) Program at DeLaSalle Education Center in Kansas City, and he is an alumnus of Teach For America - Kansas City. He grew up in Asuncion, Paraguay, and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Child and Adolescent Development from San Francisco State University. He recently completed a Master of Education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He is currently a member of the National Academy of Advanced Teacher Education (NAATE).
Syreeta Washington, Office Coordinator
Syreeta Washington believes the Kauffman School is providing the tools children need to have a successful future and continue Mr. Kauffman's legacy. Prior to joining the Kauffman School operations team, Mrs. Washington ran a small plumbing business with her husband, worked for the KCMO Water Department, and worked for the State of Missouri. Mrs. Washington received her Bachelor of Science in Marketing and International Business at Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS. Mrs. Washington decided to join the Kauffman School team because she has a daughter who has been part of the founding class of students at the school. As a Project Choice alumna (early college support program founded by Mr. Kauffman), Mrs. Washington saw how hard the staff worked for her daughter; as a parent, she wanted to make sure she was doing her part to support the teachers and staff. What excites Mrs. Washington about this year, and every year, is being a part of the team that is producing academic superstars!
Lindsey Woods, Middle School Principal
Lindsey Woods 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. Mrs. Woods 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, Mrs. Woods worked at a local charter school in Kansas City, MO and spent her summers supporting and coaching first-year teachers. She holds her Masters of Education from Rockhurst University. This year, Mrs. Woods 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.
Candace Wilson, Talent Recruiter
Candace Wilson 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, KS, Mrs. Wilson attended Saint Louis University where she majored in Marketing and Communications. After graduating, she taught ninth-grade English in Memphis, Tennessee as a Teach For America corps member. Motivated by her own students' desires to have more teachers who believed in them, Mrs. Wilson 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. Mrs. Wilson 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.
Deronne Wilson, Senior Operations Specialist
Deronne Wilson believes education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world. He is passionate about giving students the tools needed to succeed both in the classroom and in life. Prior to joining the Operations team at Kauffman School, Mr. Wilson spent the past 16 years at Boys and Girls Clubs of Columbia, MO serving as the Operations Director and Athletic Director. He also spent the past seven years as an assistant Varsity Boys Basketball coach at Fr. Tolton Catholic High School (2016 class 3A state champs) in Columbia, MO. Mr. Wilson received his Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Columbia College in Columbia, MO and will complete his Master of Arts in Coaching & Athletics Administration degree in May of 2020. Mr. Wilson was drawn to Kauffman School because of its academic excellence and commitment to all students becoming college graduates. He is excited to join the team and build positive relationships with students, families, staff, and community members.