Administrative Team

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, 53% 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

Full List of 2023-2024 School Year Administrative Team


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 of Students

Bio coming soon!


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!

Ashaley Billingslea, Office Coordinator
Bio coming soon!
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.

Ben Carman-Brown, Director of Schools
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, Middle School Principal
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.
Bailey Cooper, Dean of Instruction
Bailey Cooper joined the Kauffman School after being born, raised, and educated in the Kansas City Metro. Having attended the University of Missouri Kansas City, Mrs. Cooper felt determined that her career's focus would be on bringing quality and equitable education to students in the Kansas City area. She is passionate about the idea that all students, regardless of their background, deserve access to high quality education, and more importantly, to educators that care about them. Before becoming a Dean of Instruction, Mrs. Cooper taught at the Kauffman School for five years, and founded the Kauffman School's Middle School History program. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Missouri - Kansas City as well as a Master of Arts in Education - Instructional Design from Western Governor's University.
Ellen Clayton, College Persistence Counselor
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.
Laverne Dailey, Dean of Students
Bio coming soon!

Bryce Dantzler, College Persistence Counselor

Bryce Dantzler enjoys working with the youth, and is committed to supporting them in finding their way to becoming their best selves. Bryce joined Kauffman school in 2022, and has worked as College Access Counselor since 2018 through the Nebraska College Preparatory Academy, a nonprofit organization within the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Bryce received his undergraduate degree in Music with a concentration in saxophone studies at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He went on to teach music at the Omaha Conservatory of Music and as an adjunct music instructor at low Western Community College. Before coming to Kauffman School, Bryce worked was stationed Omaha North High School as college counselor. Bryce is grateful for his Kauffman colleagues and students.

Teresa Fliger, Social Worker
Teresa Fliger has been in education for over 29 years. She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Emporia State University and her Master of Sciences in Social Work from University of Kansas. Ms. Fliger has been an educational consultant, therapist, behavior interventionist, and social worker. Her passion has been working with children and adolescents.
Tonoa Foster, Enrollment Manager
Tonoa Foster believes that all students and families - no matter race, religion, gender, or economic status - should have the same opportunities for a great education. Education should be equitable and it is her mission to make sure that families are educated and informed. Prior to working at the Kauffman School, Ms. Foster was the Enrollment Specialist for Kansas City Public School district, and then the Student Admissions Recruiter. She attended college at University of Central Missouri majoring in Public Relations. Since 2011, she has held a variety of education roles; she has worked in college settings with working adults, career schools with recent high school graduates, public schools with all Kansas City families, and now at the Kauffman School. She is excited to collaborate with staff, families to make all families eager to be apart of the EMKS experience!
Jules Fox, Director of Special Education
Jules Fox joined the Kauffman School team in 2017 as a Learning Support Specialist and is currently serving the Kauffman School as the Director of Special Education. Mrs. Fox has been in the field of education for over 25 years, as an Early Intervention Educator, trauma-informed educator, Montessori Directress, Behavioral Interventionist, Reading Interventionist, and Special Educator for self-contained classrooms. Mrs. Fox believes, “True teachers are those who use themselves as bridges over which they invite their students to cross; then, having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to create their own.” (Nikos Kazantzakis)
Ellen Frierson, Manager of Data and Assessment
Ellen Frierson transitioned to the Data Team after teaching and leading the HS English Department at the Kauffman School for six years. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Pennsylvania in 2014, and her Master of Science in Education from Johns Hopkins University in 2018. Prior to coming to Kansas City, Ms. Frierson taught high school English for two years in the Mississippi Delta through the Teach For America program. She is passionate about the positive impact data can have on driving student, teacher, and leader priorities, including validating practices that work and illuminating areas needing improvement.
Carly Goins, Operations Specialist
Carly Goins lives by one powerful phrase: "I am a person through other people; my humanity is tied to yours". She has learned that it truly takes a village, especially when one is working within an inequitable education system. Before moving to Kansas City from Ohio in 2018, she graduated from the University of Dayton with a degree in political science and human rights. Following college, she served as a City Year Americorps Member and then as a Site Coordinator for After-School All-Stars, both in Cleveland. Ms. Goins returned to education during the pandemic and served as a Program Supervisor for After-School and Summer Camp at the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, KS. These experiences have led her here to the Kauffman School where she is proud to support the school community as a member of the Operations team.
Emiliano Gross, Dean of Instruction
Bio coming soon!
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.
Joshua Hudspeth, Operations Specialist
Bio coming soon!
Dr. Amber Hurd, High School Principal 
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.


Kesha Johnson, Dean of Students

Bio coming soon!


London Koehn, Dean of Instruction

Bio coming soon!


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!

Kalilah Lasenby, Dean of Instruction
Bio coming soon!
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.

Jay Marshall, Information Technology Coordinator
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!

Erica McGeady, Director of Data

Erica McGeady joined the Kauffman School team because she's passionate about using data to influence decision making that will lead to positive impacts for staff and students. She cares deeply about the outcomes, both academically and culturally, for students, and and she's dedicated her professional career to promoting academic excellence in K-12 and higher education. Ms. McGeady started her career in K-12 education as an Early College English teacher, an assistant principal, and a network manager of assessments for an Indianapolis charter network. She went on to co-found the Relay Graduate School of Education in Indianapolis as the Director of Strategy and Operations before joining hte Kauffman School team. She earned her Bachelors of Arts in English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago, a master's degree in writing from Purdue University, a master's degree in education from Marian University, and a certificate of school administration from Wesleyan University.


Tylice Merritt, Operations Specialist

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.


Jordan Milan, College Counselor
Bio coming soon!
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.
Annie Murphy, Assistant Principal
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.
Stephanie Nichols, Operations Specialist

Stephanie Nichols is a Kansas City native that has a huge love for the Kansas City Community.  She believes quality education is an essential right that should be available to students of every background. She comes to the Kauffman School from the student transportation industry where she spent 12 years as an Area Manager. She worked with the Kauffman School very closely over the past 5 years through her work with student transportation; this is where she became fond of the Kauffman School and decided to join the team because of the school's passion for students and their success. Ms. Nichols is a very dedicated and determined person and loves working with the Kauffman School students and their families. She is excited to be a part of the Kauffman School and support the mission of creating college graduates!

Bailey Page, Director of Operations
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.
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.
Wellyna Patterson, Manager of Curriculum and Instruction
Wellyna Johnson Patterson believes that education is a means to empower and equip the next generation to build the world of their dreams. She was nudged towards an education major by an academic advisor at freshman orientation who claimed that an education degree would give her law school application an edge over a sea of Pre-Law and English majors. Mrs. Patterson would never get a chance to test out that theory, as she found fulfillment in the English classroom and never looked back. With a Bachelor of Sciences from The University of Alabama and an Master of Arts in Education in High School Education from The University of Alabama at Birmingham, she has devoted nearly a decade to the art and science of learning. Before joining Kauffman School team, she not only taught high school English in Hueytown, AL and Atlanta, GA., but also worked on a team of curriculum writers for AP English Literature & Composition. She is excited to join the team at the Kauffman School, a place that is making a difference in the lives of families in Kansas City.
Sam Preston, Operations Manager
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.

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!
Margo Sinclair, Talent Recruiter
Margo Sinclair believes every student in Kansas City deserves access to quality education, therefore the Kauffman School needs incredible educators! That's what drew her to the role of Talent Recruiter, where she gets to connect with amazing teachers who will support our scholars. Prior to recruiting, Ms. Sinclair taught 5th grade science at the Kauffman School. Ms. Sinclair's love of education began when she spent two years in San Jose, CA serving with City Year San Jose. There she led an after school STEAM program for third grade students and literacy interventions for fifth grade students. Ms. Sinclair graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Family Science from Anderson University. Upon returning to Kansas City, she joined the Kansas City Teacher Residency to complete her Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction from University of Missouri-Kansas City. Ms. Sinclair was drawn to the Kauffman School because of its commitment to preparing students and staff for success and their incredible results!


Alexis Thuston, College Counselor

Alexis Thuston(she, her, hers) joined the College Access and Success team because she loves working with students. She has been working in various roles to support students through their college years, and is now ready to bring her talents back to the K-12 atmosphere. Ms. Thuston strongly believes in supporting students to meet their specific goals with compassion, determination, and accountability. Her focus on student development started while she was attending Wichita State University for math education, and in her outside involvements. After graduating, Ms. Thuston continued to support students as a Collegiate Development Consultant for Delta Gamma Fraternity where she traveled to college campuses to support chapter and member development. She then went back to school for her Master's in College Student Personnel (higher education) at Bowling Green State University (BGSU). After graduating, she stayed at BGSU as the Coordinator for Diversity and Inclusion for the College of Education and Human Development. Ms. Thuston is excited to further connect with the students and staff at Kauffman School as they all work together for student success.


Steven Tigner, Data Analyst

Bio coming soon!


Moe Townsend, Information Technology Coordinator

Moe Townsend believe that no matter who you are, being 100% yourself is always going to make people gravitate towards you. People love authenticity, so he does not think anyone should ever be worried about being judged for being themselves. Before Mr. Townsend was apart of the team here at Kauffman School, he worked tech support for an appraisal management company. Aside from working on tech, he is a graphic designer. He studied Textiles, Apparel, and Merchandising at Louisiana State University. GEAUX TIGERS! Mr. Townsend was fortunate enough to find Kauffman School through a staffing agency and he was drawn to the school and team because of a commitment to work in a community serving kids. 

Antiqueka Tubbs, MBA, SHRM-CP, Director of Human Resources

Antiqueka Tubbs is excited to help create more college graduates though Ewing Marion Kauffman School and believes “resilience” and “refinement” are the keys to success. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Missouri – Kansas City and her Master of Business Administration from Webster University. With over 16 years of progressive leadership experience in Human Resources, she brings a wealth of knowledge in strategic planning, employee relations, talent acquisition, DEI, and culture shaping. Prior to Kauffman School, Ms. Tubbs served as a Senior Regional Director of HR for national career college. She has also taught “HR Employment Law” and “Planning & Staffing” as an adjunct professor for a local university. Whether from the background or the front line, she is dedicated to helping others excel in school and beyond.

Jacqueline Tuggle, Social Worker

Jacqueline Tuggle believes that every student and family should have access to quality mental health and social services. Mrs. Tuggle received her bachelor's degree in Psychology and French from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and also attended UMKC for her master's degree in Social Work. Prior to joining the Kauffman School team, she worked with students of all ages in various Kansas City metro schools and centers as an ABA therapist, behavioral interventionist, and an early childhood mental health specialist. She is excited about building connections with students and seeing them maximize their fullest potential, academically and mentally.

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!


Deon Whitten, Dean of Students
Deon Whitten's journey in education has been inspired by a profound belief in the transformative power of learning and the positive impact it can have on the lives of young individuals. Mr. Whitten holds a degree in Philosophy with a minor in Business from the University of Kansas; he earned a Master of Arts in Conflict Management and Dispute Resolution from Baker University, equipping him to address challenges with compassion and constructive solutions. Prior to working at the Kauffman School, he served as a Career Specialist for a nonprofit, guiding students on their paths to success. He has coached with a variety of teams and schools; through sports, he's instilled values of teamwork, discipline, and leadership in young athletes. Driven by a commitment to equity in education, Mr. Whitten took part in the Kauffman Education Fellowship. This experience delved into addressing educational gaps in Kansas City, aligning with his dedication to create inclusive learning environments that cater to diverse needs. Mr. Whitten joined the Kauffman School team because he believes the school offers a platform to create a lasting impact on the youth of Kansas City through education and services. Together, with the school's dedicated team, he feels committed to fostering an environment where each student can thrive academically, socially, and personally. 
Theresa Williams, Finance and HR Manager
Bio coming soon!
Deronne Wilson, Director of Athletics and Activities
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.
Lindsey Woods, Middle School Assistant 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.