Meet Our Team
Abby Banning, 6th Grade Science Teacher
Abby Banning believes that each student is full of potential and promise, and she is committed to doing what she can to help them reach it. Ms. Banning is coming to the Kauffman School as a recent graduate of Goshen College where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, with an emphasis in teaching English as a Second Language (ESL). Ms. Banning is pumped to join a team full of passionate educators, like herself, and cannot wait to meet all of her students!
Kelsey Barnes, 6th Grade Science Teacher
Kelsey Barnes believes that every single student is capable of reaching their dreams. Prior to working at the Kauffman School, Ms. Barnes was a student at Truman State University where she was on the debate team. She received a Bachelor of Arts in in Public Communication with a minor in justice systems. Ms. Barnes was drawn to Kauffman because of the preparation and support for new teachers and the preparation and support for students to make a better world.
Sebastian Barraza, 5th Grade Fitness Teacher
Matt Beltrami, 9th Grade Pre-AP World HistoryMatt Beltrami believes that every child in America deserves the opportunity to pursue and achieve their dreams, and that can only happen when every child receives an excellent education. He is driven by his sense of patriotism and his belief that true citizenship requires active participation in making society more fair and just. By teaching, he hopes to uphold his own responsibility as a citizen and inspire and empower his students to consider their responsibilities as citizens. Prior to joining the Kauffman School team, Mr. Beltrami worked in the political sector for nearly ten years, and has lived in Illinois, Iowa, Washington DC, New Hampshire, and New York. Mr. Beltrami received his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Sociology from Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He is a corps member with Teach For America - Kansas City.
Robyn Blakemore, 8th Grade Math Teacher
Robyn Blakemore believes every student deserves an excellent education. She is committed to holding her students to high expectations so they will be ready to excel in college and their future careers. Prior to teaching at the Kauffman School, Mrs. Blakemore taught seventh- and eighth-grade math in the Kansas City Public Schools district at Central Academy of Excellence (formally Central High School). Mrs. Blakemore is an alumna of Teach For America - Kansas City. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Child and Family Studies from Baylor University in Waco, Texas. She went on to receive her Master of Education in Secondary Education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Mrs. Blakemore was drawn to the Kauffman School because of its unique and positive school culture. She is excited to celebrate students’ successes this coming school year.
Wycla Bratton, 7th and 8th Grade Guided Reading Teacher
Mario Brown, 6th Grade Fitness Teacher
Jessica Burton, Learning Support Specialist
Sarah Cooper, 5th Grade Guided Reading Teacher
Evan Copaken, 11th and 12th Grade AP Seminar Teacher
Evan Copaken believes that access to a quality education should be a standard in Kansas City and the nation at large. He hopes to help students think critically about meaningful literary topics and build a strong writing foundation that will be useful long after graduating college. Before teaching at the Kauffman School, Mr. Copaken worked in sports marketing for the Los Angeles Chargers. Additionally, he did some photography work for the team. Mr. Copaken graduated cum laude from Wake Forest University with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and minor in English. The Kauffman School’s strong work culture and student engagement appealed to Mr. Copaken. He is particularly looking forward to some of the in-class debates this year.
Michaela Creer, 5th Grade Textual Analysis Teacher
Michaela Creer is passionate about working with students who see education as a pathway to their future goals and dreams. She graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Liberty University and is currently completing her Master of Arts in Education. Ms. Creer was excited to teach at the Kauffman School because of the unity of the staff and students around the same goals.
Lindsey Dennis, 6th Grade Textual Analysis Teacher
Lindsey Dennis believes all students are capable of academic success when given the support and attention needed to thrive. She is committed to creating college ready students in and out of the classroom. Prior to teaching at the Kauffman School, Ms. Dennis taught second and third grade at Phillis Wheatley Elementary in the Kansas City Public Schools district. Ms. Dennis graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. She was drawn to the Kauffman School because of the strong school culture and focus on rigorous academics.
Emma DesMarteau, 10th Grade Pre-AP Language and Composition Teacher
Emma DesMarteau believes in equal education for all people. She is committed to doing whatever it takes to create college graduates. She is dedicated to hold her students to high standards to ensure they are able to reach their goals. Prior to teaching at the Kauffman School, Ms. DesMarteau taught emotional intelligence at the University of Kansas Marillac Campus. Ms. DesMarteau earned her bachelor’s degree from Washburn University where she studied Sociology. Ms. DesMarteau was drawn to the Kauffman School because of their vision and culture. She is so excited to have fun learning alongside her students this year!
Lauren Donovan, 7th Grade Textual Analysis Teacher
Lauren Donovan's life revolves around education. You can always find her reading and then talking about educational reform and philosophies. She wants what is best for her students and will stop at nothing to make sure they thrive and flourish. Ms. Donovan previously taught high school in Kansas City, KS after graduating from University of Missouri-Kansas City with her degree in Secondary Education with an emphasis in English. She chose to join the Kauffman School team because she saw that every single person who works with our students is inspiring and extremely committed to the work. She cannot wait to help students reach their big dreams this year!
Beth Edmonds, 5th Grade Textual Analysis Teacher
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. 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 as well as a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Kansas. Ms. Edmonds is joining the Kauffman School because of its culture and expectations. She is excited to meet her new students and to see growth this year.
Cornell Ellis, 7th Grade Textual Analysis Teacher
Ellen Frierson, 12th Grade AP Language and Composition Teacher
Debra Fox, Learning Support Specialist
Mrs. Fox believes that every child has the opportunity to change his or her narrative through perseverance and resilience. She is passionate about her students being successful, productive citizens in their community. Prior to teaching at the Kauffman School, Mrs. Fox worked in settings for children with significant emotional behavioral needs, and students with autism. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Art and Design from William Woods University in Fulton, Missouri. She has completed her Master of Education in Special Education at University of Missouri-Kansas City and also holds certification in Early Childhood Education.
Carolyn Gatewood, 9th Grade Honors English I Teacher
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.
Angie Gipson, AP Chemistry Teacher
Elizabeth Grau, Learning Support Specialist
Elizabeth Grau believes that every students deserves the opportunity to make explore and pursue their dreams, and that education unlocks the door for that exploration. She is dedicated to challenging her students so that they are prepared to attain their goals following graduation. Prior to teaching at the Kauffman School, Ms. Grau attended the University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience. Ms. Grau is excited to join the Kauffman School team and get to know her students and their families. Additionally, she is excited to see her students succeed within and outside of the classroom this coming school year.
Abby Green, 10th Grade Pre-AP Language and Composition Teacher
Emiliano Gross, 10th Grade Spanish Teacher
Emiliano Gross truly believes that every child and every person has a talent that makes him/her unique and exceptional. Mr. Gross’ goal is to help students find their talents and guide them through the path they choose to fulfill their goals in life. Prior to teaching at the Kauffman School, Mr. Gross taught Spanish I in Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools district at F.L. Schlagle High School. He also was the head coach for both the men’s and women’s soccer teams. He received his Bachelor of Science in Physical Education from Central Christian College of Kansas in McPherson, KS. The education program at CCCK also allowed him to obtain the Spanish and ESOL endorsements right after graduation. Mr. Gross is eager to help develop a strong and rigorous Spanish program to prepare students for their future college challenges.
Robert Henderson III, 8th Grade Fitness Teacher
Robert Lee Henderson III believes every student deserves a champion and role model. He is committed to making sure all students are college ready. Prior to teaching at the Kauffman School, Mr. Henderson work as a firefighter engineer in multiple cities in Colorado. Mr. Henderson is an alumna of City Year-South Carolina. He received his Bachelor of Arts in History and American Studies with a minor in Asian Studies from Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, Illinois. Mr. Henderson is looking forward to working at Kauffman School because he believe they have created a living dynasty of family culture and putting students first.
Carley Henke, 10th Grade Pre-AP Chemistry Teacher
Carley Henke believe that every student deserves an excellent education and to find that excitement for learning. She is committed to holding her students to high expectations to make sure they are ready to be successful in college. Ms. Henke is an alumna of Michigan State University and is currently a corps member with Teacher for America - Kansas City. She received her Bachelor of Science in Statistics and a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. She is continuing her education at University of Missouri-St. Louis where she is working on a Master of Education in Secondary Education. Ms. Henke is excited to bring joy to chemistry and inspire some future scientists.
Marissa Holaway, 8th Grade Math Teacher
Isha Isme, 7th Grade Textual Analysis Teacher
Isha Isme believes that every student deserves a safe learning environment to learn and excel, with a teacher who will challenge them to be their very best. Before joining the Kauffman School team, Ms. Isme was a substitute teacher in the Kansas City Public Schools district. She spent one year, on a long-term assignment, teaching French 1 at Lincoln College Preparatory Academy and the following year working in various other schools. Ms. Isme received a Bachelor of Arts in French with an emphasis in Education. She is currently part of he Kansas City Teacher Residency, working on a Master of Education in Urban Education. She was drawn to the Kauffman School because of the structure in the classrooms, student engagement, and the teacher culture at the school. This year, she is very excited to work with students, and watch them meet all their goals.
Christina Jackson, 11th and 12th Grade Fitness and Arts Teacher
Christina Jackson has as a burning passion for the well-being of urban youth as a whole. She is determined to fight for students’ success in all areas of their lives: physically, emotionally, and mentally. Prior to joining the Kauffman School team, Ms. Jackson worked at Kids Across America summer camp and supported the enrichment and development of urban youth. While at Southeastern University in Lakeland, FL, Ms. Jackson was heavily involved in dance team and founded Kauffman School’s first-ever dance team.
Jordan Jackson, 8th Grade Math Teacher
Jordan Jackson is feeling ignited to join the Kauffman School staff and work to ensure each student in Kansas City receives an excellent education. She is most excited about celebrating all the hard work that the students and staff do here at the Kauffman School. Ms. Jackson made her way to Kansas City as a 2017 Teach For America corps member. Originally from rural North Carolina, Ms. Jackson graduated from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and minors in Journalism and Social and Economic Justice. Ms. Jackson feels honored to be a part of the bold mission at the Kauffman School and is hopeful to help graduate some future Tar Heels.
Brenna Jenisch, 5th Grade Science Teacher
Brenna Jenisch believes that a quality education is a right not a privilege. Prior to joining the Kauffman School team, Ms. Jenisch did City Year in Orlando, FL working with 9th grade Algebra students. She attended Truman State University in Kirksville, MO and received her Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science and Psychology. As a corps member with Teach For America - Kansas City, she will be pursuing her Master of Education in Elementary Education. Ms. Jenisch is excited to work at the Kauffman School and was drawn here because Kauffman truly believes each student will be successful and is dedicated to serving students and their families. She is looking forward to supporting student growth and celebrating their successes.
Courtney Kern believes that education holds a unique power to empower individuals to realize their full potential, and their capacity for excellence. She is dedicated in learning the stories of her students and their families to better understand how to help them succeed and grow. Before teaching at the Kauffman School, Ms. Kern taught second and third grade in Chuuk, Micronesia for two years to a small village community. She also worked in an Intensive Language Classroom for students newly arrived the United States in Kansas City Kansas Public Schools disctrict. Ms. Kern received her Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from Creighton University in Omaha, NE, and is an alumna of Jesuit Volunteer Corps. She was drawn to the Kauffman School because of the dedication of the staff to provide a high level of education to the community. She is excited to meet and get to know students and staff this school year.
London Koehn, 6th Grade Math Teacher
London Koehn is committed to helping every student achieve academic excellence. She is driven to support her students go wherever they want to go. Ms. Koehn received her Bachelor of Arts in Law, Politics, and Society from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Ms. Koehn is excited to grow with the students and celebrate wins each and every day.
Linda Kovac, 5th Grade Textual Analysis Teacher
Linda Kovac believes every student is capable of great things and deserves every opportunity, especially education. She is committed to holding her students to high expectations so they will be ready to leave Kauffman and be a citizen of the world. Prior to teaching at the Kauffman School, Ms. Kovac taught preschool in Chicago, Illinois and at University of Missouri-Kansas City. Ms. Bailes is an alumna of AmeriCorps in Chicago, Illinois. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Studies from Saint Louis University. She went on to receive her Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction from University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Katie Larson, 5th Grade Math Teacher
Katie Larson believes that every student deserves an excellent education taught by passionate educators. She knows that each student can achieve great things when they are held to high expectations and given the support needed. Ms. Larson is a Teacher Resident as part of the Kansas City Teacher Residency program and is working to earn her Master of Education in Urban Education. She most recently graduated Drury University with a Bachelors of Arts in Advertising and Public Relations. Ms. Larson was drawn to the Kauffman School because of its commitment to and sweat the small stuff. This year, she is excited to foster relationships with students and celebrate their growth!
Kalilah Lasenby, 10th Grade Honors Geometry Teacher
Kalilah Lasenby believes that quality education should not be based on whether or not you can afford it. No child should have to pay to have a quality teacher who truly cares about them and their success. Instead, it should be an expectation that all students receive excellent educators. Ms. Lasenby came to Kauffman School after graduating from Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida where she completed both her Bachelor of Arts and her Master of Education in Exceptional Student Education. What brought her to the Kauffman School was the passion to break generational stereotypes that are projected on students; she saw a staff that expected success and great things of all students.
Johanna Laxton, 6th Grade Math Teacher
Johanna Laxton believes that every child in Kansas City deserves an outstanding education and is capable of succeeding in a rigorous classroom setting. She is committed to exemplifying the values of hard work, kindness, and joy in her classroom in order to facilitate student growth, pride, and success. Ms. Laxton is a Teach For America alumna member and a graduate of the University of Montana, with degrees in Communication and Psychology and a focus in Human and Family Development. She also completed a Master of Education at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Mr. Liddell received his Bachelor of Art in German from the University of Notre Dame, and his Master of Education in Secondary Education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. After graduating, he taught English in Germany as a Fulbright Scholar, then returned to the United States to teach sixth through eighth-grade math at Genesis Promise Academy in Kansas City, MO. He is a Teach For America alumnus. Mr. Liddell was drawn to the Kauffman School because of its rigorous academic mission. He's looking forward to getting to know a new group of students this year.
Louis Lowe, Building Substitute Teacher
Louis Lowe believes every student deserves to be prepared for college. He is committed to holding his students to high expectations so they will be ready to excel when they first step onto a college campus. Prior to joining the Kauffman School team, Mr. Lowe was a college athlete attending Avila University where he received a master’s degree in Business Management. He was drawn to Kauffman School because of its unique and positive school culture. He is excited for another strong year at the Kauffman School and to grow with his students this year.
KAi Manning believes that every student deserves a structured environment and a fair playing field so that they can be successful in this world. She is determined to inspire her students to work hard in school, go after their dreams and live their most fulfilled lives. Prior to working at the Kauffman School, Ms. Manning briefly worked at Alpha Hart Lewis Elementary School in Columbia, MO as a Classroom Aide/Wellness Center team member. Ms. Manning is an alumna of the University of Missouri-Columbia, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with focus in Music Education and Black Studies. Ms. Manning was drawn to Kauffman School because of its sense of community and uplifting/upbeat environment. She looks forward to making an impact on the students as well as seeing the impact they will have on her.
Amber Merola, 6th Grade Guided Reading Teacher
Jaki Molina, 7th Grade Math Teacher
Jacqueline Molina believes that every single child deserves the same high-quality education no matter what they look like or where they come from. She also believes that all students should have access to the resources that will help them be successful. Ms. Molina is committed to ensuring that students develop a passion in their own education so that they may overcome the barriers that may stand in their way. Prior to teaching at the Kauffman School, Ms. Molina was in Shawnee, OK where she pursued a Bachelor of Science in Education from Oklahoma Baptist University. Ms. Molina was drawn into the Kauffman School because of how invested the entire Kauffman School staff is in the lives of its students. She was amazed at the amount of passion, support, and dedication present at the Kauffman School. Ms. Molina is most excited to learn from and be a part of such a talented staff. She can't wait to meet all of the wonderful students as well!
Madelynne Moore believes each student deserves a positive and challenging learning environment that allows them to succeed to their fullest potential. Ms. Moore is an alumna from the University of Texas at Austin, TX and received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Human Development and Family Sciences. Ms. Moore was drawn to the Kauffman School by the amazing staff, unique school culture, and the similar beliefs and core values of the school. She is excited to teach her first classroom and to create positive learning environments for the students' success.
Martina Pezzino, 6th Grade Music Teacher
Martina Pezzino believes music is a powerful tool for self-expression and communication that all students deserve access to. She is committed to using music to help students develop meaningful skills of self-confidence and self-expression. Prior to teaching at Kauffman School, Ms. Pezzino taught elementary music in Galesburg, IL. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Knox College in Galesburg. She has a particular love for choir and vocal music, but is excited to bring music of all kinds to the students at Kauffman School.
Micah Robinson believes that every student deserves an equal opportunity and access to a quality education. Mr. Robinson feels honored to be working to provide an excellent education for children who grew up in the same community that he did. From Kansas City and a graduate of Lincoln College Prep, Mr. Robinson graduated from Emporia State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies and an emphasis in Biochemistry, Education, and Psychology. Mr. Robinson served as a Resident teacher with the Kansas City Teacher Residency; he is working to receive a Master of Education in Urban Education. Mr. Robinson was drawn to Kauffman School because he saw a team working toward the common goal of creating college graduates in our community. Mr. Robinson is excited to see the growth that students will show this year!
Taylor Sidles, 6th Grade Textual Analysis Teacher
Ashleigh Slover, 5th Grade Textual Analysis Teacher
Ashleigh Slover believes that every student deserves an excellent education in order to make their wildest dreams a reality. She is committed to holding all students to high expectations and pushing them to achieve at high levels. Prior to teaching at the Kauffman School, Mrs. Slover taught Kindergarten and Third Grade in the Independence Schools district. Mrs. Slover is an alumna of the University of Central Missouri. She received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. She went on to earn her Master of Arts in Literacy Education from the University of Central Missouri. Mrs. Slover was drawn to the Kauffman School because of its high expectations of students and staff. She is excited to develop relationships with students and families alike and celebrate the success of our school community.
Bailey Smith, 8th Grade Textual Analysis Teacher
Bailey Smith believes that a quality, rigorous education should be the right of all students regardless of their socioeconomic background. She is energized by pushing her students’ education to places they never imagined. Before teaching at the Kauffman School, Ms. Smith taught preschool in the Kansas City. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts with a minor in Psychology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Ms. Smith was drawn to the Kauffman School because she is committed to serving the kids of Kansas City. She is excited to watch her students reach new academic heights in the coming school year!
Alice Sollitto, 7th Grade Textual Analysis Teacher
Alice Sollitto believes that every student has the ability to achieve his or her dreams. She is passionate about providing a high quality education to every student she works with. Prior to teaching at the Kauffman School, Ms. Sollitto taught first and second grade at Coney Island Prep Elementary, a charter school in Brooklyn, NY. She also spent one year teaching second grade in the Kansas City Public Schools district at Phillis Wheatley Elementary. Ms. Sollitto received her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and Social Studies. She recently completed a Master of Education in Special Education from Niagara University. Ms. Sollitto was drawn to the Kauffman School because of its positive school culture and strong emphasis on teacher development.
Lucero Denisse Valderrama believes that every student regardless of their ethnic background, socio-economic status, and immigration story is worthy of a quality and equitable education. She is committed to the holistic well-being of her students both in and outside of the classroom, as well as their continued success to and through college. Before joining the Kauffman School team, Ms. Valderrama taught writing to rising 8th and 9th graders as a Teaching Fellow with Breakthrough Silicon Valley program for three summers. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Ethnic Studies from Azusa Pacific University located in the Greater Los Angeles area. Ms. Valderrama was drawn to the Kauffman School because of its commitment and care to, not only their students, but their teachers as well. She is most excited to learn and grow in this new environment and to finally meet her students.Daniel Velazquez, 9th Grade Spanish Teacher
Julian Vizitei, 10th Grade AP World History Teacher
Julian Vizitei believes every student deserves to go to a school that both challenges them with rigorous content and supports them with a positive and fulling school environment. Prior to teaching at the Kauffman School, Mr. Vizitei taught ninth grade World History at Lincoln College Preparatory Academy in the Kansas City Public Schools district. He received his degree in Secondary Education Social Studies from the University of Missouri-Columbia and went on to receive his Master in Education in Social Studies Learning, Curriculum, and Teaching from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Mr. Vizitei joined the Kauffman School because of the opportunity to not only reach his highest potential but join a school with positive school culture for both teachers and students. He is excited to see students rise to the challenge of both content and character set by the Kauffman School.
Davis Warton believes that educated minds lead to change and therefore every child deserves a high quality education. He is committed to challenging his students to do their best every day both inside and outside the classroom. Mr. Warton is a recent graduate of William Jewell College and earned a bachelor's degree in Biochemistry. Mr. Warton is a current corps member of Teach For America - Kansas City. He was drawn to the Kauffman School because not only do they work towards the big picture, but they take the time to focus on the smaller things as well. Mr. Warton is very excited to start his first ever year of teaching and getting to know all of his wonderful students.
Rebecca West, 9th Grade Pre-AP Biology Teacher
Roxine Westhues, Learning Support Specialist
Roxine Westhues believes every student deserves to have his or her voice heard and be pushed to communicate in meaningful, sophisticated dialogue with peers. Prior to teaching at the Kauffman School, Mrs. Westhues taught English for grades eight through 12 in New Mexico and Texas. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English and her Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM. Mrs. Westhues came to the Kauffman School because of the strong culture and high expectations. She is excited to know the students and hear each of their unique voices.
Chelsea Whittle, 6th Grade Math Teacher
Chelsea Whittle believes all students deserve the best education. She knows each student can obtain his or her goals with determination and hard work. Prior to teaching at the Kauffman School, Mrs. Whittle taught at Faxon Elementary in the Kansas City Public Schools district for three years and also taught in San Angelo, TX. Mrs. Whittle received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Missouri State University in Springfield, MO. She is an alumna of Teach For America - Kansas City. Mrs. Whittle grew up in the Kansas City area and is very excited to influence the lives of students at the Kauffman School. She can’t wait to see her students’ achievements this year!
Erin Wilmore, 7th Grade Science Teacher
Courtney Winchester, Learning Support Specialist
Joyce Wong, 6th Grade Math Teacher
Joyce Wong believes that education opens doors to opportunity, and that every child has a right to equitable, excellent education. She strives to be her best, because she believes her students deserve the best. Before coming to the Kauffman School, Ms. Wong taught third and first grade at KIPP Saint Louis schools, where she helped develop and implement regional math curriculum and elementary systems and routines. She is a recipient of the Absolute Determination Award from KIPP Saint Louis Schools. Ms. Wong is an alumna of Teach for America - St. Louis. She has her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Truman State University, her Master of Fine Arts from Maine College of Art, and her Master of Arts in Education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She currently attends the National Academy of Advanced Teacher Education (NAATE). Ms. Wong comes to Kansas City through the Kansas City Green Fellowship and is ecstatic to join the Kauffman School team. She looks forward to immerse herself in the positive, college driven culture of the Kauffman School and to see her students grow beyond her classroom.
Casey Wright, 7th Grade Math Teacher
Casey Wright believes all students have an unlimited potential to be world changers and leaders and have the capacity to achieve their dreams. Prior to teaching at the Kauffman School, Ms. Wright graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Justice Systems from Truman State University and worked as a Guardian ad Litem in Florida. She is a Teach For America - Kansas City alumna. Ms. Wright was drawn to the Kauffman School because of its emphasis on creating college graduates as well as its positive culture and commitment to student success. She could not be more excited to be a part of the Kauffman School family for yet another year!
Lyndsay Yates believes that a high quality education should be the expectation for ALL students, not the exception. She is committed to creating a more equitable education landscape in Kansas City and helping prepare the next generation of world changers. Prior to teaching at the Kauffman School, Ms. Yates taught fourth through eighth-grade Social Studies at Kansas City International Academy (formerly Della Lamb Charter School). She received her Bachelor of Arts in Theater from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, OK and completed her teacher certification at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Ms. Yates was drawn to the Kauffman School because of its culture of excellence among both teachers and students. She is excited to be a part of such an incredible team of students and teachers.
Jason Zimmerman, 10th Grade Honors Geometry Teacher