Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary, Principal
King Elementary School Principal Abram is in her first year of leading the elementary school. She was recently King’s Vice Principal and has over ten years of teaching experience, most with additional leadership responsibilities. Abram was the 2016 Missouri Lottery Stars in the Classroom Teacher of the Year.
Dr. Jimmie Bullard
Longfellow Elementary, Principal
Dr. Jimmie Bullard has over 20 years’ experience in the field of urban education. She has a strong background in educating the urban learner and is a proud product of the Kansas City Missouri Public Schools. Dr Bullard received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Masters of Education degree from Lincoln University. She completed her second master’s degree in school administration from William Woods University and completed her Doctorate in Urban leadership from University of Missouri in Kansas City.
Dr Bullard has served as an elementary teacher, education consultant and college professor. She writes poetry and is completing a book on effective classroom strategies for teaching urban children.
KIPP KC Elementary School, Principal
Kurt Bunnelle is the principal at KIPP KC Elementary School, which serves over 300 students in grades kindergarten through fourth grade. He began his teaching career as a middle school science teacher in Oakland, California, and has been an instructional coach with Teach for America Kansas City. Kurt is a native of Mundelein, Illinois and attended Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota.
KIPP KC is a second home to Kurt, and he is inspired on a daily basis by the students, staff, and families with whom he works.
Dr. Shaunda Fowler
Troost Elementary, Principal
Dr. Fowler is the principal at Troost Elementary School, which serves over 300 students in grades kindergarten through sixth. Prior to working in KCPS, she worked in Hickman Mills and Center School Districts. Dr. Fowler began her career in education as a middle school social studies teacher. She has also served in HR, worked as an Assistant Principal, and as an Instructional Facilitator.
Dr. Fowler earned her Ph.D., Educational Specialist and Master’s degrees from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She earned her undergraduate degree from San Diego State University. Dr. Fowler recently co-authored Womanish Black Girls, which received a Critic’s Choice Book Award from the American Educational Studies Association.
East High School, Principal
Luis Hinojosa has over 19 years’ experience as an educator. He knew in seventh grade that he wanted to be a teacher, and years later, he delights in creating science experiments with his instructors, like throwing boiling water up in the cold air to create snow or creatively enhancing teaching skills by using the synonym game “Password.” He’s taught middle school, served as a high school assistant principal and elementary principal, and is currently the Principal at East High School, the largest high school in the district. Hinojosa was named the 2018 Principal of the Year by the Kansas City Public School Division of Academics. He is currently pursuing his doctorate degree at Kansas University. He is married and has 3 children.
Center Middle School, Principal
A Kansas City, Kansas native and 17-year veteran educator, Jarius Jones is presently serving as the Principal of Center Middle School in the Center School District. Prior to transitioning into his current role, Jarius served as Principal of Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary and Vice Principal at Northeast High School in the Kansas City MO Public School District. Jarius has been actively involved in various afterschool programs throughout the last 17 years; particularly, the Kansas City Kansas Urban Academies, the Science Education Partnership Award program (SEPA); additionally, he assisted with the coordination of the initial Summer Academy Programs for Kauffman Scholars, Inc.
In July of 2016, Jarius completed his second and final three-year term as a member of the Kansas National Education Association, Board of Directors. He has also been appointed to serve on various Kansas State Department of Education committees/initiatives geared towards improving conditions and opportunities for teachers and students.
Whittier Elementary School, Principal
Phillena Layne is a native Kansas Citian and graduate of KCPS. She has B.A. in Elementary Education from Alabama A&M University, M.A. in Integrated Humanities and Education from Rockhurst University, Educational Specialist in Elementary School Leadership from Northwest Missouri State University, and was recently accepted into the School Administration Doctoral program at the University of Missouri Kansas City. Over the tenure of her career, she has served students as a classroom teacher, teacher on special assignment, instructional coach, program coordinator, and assistant principal. She is a Fulbright Memorial Fund Scholar (Japan) and was in the founding KC Leading Educators Cohort. Phillena is completing her fifth year at Whittier Elementary where she served as the Vice Principal and now Principal. Phillena is the proud mother to the sweetest 7 year old little boy, a self- proclaimed “foodie” and enjoys traveling when possible.
Border Star Montessori School, Principal
Blake Rhyne is principal of Border Star Montessori School, which serves over 400 students in PreK-Grade 6. Blake is a native of Charlotte, North Carolina. Blake graduated with his Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and received his Master’s Degree in School Administration from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Blake served as an elementary school teacher, teaching Grades 4-6, and as a secondary English and journalism teacher in an urban district in North Carolina. In North Carolina, Blake served on district leadership committees, assisted in district curriculum writing, and led district professional development initiatives focused on equity, curriculum alignment, and culturally responsive pedagogy.
In July of 2018, Blake joined Kansas City Public Schools as Vice Principal of Lincoln College Preparatory Academy Middle School. Blake was appointed Principal of Border Star Montessori School in June of 2019. Blake is passionate about student achievement and believes relationships are a vital component of student success.
Faxon Elementary, Principal
Kathleen Snipes is a 29-year veteran with Kansas City Public Schools. Her love for education started at a very young age because of the caring educators in her schooling. She has served as a classroom teacher, mentor, instructional coach, and assistant principal. She has been the Principal at Faxon for the last seven years and loves every minute of it! Mrs. Snipes earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Northeast Missouri State University. She continued her education at the University of Missouri-Kansas City receiving a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction and an Educational Specialist Degree in Urban Leadership. Mrs. Snipes is currently taking classes for her doctorate degree in Leadership. A mother of two, she keeps herself busy going to volleyball games, watching her daughter cheer on Friday nights, and visiting her son at Central Missouri State.
Trailwoods Elementary, Principal
Principal Leah Starr has been proudly passionate about student learning since she began her teaching career in 2002. Her love for student growth and development has grown from her 16 years of service in education for Kansas City Public Schools. She earned her undergrad degree in Early Childhood Education from Park University, an MA in Multidisciplinary Education from Webster University, and her Ed Specialist Degree from University of Missouri. She has held several roles in the district including Teacher, Early Reading First Coach, Instructional Coach, Vice Principal, and Principal. She is married with three wonderful children. Mrs. Starr believes given opportunity and guidance, all students can use their leadership skills and talents do great for our community and the world.
Primitivo Garcia Elementary, Principal
Jaqueline Tanner has been appointed the Principal of Primitivo Garcia Elementary for the 2020-2021 school year. She was born in Phoenix, Arizona and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. Mrs. Tanner is a wife and mother of a seven-year-old son and three-year-old daughter.
Jaqueline obtained a Bachelors of Elementary Education from the University of Missouri- Kansas City. While pursuing a Masters of Teaching English for Second Language Learners, Jaqueline began her teaching career at Gladstone Elementary, teaching third and sixth grade.
In 2017, Jaqueline was accepted into the KC Plus program, a principal certification and Master degree program for talented educators with a strong desire to be transformational leaders. Jaqueline has served as a KC Plus Resident and Assistant Principal in her four years at Primitivo Garcia Elementary. Jaqueline is passionate about bringing equity to education through quality instruction, social-emotional support, and community engagement.
Jaqueline is thrilled and excited for the opportunity to serve Primitivo Garcia and the Westside community.
Hogan Preparatory Academy High School, Principal
Edwin Wright is the new Principal at Hogan Preparatory Academy High School, having led the school for five months. Previous to this role, he spent 15 years in the Kansas City, KS public school system as a math instructor, instructional coach, and lead curriculum and instructional coach for secondary schools.