Dana-Mae Abram
Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary, Principal

Dana-Mae Abram brings 11 years of experience as an elementary teacher in grades 2-6, teaching all subject areas as well as experience in administration. After serving as a teacher and Vice Principal, she is now the proud Principal at ML King.

She refined her administration skills through Kansas City PLUS (Pathway to Leadership in Urban Schools) where she received training, practice, coaching and feedback. She received her Bachelor’s of Science in Education from Missouri Southern State University as well a Master’s of Education in Educational Leadership from the American College of Education.

Ms. Abram is a wife as well as a mother of four beautiful and intelligent children. She enjoys singing, cooking and playing basketball. Her goal is to manage a safe and respectful environment that is challenging, invites the sharing of ideas, and is non-threatening for all. As an administrator, she aims to cultivate the skills of educators while building their capacity and preparing them to be leaders of tomorrow.

Dr. Jimmie Bullard
Benjamin Banneker Elementary, Principal

Dr. Jimmie Bullard has over 26 years experience in the field of urban education.  She has a strong background in effective classroom management, educating the urban learner and is a proud product of Kansas City Missouri Public Schools.

Dr. Bullard received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Master 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 the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Prior to her current role, Dr. Bullard has served as an elementary teacher, PBIS consultant, instructional coach and college professor.

She loves poetry, reading, writing children’s literature, studying and writing books on cultural relevant pedagogy. She also loves football, and her favorite team is the Kansas City Chiefs. She is married and has two amazing children.

Stacia Deckard
Border Star Montessori, Principal

Over the last five years, Ms. Stacia Deckard has worked as an Assistant Principal in Kansas City Public Schools, and the last four years were served at Border Star Montessori. Ms. Deckard received her Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and her Master’s in Administration from Park University. She is currently working on her Ed.D. at the University of Kansas.

Ms. Deckard is honored to serve Border Star Montessori’s community as principal. She looks forward to working with talented teachers and students and collaborating with caregivers to continue the success of our bright future leaders.

Marlon Edwards
Phillis Wheatley Elementary School, Principal

Prior to becoming Principal, Marlon Edwards was the Vice Principal at Wheatley for the past three years and worked as a classroom teacher and Instructional Coach. He attended Missouri Western University where he received his Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, a Master’s Degree in Multidisciplinary Studies from Webster University and an Education Specialist Degree in Elementary Administration from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.  He was born and raised in Kansas City and graduated from the Kansas City Public School District.

In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, trying new restaurants, cleaning his car, watching tv and movies and shopping.

Luis Hinojosa
Pitcher Elementary School, Principal

Luis Hinojosa has over 20 years of experience as an educator. He has taught middle school, served as a high school Assistant Principal and elementary Principal and is currently the Principal at Pitcher Elementary.  Hinojosa was named the 2018 Principal of the Year by the Kansas City Public School Division of Academics.

He is married with three children and is currently pursuing his Doctorate Degree at Kansas University. In seventh grade he knew 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.” 

Dr. LeJuan Johnson
Success Academy at Anderson, Principal

Dr. LeJuan P. Johnson is the Principal of Success Academy at Anderson where she previously served as the Associate Principal for the past four years and the Out of school (AOSS) Coordinator for three years. Being a change agent and serving in the education field for over 20 years, teaching is her mission through educating students, staff and stakeholders in an untraditional manner.

Dr. Johnson has devoted her skills and talents to serving the community in St. Louis, MO and Kansas City, MO. As the wife of Dr. Michael B. Johnson, she is the mother of five males and is raising seventeen children (extended family members). She is an educator, instructor, Case Manager and Board member of Community Women Against Hardship (CWAH). In addition, she is the Founder and CEO of her own non-profit organization, A New Beginnings, CDC, which began 20 years ago.

Her educational pursuits began at Forest Park Community College. Returning to school during a challenging time in her life was the start of a new beginning. With her faith in God, loving family and community support, she remains a domestic violence survivor while sharing knowledge of education, God and experiences with those who would receive it.

Her education includes a dual associate degree, Proficiency in Business, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Masters in Secondary Education, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction, Ph.D. in Education Leadership in Educational Administration and a Doctor of Ministry. Her licenses include Superintendent, Principal K-12, Business Educator 9th-12th, Director of Facilities (one hundred or more children) and Foster Parent. She is a strategic leader that translates educational strategies into practical hands-on procedures.

Opportunity does not knock; it silently goes by looking like an unfair exchange. She will not allow the door of opportunity to pass by without teaching how to seize it and create something experiential. Not making a difference but BEING the difference is what life is all about.

Dr. Phillena Layne
Whittier Elementary School, Principal

Dr. Phillena Layne is a native Kansas Citian and graduate of Kansas City Public Schools. 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 Saint Louis University. 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. Ms. Layne is completing her fifth year at Whittier Elementary where she served as the Vice Principal and now Principal. She is the proud mother to the sweetest 7-year-old little boy, a self-proclaimed “foodie” and enjoys traveling when possible.

Michelle McDaniel
Ingels Elementary School, Principal

Michelle McDaniel is an experienced and reflective educator, with more than 20 years of experience in education. She has served in various positions within the St. Louis City Public Schools, St. Louis County Special School District, Riverview Gardens Schools District, Fontbonne University and Harris Stowe University as a Special Education Teacher, mentor, Assistant Principal, Principal, and Adjunct Professor.

Ms. McDaniel’s educational experiences have afforded her the opportunity to collaborate with a diverse group of people to meet the common goal of increasing student achievement and well-being. She is excited to continue the great work at HMC-1 where every student has the opportunity to learn and thrive, by providing a positive learning environment, a committed and focused educational team, and an encouraging community.

Andrew Murphy
George Washington Carver School, Principal

Andrew Murphy brings a passion for student learning and multiculturalism to Carver. He started teaching at Carver Dual Language in 2014 and hasn’t been able to leave since! He has served as an English as a Second Language Teacher, Classroom Teacher, Instructional Coach, Vice Principal, and has been serving as principal since 2022. He attended Graceland University for his undergraduate studies in Elementary Education. He developed his leadership skills through graduate programs in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and Educational Leadership from Park University and Northwest Missouri State University.

Murphy has a passion for multicultural education and has served as an educational consultant for HealthEd Connect, which supports three school systems in Zambia, and currently serves on the board of directors. He also serves on the board of Kansas City Public School Retirement System.

He loves traveling to visit friends and family around the world. He also enjoys playing cards, pickleball, tennis, piano and reading in his free time. As a principal, he hopes to create a climate and culture where all staff members are valued and all students are achieving to their fullest potential.

Lakeisha Paul
George Melcher Elementary School, Principal

Lakeisha Paul is the proud principal at George Melcher Elementary School, which serves over 300 students in grades kindergarten through sixth. She is a veteran educator with over 25 years of experience and strives to lead by example and cultivate a school culture centered around family and strong interpersonal relationships. Prior to working in Kansas City Public Schools, she worked in Savannah Chatham County Public Schools. In 2018, she answered the call of leadership and has served the students, families and communities of Melcher Elementary School for the past five years. Mrs. Paul knew that she would be an educator from a very young age. 

Lakeisha is married to Mr. Donnie Paul, Sr and the proud mother of two boys, Freddie III and Devon.

Dr. Angela Sharp
Faxon Elementary School, Principal

Dr. Angela Sharp is an education veteran with over 24 years of experience. In that time, she has been a middle school math and science teacher, middle school math Instructional Coach, Assistant Principal and Principal. She also coordinated an After School Program and was selected on two occasions to coordinate district-wide summer enrichment programs. She has been to the Learning Sciences Training on two occasions which allowed her to plan and facilitate multiple district level professional developments on standards development and teacher evaluation. She also completed the School Leadership Lab focusing on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Dr. Sharp has been nominated twice for the Crystal Apple award and was the winner of the 5-Star Service Award.

Leah Starr
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, a 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 to do great for our community and the world.

Geoffrey Talboy
East High School, Principal

Mr. Talboy began his educational career in 2005, teaching both English Language Arts and English Language Learners. For the last seven years, he has served as an Assistant Principal at Lincoln College Preparatory Academy. His educational philosophy is based on the uncompromising belief that students can achieve anything given a positive educational environment that meets their academic, social and emotional needs.

Mr. Talboy received his Bachelors in Secondary Education and Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Missouri- Kansas City and a Masters in Educational Leadership from Emporia State University. He is currently working on his Educational Specialist in Superintendency at Northwest Missouri State University.

Mr. Talboy enjoys spending time with his wife, Laura, their four sons-Ben and Ollie (10), Tommy (6), and Tony (3) and supporting all of the Kansas City sports teams.

Jaqueline Tanner
Primitivo Garcia Elementary, Principal

Jaqueline Tanner has been the Principal of Primitivo Garcia Elementary since 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.

Tanner obtained a Bachelors of Elementary Education from the University of Missouri- Kansas City. While she pursued a Masters of Teaching English for Second Language Learners, Tanner began her teaching career at Gladstone Elementary, teaching third and sixth grade.

In 2017, Tanner 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. Prior to her current role, she served as a KC Plus Resident and Assistant Principal in her four years at Primitivo Garcia Elementary.

Tanner is passionate about bringing equity to education through quality instruction, social-emotional support, and community engagement. She is thrilled about the opportunity to serve Primitivo Garcia and the Westside community.

Christina Thurman
Northeast Middle School, Principal

Christina Thurman is passionate about the power of education when used to transform the landscape of any life for those who choose to embrace it. She began her career in education as an Instructional Assistant for students with emotional disabilities. She then served as a 3rd, 4th and 6th grade elementary school teacher and middle school English Language Arts teacher.  She served as an Assistant Principal in the elementary, middle school and K-12 alternative school settings within Raytown Quality Schools. Throughout her educational journey, Mrs. Thurman earned a Master of Arts in Teaching, Masters in Educational Leadership for Urban Principalship and is currently completing her EdD in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis.

Dawn Todd
KIPP KC Elementary, Principal

Dawn Todd was born and raised in Kansas City, graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and began her teaching career teaching at a local charter school. Through Leading Educators, she met several KIPP KC teachers and learned about the exciting things going on there. Six years later, she has served as a kindergarten teacher, first-grade teacher, grade-level chair, Assistant Principal, and is now Principal of the elementary school. She is very excited about another year at KIPP!



Charlette Wafer
Central Middle School, Principal

Charlette Wafer, Principal at Central Middle School, is a Milwaukee native.  She earned her degree from Central State University, a HBCU (Historically Black College and University) in Wilberforce, OH. Her passion for teaching led her to Kansas City Public schools, where she served as a secondary English educator. With over 28 years of experience at KCPS, she’s served in various roles, including classroom teacher, mentor, Professional Development Chair, Instructional Coach, and Assistant Principal. She’s also a writing consultant, author and founder of Ignited Pens Writing Group.

When she’s not igniting young minds or nurturing writers, Charlette loves spending time with her amazing teenage daughters, her identical twin and her church family. She firmly believes that education is the key to unlocking one’s full potential, and she’s committed to ensuring that all students at Central Middle School receive the best education possible. As the Principal, she is working to create a safe and inspiring learning environment where teachers and students can thrive. Get ready to embark on an exciting journey of learning and growth with Charlette Wafer as the guide!