Born and raised in Kansas City, Kansas. I am the third oldest child of the late James Dew, Sr. and Mrs. Beethel Smittie. My siblings, Dorothy, James, Jr. Loretta, Larry, Marilyn and I all share a common platform that was instilled us by our mother. I attribute my success because of my mother, who encouraged all of us about the importance of education, giving back to the community, maintaining strong family ties, and serving and loving God.
Attended USD 500 schools:
Abbott, Kealing, Stowe, Grant, and Douglas elementary schools,
Northeast Junior High School,
Sumner H. S. 1971,
Bachelor of Art degree in history at Park University (1976),
M.A.T. (2005) at University of St. Mary (Curriculum and Instruction).
Kauffman Foundation, “Project Star” program, teaching students to say “No to Drugs; Junior Achievement program for 8 years; Instructional Coach training with KCK school district; 2010 Friends of Yates Black Men & Women of Distinction; 2011 as Star Teacher by Office Max; KCKCC 2020-21 Hall of Fame Inductee
As a school district we have adapted to try to maintain teaching our students to gain success. The main concern is to have in person learning. The traditional roles of teachers, parents, and students have changed. With technology being used there has to be a consistent connection to be actively engaged to make sure success will be achieved. It is a check and balance system to all entities that will require total commitment. Making sure students have access to the needed materials and persons to help them learn is the desire of our district.
Accountability for students, staff to recognize that we have to work collectively together to reach individual and school district goals. Each group wanting to get to the “end of the road” to achieve success must recognize that we each have a responsibility to bring this to fruition.
We must start with developing the foundation through elementary education teaching the basics: reading and writing. Traditional teaching of the concepts will not change, what changes is utilizing materials that will enhance productive learning. Consistency in teaching through middle school has been a strong guidance in our school district. Opening the door to prepare our students to recognize what their future career might be was implemented during my last years of teaching. Laying this foundation will direct our students on the path to make the right decision for their future. We must also connect with parents to utilize them to communicate and support direct plans for their individual child's success. Often we find we can connect with our community to assist in supporting the future of our schools, county, and city.
USD 500 has presented the Diploma Plus Program for students to learn about and to make a decision about their path for being hired for high-pay, high-demand jobs.
Our district has not changed it direction of trying to close the gap for increasing graduation rates. Considering what has been taking place in our world, we are now engaging full involvement to try to meet the needs of students individually and collectively. Staff are meeting to setup successful plans to find what issues are preventing our students from fulfilling the requirements for graduation. We have recognize there may be personal, social, emotional barriers that may hinder them to graduate. Beginning early on their educational path to develop a plan for success is being guided for each student. Acknowledging changes is also implemented and adapting is done also.
Once we are aware of the shortcomings, meeting with students and parents is a way in which we try to help them to deal with moving off the path of failure. Open communication is a moderate way bring about change. Engaging all stakeholders into the lives of our students will be totally necessary.
As a board member my first concern is to support training for all employees of our district to understand the dynamics DEI. We also have to engage in helping our students to know that this will not be an obstacle to prevent them from gaining their educational plan to graduate. We must follow the directives and requirements for expecting our staff to meet the needs of educating students. Educational goals should not be selective for certain individuals but to all students and staff. Open communication should always be at the forefront of addressing theses needs. Listening and learning will always help to guide us in the right direction.
Our school board recognizes that promoting strong influences to assist student success and to promote recruitment in hiring staff to meet the needs of adapting to the educational policies and mandates required by the State Department of Education is a top priority.
Parent, student, and community is very necessary. Connecting to engage these three entities to adapt to changes to an inclusive educational environment will happen. The purpose is to start as early as possible once the need has been discovered. Even if the numbers are not fully supported we must continue to engage and meet. As time moves on, it may be easier, yet we must not give in to negativity or not completing our requirements of teaching and educating our students. The key is to be consistent in monitoring successes and failures to bring about a change.
As a school board member I have learned that listening and learning is a path that has brought about great change to help growth and positive achievement. Meeting with PTA and other parental support groups in the schools to know what their plan is for gaining student success will fully engage a positive change. I recognize that the changes and goals will be done by "ALL" not just me. It is what we can do.
Rachel Henderson is a fierce and fun nonprofit professional with a strong dedication to volunteerism and service. She is proud mother of three children, Kaiya, Halle, and Josiah.Rachel currently serves as the Community Engagement Manager for Cross-Lines Community Outreach, where she manages volunteers and community partnership.When Rachel is not hard at work, she enjoys volunteering at organizations within the community as well as serving on numerous civic boards in a leadership capacity.
Associates Degree, Kansas City Kansas Community College
Rachel currently serves as President for both of her daughter's school PTA groups, Treasurer for Rosedale Development Association, and Board Member for the Kansas City COVID Regional Relief Fund
The pandemic has shown us that access to education is also dependent on digital access and equity. There are many unknowns still with the corona-virus and what post-pandemic life will be like but the district will need to continue to be able to bridge the learning needs of student in a virtual environment coupled with the current staffing shortage in many buildings. Hybrid learning is not anything that we can say farewell too quite yet or even ever. We will also need to continue to raise awareness around the importance of digital access and equity in our community especially for those most vulnerable. Some of our students are still in internet deserts -- how do we change that? As our schools rolled out STEM labs, stem curriculum, etc, we knew that technology was a huge piece of that so how do we need to grow in the future to better prepare our students for the current workforce moreso?
I am in full support of Diploma+ however how do we increase and/or leverage our community partnerships to make sure more students are participating in this program as well as making sure that we are bringing businesses/opportunities to the tables for the careers that students are interested in.
Many of our schools have partnered with outside organizations such as Communities in School, Warriors for Wyandotte, GearUP and other local great organizations to provide wrap around services for students to help them with their educational journey towards graduation through after-school tutoring, mentoring, etc. This is only one step in additional to the FACES (Family and Community Engagement Specialists), social workers, and counselors on site in the building to support both students and families in their child's education journey. There is still room for growth, nonetheless.
I would like to guide and support DEI practices and implementation within our district with intentional conversations and practices at the building level first versus the top down approach which I believe was put in place with the implementation of the DEI department. In it's first year of implementation, the department experienced turnover which really stagnated the opportunity for the goals and vision of the work to be completed so I believe if we start where the people are we can move the needle quicker. What is the current culture of DEI in the buildings? How are we ensuring best practices and policies are in place to create inviting and thriving spaces for students, staff, and the broader community?
Parent, Community, & Student engagement is critical to the success of our students and the district. Through my involvement with PTA at the local, district, & state level, I know the power that parent, student, and community voices have when we rally together for information and causes. We are a public school system because public opinion matters. If elected I would like to establish a District-wide Advisory Committee with parent/guardian representation from each school present at a monthly or quarterly meeting. The purpose of the committee would be to address school issues and concerns and allow parents to network, share ideas, and solve problems cooperatively. This model is implemented in our sister district, KCPS and has proven to be a successful way to engage parents and provide a level of communication that has been present most recently. I would also like to introduce the idea of quarterly community conversations to make sure we have a direct pulse to the community.
I am Angelynn (Barge) Howell graduate of Wyandotte High Class of '83, Go Bulldogs!
I am married with three men and one young lady. My father (deceased) retired from the BPU after 44 years of service and my mother retired from the KCK District after 18 years of service. I am a college graduate with a Degree in Human Resources Management and an Associate Degree in General Accounting. I own a family business, Anna's BLD Bistro in KCK, I am a volunteer and advocate for students.
Degree in Human Resources Management
Associate Degree in General Accounting
Volunteer and advocate for students.
As we continue through the pandemic, our students need stability in their daily learning. We have transitioned from the familiar, Google classroom to something new, called Canvas. Although this was purchased prior to the pandemic, it wasn't used until this year, 2021. Classroom lessons/notes, examples of work, and subject related reference materials, should be computer assessable, not have to be uploaded by the teacher.
We have gone from printed books to copied worksheets and binders, from curriculum based teachers' lesson-plans to what the teacher teaches.
My question is; what is the function of the current technology used? How does it support the current curriculum and how does it help teachers teach their subject matter? What training has been given to teachers and students using this technology?
You can't change technology, if you don't understand or know the projected outcomes and how each class is interdependent on the other for that student's learning's.
The support needed is a good knowledge based foundation (reading with understanding, 12 inches is a foot, how to count money/make change from a dollar, how to write a letter, sign your name, etc).
Lack of accountability (on all levels) for the basics has failed our students. Computers/the so called technology world, cell-phones, this imaginary "they've grown-up with technology, so they can fend for themselves (self-teaching)", just doesn't work. We need books for math, science and reading.
Computers and worksheets are not cutting it. The excuses are drowning our students.
We need to re-establish life-skills classes, introduction to careers and how to use the computers including typing. Our students are not prepared for college, trade school or everyday life (lost are the common sense life-skills), they are not prepared to work at a fast-food establishment, let-alone a business/corporation.
The BASICS are missing and it is hurting everyone (Them, Employers, Community, and Society)
Truthfully Sumner is not doing that great. The other four (4) other high schools have successful students but the problem is EXPECTATION. If a teacher has low to no expectation of a students ability to learn; then the teacher isn't fulfilling their responsibilities. Teach the subject matter and the students will learn. Don't suppose they aren't interested therefore you don't teach.
It is sad to say but we need to admit Mainstreaming is not working. The teachers are not qualified to deal with IEP discipline problems or students with dyslexia. Special needs students need their own classroom with qualified teachers who can teach & deal with the behaviors.
We have classrooms where students are waiting to be taught but can't because the teacher is redirecting the behavior. How is this far to the regular students? Why are we allowing a select few students and their parents' bullying jeopardize the masses? When is enough, enough?
Our students are in Craters and "Time" is SHORT!
First we need to change the hiring process. All degreed applicants need to be interviewed by a diverse group of people not just one person. There should be actual recruiting not the story, "Blacks and Hispanics" don't apply or won't come to the KCK District because of pay.
We need to send representatives of the same ethnicity to recruit, as each culture has their own way of communicating, persuading and even relating to one another.
Our students ask the question, "Why don't we have more Black and Hispanic teachers"?
Our District has changed from a split between Blacks and Whites to a growing population of Hispanics. There is a decline in Whites but our teachers are predominately White and living outside the district. How do teachers relate to students if they don't understand their social, cultural, or economic circumstances? How is it far to use our District/students for three years, get student loans forgiven/paid, then transfer to a district that looks like them, White?
The parents need to be Heard. They, the parents, have been lied too, rejected, strung-along, miss-treated and they have given-up, thrown in the towel, abandoned their parental rights to be heard and left the educating to the supposed educators.
As a candidate for KCK School Board, I have been holding meetings to pull back in the parents, students, and community. My board seat will be the Voice for the parents, our seat at the table, our way of taking back our student's education. It will be our opportunity to say, "Education is failing and this is our expectation for change"! We all will work together to reinstate the basics in education, discipline in the classrooms, and a method to the MADNESS that has gone on far too long.
I will work to give the teachers their voice that has been taken by bullying students, parents and lack of administrative support. Everyone has to collectively work together for the Betterment of Education.
We ALL have to be the Change to make Change!
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Diosselyn was born in Guatemala, but has made Kansas City, Kansas her home. She came to the US at 6 years of age, and began volunteering in her community at age 13. Since then, she has worked tirelessly in our communities. She truly is a community enthusiast and a dedicated advocate.
Diosselyn assisted to the following schools:
- Frances Willard Elementary
- Argentine Middle School
- Sumner Academy of Arts & Science, class of 2012
- University of Kansas, class of 2017. Graduated with a Bachelors in Applied Behavioral Science focus on Community Health & development, Spanish minor, and multiple certificates.
Her community organization roots can be traced back to her time at Community Housing of Wyandotte County. Her community engagement work has included art, green and entrepreneurial initiatives. In 2018, Diosselyn joined El Centro, Inc. a non-profit organization, where she focused on integrated voter engagement (in Spanish & English), Citizenship, DACA, Preparemonos Clinics and Know Your Rights Workshops.
She, also, has interned in Juntos and KUMED Preventive Department.
Nowadays, she continues to stay involved in her hometown and in state organizations. She sits on various boards in the Latino community, with a focus on the arts, voting rights, and community engagement and affordable housing. Last but not least, she co-founded Urbanworks.
With the recent pandemic, we already have seen so many changes in our district when it comes to technology and we are still in the midst of it. As we continue to navigate this, we still have a gap in accessibility and training of new tools. A lot of our families may not have access to wifi at their homes nor have the proper items to engage in virtual communications. Hence, we still need to figure out ways where we find equitable opportunities for ALL our students and families to engage and obtain resources that they need. As well, we need to think of the tools we are providing our teachers and school staff. Do they have all the tools they need? Are their classrooms equipped and set up for their technology needs? And are our systems up to date to meet the needs of our district? A few schools were able to host computer workshops, however, we did not have enough. We need to replicate this model in all our schools so our parents have an opportunity to interact and understand technology.
I support the introduction of Diploma+ and new opportunities to engage with our community resources. However, due to the pandemic we were not able to see the full roll out. I am curious to see what Diploma+ is in the midst of the pandemic and what it could be post-pandemic. I believe bringing in opportunities for our students to get hands-on experiences, build networks, and overall exposure to different careers and pathways would help prepare our students tremendously. These are the experiences they will take with them, continue to grow, and come back and reinvest in our communities. We need to continue to provide our students with exposure and experiences, so they can see themselves there.
Our district has implemented a couple of partnerships and after-school programs to help close this gap. As well, in our community there are a lot of residents and organizations that are working to provide services and programs for our students. We need to continue to leverage our partnerships and collaborators and analyze what gaps we still have. I would love to see more implementation of guidance of FAFSA to students with different legal statuses in order to make their pathway to college easier.
My whole life and work has revolved around DEI and as a board member, I will bring my skills, experiences, and overall personal story to bring insight on areas that we still need a lot of work in. As well, share best practices and lessons learned on the previous work done. There is so much to be done, and would love to contribute to the growth and expansion of our DEI work, especially after the years we have had. I have so many ideas, but to put it in one quick sentence, I am ready to get to work.
Parent, community and student engagement are key and extremely valuable. I am a strong believer that we need to listen to our communities to understand the potential solutions that can be and that they are looking for. And the biggest thing, in my perspective, that we need to work on is trust. We need to regain the trust of our students, parents, teachers, faculty, and community. If elected, I want to encourage and foster a more transparent and trusting environment for all. I would like to work on our communication points with parents, students, community and our own schools to find ways to effectively engage with one another and in different departments so that we all continue to strive for the success of all of us. This means a lot of conversations, but we need to start having them and hearing the voices that have yet to be heard.