KCPS Leader Named One of Nation’s Top School Communicators

Dr. Bedell selected as a "Superintendent to Watch" by the National School PR Association

Superintendent Mark Bedell speaks during the 2017 KCPS Partnership Breakfast and Forum on Monday, Sept. 18 at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. (PHOTO BY: Ray Weikal/KCPS)

Kansas City, Sept. 20, 2017:  Kansas City Public Schools Superintendent Mark Bedell is garnering national recognition for his ability to communicate and engage with students, parents, staff and community members.

Dr. Bedell has been selected as a “Superintendent to Watch” for the 2017-2018 academic year by the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA), according to an announcement made today by the organization.

NSPRA’s “Superintendents to Watch” program recognizes superintendents with fewer than five years of experience who use communication technology in innovative and effective ways. In a letter about the honor, NSPRA Executive Director Rich Bagin said Dr. Bedell was one of just 21 school superintendents selected due to his “dynamic leadership with a strong emphasis on communication.”

“This recognition would not be possible without a strong communications team,” Dr. Bedell said. “As superintendent, it’s my job to provide the big ideas around how to reach the community at large, but those ideas have to be executed by the experts in that department, so all credit goes to those professionals.”

Dr. Bedell has made communications and community engagement a cornerstone of his administration and has worked hard to reach stakeholders where they are and have open, honest conversations. These efforts include an extensive listening and learning tour when he started his position in 2016, regular lunches and town hall meetings with students and staff, evening and weekend pickup basketball games, numerous speaking engagements, adept use of his Twitter account, the release of concise and clear post-entry and strategic plans, and a comprehensive reorganization of the school system’s Department of Communications and Community Engagement.

In a letter of support for the “Superintendents to Watch” nomination, Consulate of Mexico in Kansas City Head Consul Alfonso Narvarro-Bernachi cited the inspiring, comforting impact of Dr. Bedell’s communication and engagement in support of immigrant families.

“Under his leadership, (KCPS) has shown remarkable adaptability in its communication goals and strategies for responding to parents’ and students’ social and emotional needs,” Mr. Navarro-Bernachi wrote.