2018 Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary Teacher of the Year

Fifth Grade Teacher Constance Dee Powell


Constance Dee Powell
Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary
Fifth Grade Teacher, ELA

What motivated your career in education?
As an East High School alumnus, I am a product of the Kansas City, Missouri School District. I come from a family of educators. My teacher is a retired teacher from the KCPS district. In addition, several of my family members are retired from the Kansas City, Kansas School District. However, becoming an educator was not my original path. I earned a criminal justice degree to become a police officer. During my college breaks, I would visit my sister’s classroom; she was a special education teacher within the KCPS district. While helping her students with reading and math skills, I realized I had a natural talent with children.

After graduating with my degree, I found it difficult to find employment in the criminal justice field and decided to work as a substitute teacher in the meantime. After working as a substitute for an entire school year, I realized I not only enjoyed working with children, I was also good at teaching. Since receiving my teaching certification, I have not regretted the move to education for one second.


What message about public education do you want to share?
There may sometimes be a struggle, but our children are worth the fight! We have to believe in ourselves and believe we can indeed make a difference in the life of our students. I can, you can, but together WE WILL!