KCPS Honors Outstanding Students, Staff and Partners

School Board and Superintendent recognitions for Nov. 14, 2018


Kansas City, November 19, 2018: Kansas City Public Schools recognized new Scholar Superstars, Terrific Teammates and Community Champions during the Board of Directors (School Board) meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 14 at East High School. These are students, staff members and partners who have delivered remarkable service, performance and/or support and who represent the best of who we are as a public education system.

These recognitions are in alignment with the KCPS Strategic Plan in Pillar B (safe climate and strong relationships with our families and community) and Pillar C (caring, effective teachers in every classroom and effective leaders in every school). We are truly grateful for every one of these students, staff members and partners who were honored that night.


The first Scholar Superstar that was honored was Rebecca Perez of J.A. Rogers Elementary School. Rebecca is in sixth grade. Earlier this school year, she delivered a hand-written note to Principal Adriane Blankinship-Johnson. In the note, Rebecca requested permission to start a fundraising campaign for cancer patients. That first note was followed by a second the next day with research she’d done about leukemia. Rebecca wrote that, “as soon as we raise enough money for leukemia, we can start with another type of cancer.” In response, Adriane appointed Miss Perez to run the school Pennies for Patients fund drive.

The next Scholar Superstar was Kevin Durham of Trailwoods Elementary School. Mr. Durham is in fourth grade. He was nominated for the Scholar Superstar Award by Principal Leah Starr because of his outstanding leadership in her school. Kevin has a great personality and will brighten the day for his classmates and Trailwoods staff. He is kind-hearted, quick to make friends with new students and always ready to help. As a result, he was named a Leader of the Month for his class and was selected to be the School Greeter. He was also chosen to deliver the keynote student speech at the Trailwoods Leadership Assembly.

Complete the online form if you’d like to nominate a KCPS student for a Scholar Superstar Award.


Senior Planner Jesse Lange has been with the school system for several years, during which time he has applied his considerable skills as a strategic planner to the Repurposing Initiative, the Master Plan process and Dr. Bedell’s Listening and Learning meetings. Most recently, Jesse took the lead in coordinating our Strategic Plan process. That includes facilitating meetings with internal and external stakeholders to gauge our progress towards achieving the goals outlined in the plan. Jesse is always focused on providing outstanding and timely customer service.

East High School teacher Diane Mora led the effort to organize a Cross-Cultural exchange for a group of East students who got to visit Liberty North High School’s campus as they continued to build a relationship between the two schools. Students got to tour the school, engage in various activities as they learned more about each other and their unique cultures.

Complete the online form if you’d like to nominate a KCPS staff member for a Terrific Teammate Award.


The Community Champion was Maurice “Eric” Person of Kansas City Aquaponics. This organization teachers do-it-yourself methods of aquaponics to community members in order to advance education and development. Mr. Person spends about six hours a month volunteering to train EHS students who are part of the school’s agriculture program. He also helps maintain the aquaponics system, orchards and raised garden beds that are located on the campus.