Superintendent Shares a Story of Opportunity

Dr. Mark Bedell addresses Melcher Elementary students


“What are you doing to change your story?” asks KCPS Superintendent Mark Bedell to an auditorium full of elementary students. “Now, let me tell you a story…”

Dr. Bedell stopped by George Melcher Elementary School for an impromptu assembly on Wednesday, Feb. 14. His purpose – to share a story with the students. But not just any story. He shared his own personal story.

Dr. Bedell took the students on a journey through the life of a young, struggling kid who bounced from home to home, who was bullied for wearing the wrong shoes, who lived with his grandma for a time and even spent time homeless. He shared how this kid worked hard to change his story and found a friend, and his future, in a caring teacher.

“This teacher took the time to ask me what was going on, to care about what was happening outside of the school’s walls,” Dr. Bedell told the students. “I made the decision to not fail another class, I made the honor roll from then on and I committed to my education in an effort to change my story and build a strong future.”

Throughout the course of the assembly, Dr. Bedell commended Melcher students for their resilience and ability to keep moving forward, even through times of adversity. He encouraged them to use their education as a way to break the cycle and build a good, successful future for themselves.

“I am standing here as proof, you can walk through a tough time, life can knock you down, but through a good education – studying hard, coming to school every day, showing up on time – you have the opportunity to change your story,” Dr. Bedell concluded.

The assembly finished with a question and answer session between Dr. Bedell and Melcher students. After the assembly, a group of students enjoyed pizza with the superintendent where they talked about the difficulties they have experienced and what they do to overcome.

“Our Melcher students have seen and been through more than any kid should have to bear,” Dr. Bedell said. “These kids are resilient and my goal is to ensure every one of them know I am on their side, if they commit to changing their story, then we are committed to helping them succeed.”

To see more photos from the assembly, visit our Flickr page.