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KCPS eNews


May 12, 2022

KCPS Weekly News


The Central High School robotics team competed in the the FIRST Championship - Hopper Division in Houston, Texas, last month. Front row, from left: Princess Awulonu, 11; 'The Iron Claw' robot; and Malachi Williams Lindsey, 9. Back row: Mr. Coi Bui, coach; Mr. Brian Turner, mentor; Nura Abdi, 11; Christofer Fuentes Sanchez, 11; Ericka Mabion, KCPS CTE Coordinator; Isiah Willis, 9; John Gooden, 11; and Johnathan Prock, coach.

Central Robotics Team Excels in FIRST Season

“The Iron Claw,” Central High School’s robot, reaches a metal arm toward the overhead bar. Clang. There’s an intake of breath, but these students know what they’re doing. The robot reaches for the second bar. Clang. The Iron Claw swings forward, suspended in mid-air. 


“We’d never done it before, but at the same time, I knew we could do it,” said Malachi Williams Lindsey, one of two freshmen who drive the robot. “I was excited. I try to be the best at everything I do.” Continue reading ...

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Join Us for Blueprint 2030 Chats May 23 & 24

KCPS is continuing our community chats about Blueprint 2030! As we plan for our students’ future, it’s important to hear from families, staff and the community. Your voice is an important part of the process!


We will have two in-person engagement sessions this month:



6-7:30 p.m., JA Rogers Elementary, 6400 E 23rd St.

*Interpretation services in Spanish, Somali, Swahili and Burmese will be available.



6-7:30 p.m., Carver Dual Language School, 4600 Elmwood Ave.


Food and child care will be available at both events.


Can’t join us in person? Watch our virtual presentation and provide your feedback!



Students from Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts participated in a fashion show on May 6 and 7.  Follow @kcps_paseo on Twitter for more Paseo highlights!

Paseo Fashion Students Revive Runway Show



Stepping into Kenecha Richardson's class, you'll see hundreds of buttons, thread, scissors, measuring tape and plenty of sewing machines.


Richardson, a fashion designer and an educator at Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts, has been getting her students ready for their first fashion show, transferring creative skills into fashion statements. Continue reading ...


Mr. Ulysses Vazquez, Chief Technology Officer

UlyssesVazquez_BENCH.jpgPlease welcome Chief Technology Officer Ulysses Vazquez to KCPS! Mr. Vazquez has over 30 years of IT experience, of which the last 15 has been in the K-12 arena, with expertise in systems engineering, security and database administration. He has had the pleasure of working as the Director of Student Information Systems and Projects at Orange County Public Schools in Orlando, Florida, one of the largest school districts in the country. At Orange County, Mr. Vazquez lowered the error rate of data submitted to the state by over 80%. He also designed and installed a data replication system that was used to create analytical reports for the district.


Most recently, Mr. Vazquez was the director of the Information Services department for the School District of Osceola County Florida, which educates more than 70,000 students. He managed everything dealing with data and reporting, overseeing state reporting, payroll processing and operations.


Mr. Vazquez holds an MBA with a concentration on Project Management from the Louisiana State University at Shreveport. He has a passion for technology but also enjoys the art of leadership.

Mr. Andrew Murphy, Carver Principal

AndrewMurphy_BENCH.jpgMr. Andrew Murphy is already a familiar face at Carver Dual Language School, where he has been a teacher, instructional coach and, most recently, vice principal. He holds a bachelor’s in Elementary Education from Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa; a master’s in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from Park University in Parkville, Missouri; and a master’s in Educational Leadership from Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Missouri. Mr. Murphy’s passion for multicultural education began in undergraduate with opportunities to travel and teach abroad. He completed teaching practicums and student taught in Falmouth, Jamaica; Ndola, Zambia; and in Suva, Fiji. 


This focus on multicultural education and equity led him to apply for Teach for America. After serving his two years at Carver Dual Language as an ELL teacher and classroom teacher, Mr. Murphy decided to stay with KCPS. Along with Amanda Niedzwiecki, Morgan McPartland, Alex Ornelas and Debbie Alexander, Mr. Murphy was part of a teacher-led team that made huge programmatic shifts to the dual language model used at Carver. For their work, they were recognized as national finalists for Teach for America’s Sue Lehmann Award in the fall of 2019. 



Jonathan Haileselassie was recognized at the May 11, 2022, KCPS Board of Directors meeting after announcing he would be attending Harvard University. From left: Manny Abarca, Board Treasurer; Dr. Derald Davis, Assistant Superintendent of Equity, Inclusion and Innovation; Jonathan Haileselassie, LCPA senior; Joyce Nguyen Hernandez, College Access Coordinator; Marquis Hall, Manager of Student Diversity and Inclusion Programs; and Dr. Mark Bedell, Superintendent.

LCPA Senior Haileselassie Headed to Harvard

Congratulations to Jonathan Haileselassie, a senior at Lincoln College Preparatory Academy‚Ā¶, who will be continuing his education at Harvard University! Earlier this school year, Jonathan was the first Kansas City Public Schools student to earn the AP Scholar with Honor award after receiving qualifying scores on four Advanced Placement exams.


Jonathan addressed the KCPS Board of Directors on Wednesday, May 11, 2022, as part of our equity update. He thanked KCPS College Access Coordinator Joyce Nguyen Hernandez for her help navigating the college admissions process. Way to go, Jonathan! Enjoy Cambridge — we are so excited to see where your KCPS education takes you next!


Did you know KCPS has a College Access Corner newsletter? Sign up for important updates and scholarship opportunities!


Submit Your Nominations for Board Recognition

Four times a year, Kansas City Public Schools Superintendent Mark Bedell and the School Board recognize extraordinary students, staff and administrators. We are seeking nominations now for individuals to be honored at the June 8 Board of Directors meeting.


Click the links below and complete the short nomination form:

Nominations will be accepted until 4:30 p.m. on May 25, 2022.

There's Still Time to Take Stakeholder Survey

KCPS is seeking valuable feedback from students, parents, staff members and others with a stake in the city’s educational system. We are asking our community to complete this year’s KCPS Stakeholder Survey. This responsive survey is an opportunity for stakeholders to provide insights and observations about academics, programs, services, operations, facilities, finances, communications, public perception, safety and security and other critical facets of the school system.


KCPS Families Get Discounts on Royals Tickets!

RoyalsCharities.jpegThe KCPS Education Foundation is partnering with Royals Charities to help our schools! KCPS families and friends can get discounts on home game tickets purchased through our community partner link (code KCPS2022!) and Royals Charities will donate $3 per ticket back to KCPSEF.