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John Fierro Kansas City Notable Latino

KCPS is celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month featuring notable Latino community members who have made a difference in the city and/or the nation. Today, we honor John Fierro, President/CEO of Mattie Rhodes Center and a long-time public figure in Kansas City.

a photo of a woman with short hair in a tan suit.

KCPS is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with profiles of Latinos who have made a difference in our community. Today, we remember Yvonne Vazquez Rangel, an education advocate who lobbied for access to bilingual education. 

A woman with short hair and a serene expression.

KCPS is continuing our celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month with a spotlight on Rebecca Jaramillo, an advocate for equal rights and a founder of Fiesta Hispana, one of the first celebrations of Hispanic Heritage Month in Kansas City.

Local Kansas City Hero Primitivo Garcia

Primitivo Garcia is often referred to as Kansas City's first local Hispanic hero. One KCPS elementary school is named after this hero after he gave his life to save his English teacher in 1967.

Social Emotional Supports

In efforts to address the social-emotional needs of students and families the Department of Students Support Services is implementing a Tele-Health Service Delivery Model (The use of digital technologies to deliver services by connecting multiple users in separate locations).

Counselors & Trauma Sensitive Clinicians

  • KCPS School Counselors assigned to each school will contact each and every family for a whole child wellness check-in.
  • School Counselors will make referrals to the Trauma-Sensitive School Clinician based on the Wellness Needs of the Students and Families.
  • Students and Families in Need of Immediate Support for Social and Emotional Needs will be able to contact a Student Support Team Member through our support hotline numbers assigned to per school

Additional Supports

  • KCPS focuses on the comprehensive well-being of all students, including physical, emotional and environmental safety.
  • Through our Trauma Sensitive Schools Initiative, we are cultivating learning environments where students can feel respected and heard.
  • School staff work with the Division of Student Support Services to identify students who may benefit from mental health support and/or interventions (Collective Impact Model). 
  • KCPS uses a tiered funding model to direct more resources to schools where students are experiencing the most trauma. We have 15 Tier 1 schools, 5 Tier 2 schools and 12 Tier 3 schools. Our Tier 3 schools receive the highest level of interventions.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly increased the need for school-based mental health services.
  • KCPS has been hiring additional school counselors and clinicians to meet this growing need. For example, in the past, Lincoln College Preparatory Academy and Lincoln Middle School have shared a clinician. However, this year we have had more students experiencing anxiety, depression, grief and loss. In January, we assigned a full-time clinician to LCPA to help meet our students’ needs.
  • KCPS works with a number of partners to provide school-based mental health services:
  • When our students’ mental health needs can be adequately addressed at school, we refer families to community-based mental health providers. However, there are often long wait times.
  • When students are experiencing conflict with each other, families often want to know what consequences the other student will face. However, due to federal student privacy laws, we are usually limited in what discipline information we can share. We know this can be frustrating to families and look like inaction.
  • KCPS has a Code of Conduct (available online in EnglishSpanish and Swahili) that provides an overview of the restorative justice and trauma-informed practices used in schools. However, for serious offenses, KCPS follows the Missouri Safe Schools Act.
  • KCPS is in the process of developing an app that allows students and staff to report any safety concerns they have at school. We expect to announce this launch soon.

KCPS Trauma Sensitive Team

Behavior Health Manager - Travanna Alexander (816) 723-1355
School Name Clinician Contact Number
Elementary Schools    
ACCPA - Lower Angelique Tembo (816) 309-6855
Banneker Alicia Smith (816) 423-9081
Border Star Montessori Malena Binger (816) 352-4000
Faxon Dorothy Patterson (816) 668-7261
Foreign Language Academy Cindy Garcia (816) 385-3146
Garfield Christina Kohn (816) 929-9147
George Melcher Candice Wise (816) 301-1557
George Washington Carver Cindy Garcia (816) 385-3146
Gladstone Dorothy Patterson (816) 668-7261
Hale Cook Christina Kohn (816) 929-9147
Harold Holliday, Sr. Montessori Malena Binger (816) 352-4000
J.A. Rogers Malena Binger (816) 352-4000
James Cindy Garcia (816) 385-3146
John T. Hartman Kenya Hicks (816) 533-6922
Longfellow Dorothy Patterson (816) 668-7261
Martin Luther King, Jr. Zandra Winfield (816) 723-1357
Phillis Wheatley Alicia Smith (816) 423-9081
Pitcher Candice Wise (816) 301-1557
Primitivo Garcia Christina Kohn (816) 929-9147
Success at Knotts Marchel Turner (816) 723-1354
Trailwoods Christina Kohn (816) 929-9147
Wendell Phillips Kelly Ewing (816) 646-9624
Whittier Malena Binger (816)352-4000
Middle Schools    
Central Middle Cortney Ray (816) 343-9441
Lincoln Middle Arica Miller (816) 646-9843
Northeast Middle Elizabeth Stanford (816) 205-5316
Paseo Middle Zandra Winfield (816) 723-1357
High Schools    
East High MacKenzie Even (816) 226-8096
Central High Jeff Dayton (816) 645-0121
Lincoln High Arica Miller (816) 646-9843
Northeast High Elizabeth Stanford (816) 205-5316
Paseo High Zandra Winfield (816) 723-1355
Southeast High Angelique Tembo (816) 309-6855
Success at Anderson Kristen Dua (816) 723-1356
Prepped & Ready: Experts Edition

KCPS partner Children's Mercy has released “Prepped and Ready: Experts Edition,” a series of free online (short) videos for caregivers of preteens and teens. “Prepped and Ready" aims to help caregivers learn steps to improve the health of safety of your children as they become teens.


Caregivers will learn tips for:

  • Addressing vaping
  • Preventing eating disorders
  • Handling tough questions
  • Suicide prevention
  • Understanding how teens think
  • And much more!


View the videos at Complete a pre and post survey after watching the videos to receive a free safety toolkit.