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Carl Evans: Remembering KCPS Teacher, Leader

a four image panel: a black and white yearbook photo of a young black man and a photo of a distinguished looking older man

Carl Evans in a 1965 Lincoln High School yearbook photo; as a Northeast High School educator in 1980 and 1992; and as a school board member in 2016.


Carl Evans, a former Kansas City Public Schools teacher, principal and school board member, died Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021. He was 76.

A graduate of Lincoln High School and the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Evans began his teaching career in 1973 at Chester Anderson, today Success Academy at Anderson, the district’s alternative high school.

“It was an eye opening experience,” Evans said in a 2016 interview with the UMKC School of Education. “I learned how to work with so-called ‘difficult’ kids. They weren’t difficult, but a normal classroom setting was not necessarily for them, and a lot of teachers couldn’t handle them, so they were given to us.”

WATCH: UMKC oral history interview with Carl Evans

Evans taught at Anderson for six years before moving to Northeast High School and, later, Westport Junior High. At the same time, the district’s complex desegregation case moved through the courts.

“As teachers and administrators, you had to help (parents) understand that this is a concerted effort, that it’s the responsibility of all parties coming together to talk to each other on how best to educate our children,” Evans said.

Evans retired from KCPS in 2002 as an administrator after holding leadership positions at Northeast Middle School, Southeast High School and Paseo. His service to the district continued as a school board member, serving for multiple terms between 2011 and 2019.

“Carl Evans was a man after my own heart. A baseball coach, an educator, a learner, a collaborator, a counselor, a board colleague, an advocate for the underdog. I'll miss him and our chats in the bleachers,” said former KCPS board member Matthew Oates, who first met Evans through the Boys & Girls Club program Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities. Later, they served on the school board together.

Evans also served on the KCPS Retirement System Board of Trustees for six years, resigning in September to enjoy a much-deserved retirement.

That didn’t mean he was done, however. Evans was planning to host a community forum at his home in the coming weeks about the district’s strategic planning process, Blueprint 2030.

“We will miss Mr. Evans and his dedication to our schools and students,” KCPS Superintendent Mark Bedell said. “During his 29 years as an educator and through his continued board service, he exemplified what it meant to be a KCPS graduate and a champion of public education. KCPS sends condolences to the Evans family during this difficult time."

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