KCPS Board Taps Longtime District Teacher and Administrator as New Superintendent
The Kansas City Public Schools (KCPS) board of directors formally introduced longtime district educator and administrator Dr. Jennifer Collier as the district’s new superintendent today. The announcement is a major milestone as Collier becomes the district’s first female superintendent and first Black female superintendent. Collier most recently served as interim superintendent; however, she started her KCPS career teaching music at Northeast High School 23 years ago.
“I’ve dedicated my life’s work to the students, families, teachers and the academic mission of Kansas City Public Schools,” Dr. Collier said. “I’m humbled by the support I’ve received, and I ask all of you to join me in rolling up our sleeves and getting to work on behalf of our scholars.”
Collier’s vision for the district moving forward, includes an emphasis on literacy and mathematics. In these and other areas, the district is already experiencing growth and building momentum.
“Dr. Collier’s collaborative leadership philosophy, coupled with her experience in this district, make her the right person to lead KCPS through an era of ambitious academic achievement, setting our students up for success in a modern global workforce,” said Tanesha Ford, school board member and chair of the superintendent search committee. “Dr. Collier keeps student success the focus of everything we do as a district.”
After first serving as a substitute teacher at Mary Harmon Weeks Elementary, Collier was hired to teach choir, music appreciation and beginning keyboard at Northeast High School for the 2000-2001 school year. In 2010, she became the school’s assistant principal. Her KCPS career includes time as principal of Border Star Montessori, chief human resource officer, chief of staff, deputy superintendent and most recently, interim superintendent.
Collier is a lifelong learner, having earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas, Master of Arts in education from Avila University, an educational specialist degree in educational leadership from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a doctorate in educational leadership from UMKC. Collier is a certified National Institute for School Leaders trainer, has a Professional in Human Resources certification and participated in Harvard University’s “School Turnaround Leaders Institute.”
Dr. Collier was chosen from a pool of 17 applicants following a robust national superintendent search, which began in fall 2022. The district’s school board contracted with JG Consulting during the process, which relied heavily on engagement from parents, staff, students and a range of community stakeholders.