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KCPS NEWS
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.

KCPS Students Shine in First Fine Arts Showcase

KCPS orchestra students perform at the KCPS Fine Arts Showcase on Thursday, April 28, 2022.

KCPS orchestra students perform at the KCPS Fine Arts Showcase on Thursday, April 28, 2022. Check out our Facebook page for more photos!
 

It was all Deputy Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Collier could do to keep from tearing up when she spoke at last week's KCPS Fine Arts Showcase.

"In schools, children need to have a place of belonging. They need to know they're accepted. They have to find their niche, that thing they’re good at,” said Dr. Collier, a classically trained vocalist.

Middle and high school students from across the district participated in the 2022 KCPS Fine Arts Showcase, which was held Thursday, April 28, at the Scottish Rite auditorium. The evening began with an art show.

“Art is a representation of people showing their emotions and how they feel and what they go through,” said Ja’lyn Jones, a freshman at Central High School whose artwork was on exhibit. “I like all aspects of art and acrylics.”

Basimise Fabrice, East High School, with his portrait of Nelson Mandela at the KCPS Fine Arts Showcase on Thursday, April 28,

Basimise Fabrice, East High School, with his portrait of Nelson Mandela at the KCPS Fine Arts Showcase on Thursday, April 28, 2022.

Basimise Fabrice, a sophomore at East High School, won first place among all high school artists. He had several pieces in the exhibit, including a meticulously painted portrait of Nelson Mandela.

“To draw this, I used a grid. It took five days to paint on it,” Basimise said. “I believe art is a talent I was born with.”

Inside the auditorium, KCPS Superintendent Dr. Mark Bedell sat in the front row, awestruck. Again and again, the crowd rose to give the students standing ovations.

“This is what we have to do as a community through Blueprint 2030,” Dr. Bedell said. “Our students are capable of anything if they have the resources they need to succeed.”

Blueprint 2030 is the district’s future planning process. Already, students and families have told KCPS they want art and music education starting in kindergarten.

“Our students deserve opportunities to learn how to play instruments, to perform, to learn languages, to explore a variety of fine and performing arts,” Dr. Collier said.

“They won’t just be observers or consumers. They will be center stage.”