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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. 

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.

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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.

Surge Academy Connects KC Education Leaders of Color

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KCPS is proud to announce that four of our staff members will be participating in Surge Academy this school year.

Surge Academy is an innovative and far-reaching approach to transforming urban education for our youth and communities. Fellows spend six months developing, elevating and uniting emerging education leaders of color in small and mid-sized cities so they can, as a coalition, build movements that influence, innovate and transform the education space with their own communities.

Interim Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Collier participated in the first Kansas City cohort in 2019 and looks forward to supporting and encouraging this year’s fellows on their Surge Academy journey.


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Travanna Alexander-Toney
Director of Behavioral Health

“I look forward to strengthening executive skills that will transform education systems, as well as communities, and be in a position to influence policy, advocate for systemic changes and invest resources for community growth.”


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Marquis Hall
Manager of Student Diversity & Inclusion Programs

“Surge will allow me to move the educational landscape for children in my community. More than ever, we must provide opportunities for hope and healing in our schools and communities so that our students will experience the world on their own terms.”


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Jade Smith
Speech Language Pathologist

“Surge is an opportunity to relearn the power and impact of my voice in a safe space. I want to use the skills acquired during the program to encourage and support the staff and students I encounter.”


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Harrison Neal Sr.
Principal, Central Middle School

"My hope is the Surge Academy will continue to enhance my leadership abilities to advocate for social justice needs, provide a deeper context to decision-making within communities and leverage opportunities to work alongside other leaders of color to address systemic issues needing immediate change."


Congratulations to our 2023 Surge Academy fellows!