Charles King, Executive Director
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela
As Executive Director of KCTR, Charles is responsible for the leadership and implementation of recruiting and developing teachers for public and charter schools in the Kansas City, Missouri area. In his 15 years of experience in education, Charles has been a Teach for America Corps member, served in a number of roles in the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) in Houston, Texas, and most recently the principal of KIPP Spirit College Prep.
Charles finds motivation for working in the urban core for the simple fact that our collective work can impact the trajectory of a students’ path, primarily that of students of color. By ensuring that there are great teachers for their classrooms, he believe students can achieve at high levels and access great opportunities in education and beyond.
Charles holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Morehouse College, a Masters of Education in Educational Leadership from Houston Baptist University, and is a graduate of the Urban School Leaders Development at Harvard University. He is an active volunteer in Cub Scouts, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Morehouse College Alumni Association, and his church community.
Brittney McGinley, Communication and Operations Manager
Brittney is a Kansas City area native committed to closing the achievement gap through her work with the Kansas City Teacher Residency. Her belief in equitable education for all students of Kansas City, regardless of zip code, drives her passion for innovative educator development that meets the needs of our city’s children.
Brittney holds a bachelor of arts degree in English from the University of Missouri and is working towards a master’s of business administration from Rockhurst University.
Prior to KCTR, Brittney served Kansas City communities through college access initiatives with the Missouri College Advising Corps and Kauffman Scholars, Inc.
Brittney has served as a Commissioner for the Kansas City Mayor’s Youth Commission, 2015-2017, and an AmeriCorps member, 2010-2012.
Beth McMillan, Director of Accountability and Operations
Beth began her career in education as a Teach for America corps member in Kansas City. She taught math and science in Spanish to second, third, and fourth-grade students at Carver Dual Language for four years. During this time, she was a member of the Building Leadership Team as well as the Professional Learning Community lead for the math team. While at Carver, Beth earned her Master’s in Elementary Education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and was a Fellow in Leading Educators. Beth then moved to Academia de Niños as a second-grade teacher and led her students to 1.85 years of reading growth. While pursuing her Educational Specialist’s degree in Elementary Administration, she became Vice Principal at Academia de Niños where she led initiatives to dramatically increase student attendance and develop sustainable systems for the growing school.
Allison Smith, Continuum Manager
Allison started her career teaching high school math in urban Houston, Texas, where she spent the first five years as a teacher, Department Chair and Math Skills Specialist in Aldine ISD. After leaving Houston she returned to Kansas, and spent one year back in the high school math classroom before once again transitioning to Teacher Leader/Instructional Coach, this time at Washington High School in Kansas City, Kansas. At Washington she observed and coached teachers in the Math and Science departments, facilitated department PLC’s, and co-planned and facilitated weekly building level professional development along with monthly district level professional development. In her last two years with KCK, Allison completed her second Masters Degree, a Masters in Educational Leadership, through Pittsburg State University. Prior to joining KCTR Allison was recruited by Achievement First University Prep High School in Brooklyn, NY to join their team as a high school math teacher and spent the 2015-2016 school year learning from and being directly coached by one of the most driven, high performing charter principals in the network, served as a Resident Coach for a Relay Resident in training who was placed in her classroom, and was able to push her scholars to a network record breaking level of 96% meeting proficiency on the New York Common Core Algebra Regents Exam at the end of the year. In summer of 2016 she returned to Kansas City to join KCTR and is passionate about the recruitment, development and retention of highly effective teachers in the urban core for all Kansas City kids regardless of zip code.
Andrew Stuart, Talent and Placement Manager
“Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.” – Kofi Annan
Andrew manages the admissions, recruitment, and placement of incoming Residents and their subsequent placement in KCTR partner schools upon completion of the Residency year. Andrew began his career in education as a Teach for America corps member in New Orleans where he was a founding teacher at John Dibert Community School. Andrew then went on to working at the Ewing Marion Kauffman School as a middle school English Language Arts teacher. Andrew is motivated by his deep belief that all students deserve access to an education that will set them up for the future. The fact that a student’s zip code often dictates their economic future is unacceptable in his mind, and he believes that can be corrected by changing the way we educate–that way begins with teachers.
Andrew holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and Communication from the University of Missouri.
Kandace Buckner, Continuum Coach
Prior to the Residency, Kandace taught upper elementary for three years in which she initiated the project based learning approach that eventually became a school wide practice. During her tenure as a teacher, she received the Kansas City Chiefs Star of the Classroom Award. Kandace then went on to open and operate a preschool committed to providing children an enriching and unique early childhood experience. Currently, Kandace is a Kansas City PLUS resident, enhancing her skills and receiving support on her path to becoming a leader in education. Kandace is dedicated to Kansas City education and believes that all great schools, organizations, and communities begin with courageous and innovative leaders.
Molly Wilson, Continuum Manager
“We are crew, not passengers.” – Kirt Hahn
Molly Wilson has a vast experience in education that she brings to KCTR and our Residents. Prior to joining KCTR, Molly taught Kindergarten and 1st grade at Delaware Ridge Elementary in Bonner Springs, KS, served as School Designer at EL Education, and most recently served as Program Director at Leading Educators KC. Molly now works as a Continuum Manager where she manages Contiuum Coaches in their support of current Residents in their Residency year. In this role, Molly puts action to her belief that every child deserves access to a high quality education, no matter where they live. Her passion is for developing high quality teachers who will hold all students to high expectations. Molly holds a Bachelor of Science in Education – Elementary from Emporia State University, is the recipient of the 2008 Kansas State Horizon Award, and is both a Fund for Teachers Fellow Class of 2009 and Leading Educators Fellow Class of 2010.
Leslie McTighe, Director of Curriculum and Program
“Be the change you want to see in the world.” – Ghandi
Leslie began her career in education in 2006 as a fifth grade teacher at University Academy Charter School in Kansas City. She served on numerous curriculum and school improvement committees, as well as grade level leader, and was honored with the school’s Excellence in Teaching Award for two consecutive years. She was the UA Lower School Principal from 2012-2015, during which time she implemented an Advanced Studies program, initiated building-wide data review teams, and oversaw many curriculum improvements. She has most recently worked as a teacher at Gordon Parks Elementary Charter School in Kansas City, where her third grades students’ performance on the state test in both math and reading propelled Gordon Parks into the top four charter schools in Kansas City. Leslie received her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Missouri, a Master of Education from Rockhurst University, and an Education Specialist Degree in School Leadership from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She lives is in the Waldo neighborhood of KC with her husband Brad, also an educator, and their children, Holden and Harper.
Kia Turner, Ed.D., Continuum Coach
“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” – John Dewey
Kia Turner comes to KCTR with over a decade of experience in the classroom. Prior to KCTR, Kia taught English at University Academy, Hickman Mills, and Frontier School of Innovation. She served as a Summer Reading Teacher at Swope Corridor Upper Room 2011-2016, as well as an Adjunct English & Reading Professor at Metropolitan Community Colleges 2010-2014. Most recently, Kia was an Instructional Coach at Northeast High School in Kansas City Public Schools. Kia’s own upbringing happened in the kind of neighborhood that she lives in today. She has been a firsthand testament to the power of education and invested teachers. As the first and only in her hometown neighborhood to reach her height of academic success, she gives credit to the teachers who believed in her. From this she has decided to give back and develop teachers who can help young Kansas City students open the door to a better life. Kia holds both a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Arts in Education from Rockhurst University, a Master of Arts in Literacy, Teaching, & Curriculum from the University of Missouri, and both an Education Specialist in Education Administration and a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership.
Brandie Newman, Ed.D., Director Program Continuum
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein
Brandie Newman comes to KCTR with experience as a 4th grade teacher spanning from 2003 to 2014 in Kansas City Public Schools and Belton School District. Beyond teaching, Brandie has served as summer school principal, teaching methods coach, and elementary math and science curriculum coordinator. Brandie believes every child deserves a high quality teacher and she lives out her passion for recruiting and retaining high quality teachers in the urban core by leading professional development and individualized support for KCTR Residents. Through her service, Brandie aims to support teachers as they help students see and reach their potential. Brandie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education sum cum laude and a Master’s degree in Education Administration summa cum laude from Park University and an Educational Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from The University of Kansas. When not developing educators, Brandie is an active volunteer in her church community.
Bethany Goldammer, Continuum Coach
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela
Bethany Goldammer joined KCTR as a Continuum Coach where she supports Residents in their Residency year. Bethany’s classroom experience includes teaching English Language Arts and American history at William Chrisman High in Independence, Missouri and as an English Language Arts teacher at the Ewing Marion Kauffman School. Bethany believes the children of Kansas City deserve the best teachers, who are passionate about equity and high-expectations. She holds of Bachelor of Science in history from Truman State University and a Masters of Arts in Education in history and secondary education also from Truman State University.