Research highlights stories of Kansas City school desegregation

Dr. Candace Schlein, Mr. Charles Oakley, Representative Emmanuel Cleaver, Dr. Loyce Caruthers and Dr. Jennifer Friend.

What would it take for schools and communities to collaborate around efforts to provide a racially integrated, equitable and excellent education for all students in Kansas City, Missouri? Drawing on the past to seek new ways to integrate schools will contribute to community-wide efforts to address issues of social justice in educational communities, and it is in this vein that “Kansas City speaks: Stories of school desegregation,” was born.


A multi-phase and multi-platform digital video and website design research project, Kansas City speaks: Stories of school desegregation, was first funded by a 2016-2017 University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Education Dean’s Small Grant. This study phase was undertaken by Principal Investigator Dr. Loyce Caruthers and Co-Investigators Drs. Jennifer Friend, Candace Schlein, Edward Underwood and Etta Hollins, all of the UMKC School of Education.


Research activities included the exploration and preservation of oral histories, narratives and artifacts related to the experiences of African American educators and students who formed the legacy and struggle for educational equity during the period of school integration (1971-1997).


The first phase included: (1) the use of digital video to record approximately 40 oral histories with administrators, teachers and students—about half of whom are also School of Education alumni; (2) archival and community research to digitize historical artifacts, memorabilia, maps, and archival documents and images, and (3) the design and launch of an interactive website with teaching guides to provide free access to oral history video clips and written narratives, timelines and maps, archival documents and images. A Community Yearbook feature allows individuals to upload personal stories and photos to share with the Kansas City community.


The second phase of the research project, “Kansas City speaks: Partnering with African American educators, students, and community members to explore urban school integration and excellence,” is now underway.  Principal Investigator Dr. Candace Schlein and Co-Investigators Drs. Loyce Caruthers and Jennifer Friend; Mr. Fu Zhuo of UMKC Libraries; and Mr. Charles Oakley, a School of Education graduate student, are supported in their work with a 2017-2018 UMKC Inclusive Excellence Award.


The focus of the second stage is on three eras of school desegregation in Kansas City: Segregation and Integration (1930-1970), Desegregation (1971-1997), and Re-segregation (1998-present). Project goals include community member interviews, archival research and the digitization of artifacts, and facilitating community panel discussions and educator workshops offered through the UMKC School of Education’s Continuing and Professional Education to assist educators and community members interested in utilizing the website and instructional resources. The research team invites community members to visit the website and to post stories on the Community Yearbook/Submission page.


School of Education alumni involved/interviewed for oral histories for Kansas City speaks: Stories of school desegregation project

Lee Allen (M.A. ’04, Ed.S. ’14)

Gloria Anderson (iPh.D. ’16)

Jimmie Bullard (Ed.D. ‘14)

Loyce Caruthers (B.A. ‘72k, Ed.S. ’93, Ph.D. ’00)

Carl Evans (M.A. ’97, Ed.S. ’81)

Jennifer Friend (B.A. ’92, M.A. ’96, Ph.D. ’04)

Brenda Harris (M.A. ’02)

Nicole King (M.A. ’99, Ed.S. ’00)

Earline McKelvy (M.A. ’85)

Harrison Neal (B.A. ’11, M.A. ’14)

Pam Paige O’Neal (B.A. ’89)

Uzziel Pecina (Ed.S. ’10)

Linwood Tauheed (Ph.D. ’05)

Jermaine Wilson (M.A. ’04, Ph.D. ’14)

Yvonne Wilson (M.A. ’71, Ed.S. ’76)

Roger Williams (M.A. ’81)


Eighty earn place on Dean’s List for spring semester

Recognized for their hard work, dedication, and commitment to academic excellence, 80 School of Education students were named to the Dean’s List for the spring 2017 semester.  For the School of Education, this required a spring term GPA of 3.93 or above and completion of a minimum full-time program of 12 graded hours.







We congratulate:

Sarah Abend Secondary Education BA
Michael Aleto Secondary Education BA
Austin Allen Secondary Education BA
Cassidy Bamman Secondary Education BA
Amanda Bostwick Pre Secondary Educ
Shannon Bown Secondary Education BA
Hallie Buchanan Middle School Education BA
Jennifer Buffa Pre Early Childhood
Alison Bundy Secondary Education BA
Tressa Canaday Pre Early Childhood
Collin Chenoweth Pre Secondary Educ
Erasmo Concepcion Secondary Education BA
Chance Copeland Pre Secondary Educ
Jordan Davison Elementary Education BA
Erin Donovan Elementary Education BA
Mackenzie Doss Pre Early Childhood
Jamie Dowell Pre Early Childhood
Morgan Duffel Pre Education Middle School
Hannah Eckles Secondary Education BA
Kathryn Ehrhard Early Childhood Education BA
Daiwa Emmert Pre Secondary Educ
Brittany Espinoza Elementary Education BA
Thomas Fay Dual Major: Secondary Education & History BA
Joyce Fields Pre Early Childhood
Amber Finley Pre Education Middle School
Mariah Foerderer Elementary Education BA
Katlin Foote Early Childhood Education BA
William Getchell Secondary Education BA
Montana Grizzle Elementary Education BA
Leah Gurley Elementary Education BA
Jerrian Hall Elementary Education BA
Catherine Harper Middle School Education BA
Tarah Harvey Secondary Education BA
Kelsey Havner Elementary Education BA
Jessica Hendin Elementary Education BA
Megan Higgins Elementary Education BA
Patricia Hill Pre Elementary Educ
Alexis Howard Pre Education Middle School
Haley Jackson Early Childhood Education BA
Virginia Kelling Pre Education Middle School
Katherine Killeen Pre Education Middle School
Sarah Kuny Pre Elementary Educ
Leah LeMon Elementary Education BA
Sara Logan Secondary Education BA
Amber Lovisone Pre Secondary Educ
Jennie Masuch Early Childhood Education BA
Adilene Mendiola Elementary Education BA
Megan Mills Elementary Education BA
Marcos Miranda Pre Secondary Educ
Destiny Monroe Pre Elementary Educ
Rachael Morris Pre Elementary Educ
Makenzie Nichols Pre Elementary Educ
Corbin Novotny Middle School Education BA
Joshua O’Hora Dual Major: Secondary Education & History BA
Irvin Parga Middle School Education BA
Amanda Petersen Elementary Education BA
Lauren Reed Pre Education Middle School
Kei Rogers Elementary Education BA
Stephanie Russell Middle School Education BA
Jacquelyn Schanzle Elementary Education BA
Jacqueline Seidelman Elementary Education BA
Laurel Shoger Middle School Education BA
Martha Soto Elementary Education BA
Lori Sparks Early Childhood Education BA
Erica Stevens Early Childhood Education BA
Carissa Sulzen Pre Elementary Educ
Vincent Terranova Dual Major: Secondary Education & History BA
Paulina Urzola Pre Secondary Educ
Audrey Van Camp Secondary Education BA
Kristen Wade Elementary Education BA
Lucy Waldemer Pre Elementary Educ
Megan Walker Secondary Education BA
Shampayne Walker Elementary Education BA
Garrett Wendel Middle School Education BA
Leslie Wentzel Secondary Education BA
Kourtney Williams Elementary Education BA
Ashley Wolf Middle School Education BA
Vince Woods Pre Secondary Educ
Jessica Woodson Elementary Education BA
Sydni Young Pre Elementary Educ
Casey Zollmann Elementary Education BA

UMKC Legacy Award honorees include two SOE alums

Josephine Mannino Cisetti and John Cisetti among 24 alumni from three connected families honored with UMKC’s 2017 Legacy Award


The late Josephine Mannino Cisetti (B.A. ’45) was a first generation college student who graduated from UMKC’s predecessor, the University of Kansas City, and then went on to teach elementary school in the Kansas City Public Schools for 40 years.  She began her career at Carlisle Elementary and retired from Whittier Elementary School in 1985.  After the Second World War, Mannino Cisetti also taught English to adult refugees and immigrants from Europe during evening classes.


One of her sons, John (M.A. ‘79, Ed.S. ‘85) also graduated from the School of Education after first earning his B.M.E. from the UMKC Conservatory in 1978.  He has been the director of bands at Kansas USD 416 and band director of the Louisburg (Kansas) High School Band for 38 years where he teaches hundreds of students in grades five through 12 every weekday.


Under Cisetti’s direction, the Wildcat Band at Louisburg High School boasts 139 members and is the largest organization at the school. Cisetti and the band have made appearances at local, regional and national events in places like New York City, Washington D.C., Indianapolis, St. Louis, Chicago and Dallas. They have played in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, in the Indy 500 Parade and at patriotic events such as the wreath-laying ceremonies at the Navy Memorial in Washington D.C. and the Flight 93 National Memorial in Somerset County, PA.   Cisetti will lead the Louisburg High School Band in the 2018 Rose Parade in Pasadena, CA, on January 1, 2018—only one of 13 bands nationwide chosen to march in that parade.


“I want my students to have a lifelong love for and appreciation of music,” asserts Cisetti. “But the lessons of band go beyond music. In band, students work together on a complex project with many different parts to produce a product in which they can all take pride. America needs citizens who have that collaborative, creative skillset in order to be successful in the modern, competitive world. I believe that what I do day in and day out is vitally important for my students, for the community, and for the nation.”


Throughout his time as an educator, Cisetti has been honored with a number of awards and recognitions. He was named Louisburg Master Teacher of the Year in 2000, a semifinalist for the 2001 Kansas Teacher of the Year, the Wal-Mart Local Teacher of the Year in 2007, and, most recently, he received the 2015 Northeast Kansas Music Educators Association Outstanding High School Band Director Award.


Mannino Cisetti’s granddaughter and Cisetti’s daughter, Catherine, is an elementary teacher currently enrolled in the Education Specialist degree program at the School of Education.


In total, 25 Roos help comprise the Cisetti-Orozco-Madden family.  They were honored at the 2017 Alumni Awards luncheon held on campus in April.


View the video tribute to the family.

Congratulations to the School of Education’s newest graduates

The class of 2017 officially became UMKC alumni on May 13 after undergraduate and graduate students crossed the stage at Swinney Recreation Center for the university’s formal commencement exercises.  Dean Justin Perry served as commencement speaker, where he stressed that School of Education graduates are “fundamentally in the business of people, first” and must continually work to make a difference, “dedicating ourselves to causes greater than our own self-interests in Kansas City and elsewhere.”

Student-Athletes volunteer time at Berkley Center

Throughout the month of April, UMKC student-athletes teamed up with the UMKC Edgar L. and Rheta A. Berkley Child and Family Development Center (CFDC) to celebrate “Month of the Young Child.”


This annual celebration, sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), occurs every April and focuses on promoting the benefits of outdoor play and recess in schools and early childhood programs.


Student-athletes from the women’s soccer, women’s basketball and men’s basketball teams visited the Berkley Center to interact with the children and engage in sports and outdoor activities during recess.  Paige Husa, a School of Education junior pursing Middle School Social Studies, was among them.  Husa is a center for the UMKC women’s basketball team.


“The children at Berkley absolutely love playing any type of game, especially basketball and soccer, with the UMKC student-athletes,” shared Polly Prendergast, director of Berkley CFDC. “We are so fortunate to have representation from both our women and men athletics teams each year during the Month of the Young Child. The children’s interactions with the student-athletes are so intentional and they seem to flourish with the interactions and relationships they build. Both the girls and the boys always have bright smiles on their faces and just delight in playing with the UMKC students.”


“I love volunteering at Berkley,” explained Husa.  “Not only because I have a blast playing with the kids, but I also get hands on experience for my future career in education. While I may be preparing to teach middle school kids, it is so neat to see how a child’s mind works at such a young age. Berkley gave both me and my teammates that opportunity.


Amelia Howard, assistant director of Academic Support at UMKC, noted “We always look forward to Month of the Young Child.  The student-athletes enjoy being able to interact and play with the children at the Berkley Center and show them how much fun playing sports can be.”


Since 1993, Berkley has been part of the UMKC School of Education and serves as a learning laboratory for early childhood education students. 

Take your career to the next level and teach in Japan

The UMKC School of Education’s Continuing and Professional Education division is collaborating with Musashino University (MU), Ariake Koto, Japan, on the launch of Chiyoda International School – Tokyo (CHIST) in 2018. CHIST will be a private, English speaking international school in Japan that is modeled after western K-12 schools in the United States.


MU will open the CHIST elementary school with one grade level in April 2018 and will add one additional grade level at the elementary, middle and high schools until all grade levels (1st -12th) have been instituted. CHIST aims to foster “abilities for deep understanding” in its students, by providing them with world cutting edge education that includes UbT (Understanding by Technology) and high-literacy education, which assists the students with playing important roles with diverse perspectives in various fields in the future.


The UMKC School of Education and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Education are currently recruiting teachers with at least three years of classroom experience on behalf of CHIST.  Those hired will begin in September 2017.


This opportunity allows teachers to help lead in the development of a new school and grow in their profession.  In addition to salary and housing allowances, enrichment and travel opportunities await.


To apply or for more information visit

New officers elected for School of Education Student Government

SOESG officers, L-R: Leah LeMon; incoming president Andie Drummond; outgoing president Breanna He; John Martinez, Tressa Canaday and Haley Jackson. Not pictured: Ayesha Mahomed, Anna-Marie Harness, Marina Khan and Austin Wetrich.

Congratulations to the new officers elected this spring to serve on the UMKC School of Education’s Student Government (SOESG) for the 2017-18 academic year:

  • Andie Drummond, president, Senior, Middle School Language Arts
  • Leah LeMon, vice president, Senior, Elementary Education
  • Ayesha Mahomed, secretary, Junior, Elementary Education
  • Anna-Marie Harness, treasurer, Sophomore, Elementary Education
  • Marina Khan, senator/representative, Ph.D. student, Counseling
  • Austin Wetrich, senator/representative, Junior, Elementary Education
  • John Martinez, student activity fund, Senior, Secondary Education
  • Haley Jackson, faculty meeting representative, Sophomore, Early Childhood Education
  • Tressa Canaday, faculty meeting representative, Senior, Early Childhood Education


SOESG officers strive to expand the students’ academic concerns and abilities; promote student involvement in the SOE and the University; act on all matters concerning students’ welfare; aid faculty and students in cooperative work; and to promote a professional attitude and feeling of responsibility.


Questions or concerns may be directed to

UMKC charter school students to benefit from ZooED curriculum

Photo credit: Kristen Reese

The Kansas City Zoo, in collaboration with UMKC’s Charter School Center and the School of Education’s Continuing and Professional Education, has introduced its ZooED curriculum to all nine School of Education sponsored charter schools in preparation for the 2017-18 academic year.


One of those charter schools, University Academy (UA), trained 17 teachers, grades kindergarten to 2nd grade, on the ZooED program last month.  “I like how the lessons are all tied to standards!  It makes it easier to add into our curriculum when I already know what standards it ties into and how,” said Lauren Miller, second grade teacher at UA.  “I also like the books that were chosen.  They are a great mixture of fiction and non-fiction, as well as interesting to the kids.”


In the first part of the program the students will Meet the Animal, which can introduce students to up to 26 different animals.  The lessons are all based on Math, Language Arts, and College and Career Readiness Standards, with geography, science, art and poetry as additional elements to the curriculum.  There has been immediate engagement from the students. “I have students asking to read the provided books during independent reading time,” said Ruth Godwin, first grade teacher at UA.  They love sharing the information with the class.”


Another benefit to the ZooED program is the development of a community partnership.  “Some of our kids do not get the experience of places such as the Zoo,” explained Miller.  “This, as well as other programs, enables them to go to places they might not get to otherwise.”


The second part of the program, Manage the Animal, is recommended for grades 4-6.  In this project-based part, students will learn about zoo careers and take on the roles of zookeepers, veterinarians, nutritionists and educators.  For the third part of the program, Maintain the Animal, students will learn about the role of genetics in animal conservation.  This portion is recommended for grades 8 and up.


For more information on the ZooED program, how to become a ZooED teacher or to schedule ZooED curriculum training for your charter school, visit the KC Zoo website.


UMKC School of Education programs earn top-tier designations

DESE releases performance report


The School of Education at the University of Missouri-Kansas City is celebrating after release of a new performance report from the state agency that oversees Missouri’s public schools.


Missouri’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) in March released its first-ever Annual Performance Reports for teacher preparation programs at colleges and universities in the state. Fourteen of UMKC’s certification programs received “Tier 1” designations.

“We were extremely gratified to earn Tier 1 designations for all of our ranked programs,” said Justin Perry, Ph.D., dean of the UMKC School of Education.  “This is a testament to the quality of instruction our faculty provides, and the talent and dedication of our students and alumni.”


According to DESE, the Annual Performance Reports are based on five years of reporting by educator preparation programs at Missouri colleges and universities. The programs reported how many candidates passed the certification exam within two tries and the content area grade point average for teacher candidates. The results also include survey results from first-year teachers, new principals and the principals’ supervisors as to the preparation program’s effectiveness.


In their presentation to the State Board, DESE articulated three purposes for the APR: “accredit the certification programs, provide annual data to guide continuous improvement of certification programs, and inform the public about quality.”


Link to full report.



Alfred Tatum Encourages Challenging African American Boys with Advanced Texts

National statistics on literacy are discouraging, but Justin Perry, dean of the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Education, says that he is encouraged by recent news of local efforts to combat those daunting statistics.


However, there is still a lot of work to do, especially for advancing the literacy development of African-American boys, a subject that Alfred Tatum, Ph.D., of the University of Illinois at Chicago, has researched and written about for nearly 25 years — a topic about which nearly 400 elementary and secondary educators and administrators, community members and even children flocked to the UMKC Student Union to hear.


The UMKC School of Education’s eighth annual Urban Education and Community Forum on April 3 featured Tatum as the keynote speaker. Tatum discussed ways to unbind the narrative suffocating the literacy development of so many of our nation’s children. He also presented a model aimed to advance the literacy development of low- and high-performing readers and writers, specifically black males in grades three through 12.


“Literacy is about decoding text, decoding the universe,” Tatum said. “It improves our lives and the public good.”


His presentation, Text as a Tool of Protection,” paralleled the lack of writing and reading skills to “muzzles on mouths,” indicating that literacy is a restoration of identity. Tatum said that there is power in the ability to read and write and suggested that educators challenge children to understand, become knowledgeable about and write about advanced texts.


However, Tatum acknowledged that mediocracy and the creation of reading levels have taken over America’s schools.


Schools, according to Tatum, are now focused more on teaching to the test and teaching grade-level texts. But, Tatum said, “When you level text, you level lives.” Tatum says it is just a matter of children’s literacy, because “powerful texts, in tandem with powerful reading and writing instruction, can have a significant influence on the lives of all students.”


He challenged the audience to be conscientious of how they speak to and about children, explaining that how society talks about black boys impacts their literacy development.  He warned against labeling low-performing readers as “at risk” and implying that they are destined for failure if they do not know the alphabet by the time they begin kindergarten.


Following his presentation, Tatum engaged in a Q & A session with audience members, both children and educators. Topics of discussion included how to challenge black boys to recognize their individual value, incorporating differentiation into the classroom without crippling students, presenting advanced texts despite the curriculum of required reading and, for one adolescent boy, how to launch a book club with his peers.