Meet the dedicated team working with our partner schools and organizations to prepare the next generation of dynamic school leaders and to create excellent educational opportunities for students.

Arthur (Gus) Jacob
Gus leads the UMKC PLUS initiative, identifying future residents, developing partnerships with school districts, and supporting the work of the UMKC PLUS Leadership Coaches. You can reach Gus with any questions about this program at

Shelly Beech
Shelly joined the ELPF division this June as an associate professor of professional practice.

Shelly serves as a UMKC-PLUS program leadership coach and teaching courses in PK-12 educational administration for ELPF.

Shelly joins us aftera distinguished career in the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools, in which she served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, human resources director, and professional development director.

Most recently, she has served as a school-wide positive behavioral interventions and supports (SW-PBIS) consultant at the Kansas City Regional Professional Developmental Center (KC-RPDC), housed in the SOE.

Selia Ramirez
Selia provides administrative support for the UMKCPLUS initiative and collaborates with the UMKC PLUS teamon resident admission to UMKC educational leadership degree programs. You can reach Selia at

Hubert Gordon
I began my teaching career in the NYC Public schools in 2001, working in the South Bronx. I tried my hand at various roles in the NYC public schools, everything from a teacher union representative to business manager, and ultimately assistant principal. In 2007 I ventured overseas and worked at the International Community School of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where I served as the literacy coach, Pk –8 principal, Elementary Principal, and later Deputy Head of School. While in Ethiopia, I spent a year consulting with local private schools, and I served as the Interim Dean at Holy Trinity Theological College. Upon returning to the United States of America, I joined the Stamford Public School system in Connecticut, where I served as an Elementary Principal. After which, I decided to dedicate some time to religious service, and I took a position as an associate priest, which landed me here in Kansas City. This year is my 20thyear in education. I have completed graduate degrees in Teaching and Educational Administration.

You can reach Hubert at

Our Partner Organizations and Schools

We are proud to partner with schools and organizations that are working to create excellent educational opportunities for Kansas City students.

Partner Organizations:

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, which funds UMKC PLUS, was established in the mid-1960s by the late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman. The Kauffman Foundation is based in Kansas City, Mo., and is among the largest private foundations in the United States with an asset base of approximately $2 billion. The foundation’s vision is to foster a society of economically independent individuals who are engaged citizens in their communities.

The Hall Family Foundation is a private philanthropic organization that makes grants to community programs in the greater Kansas City area.

The Sherman Family Foundation iis dedicated to causes, in and around Kansas City, that enhance human dignity and unlock individual potential. It supports, protects and cherishes effective schools and education programs that focus on children who live in poverty.

The Walton Family Foundation is working to expand opportunities and empower children and families with educational options. Since 1992, we have invested more than $1.3 billion in K-12 education and supported a quarter of the 6,700 charter schools created in the United States.

TNTP operates the national network of PLUS programs that UMKC PLUS belongs to. TNTP launched the first PLUS program in Philadelphia in 2013, and now trains school leaders in seven sites nationwide.  A national nonprofit founded by teachers, TNTP works at every level of the public education system to attract and train talented teachers and school leaders, ensure rigorous and engaging classrooms, and create environments that prioritize great teaching and accelerate student learning.

Our School Partners:

We continuously add school partners, so please check back for the latest additions.