KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Six months later, Kansas City Public Schools has a new permanent superintendent, and he’s a familiar face.
The Kansas City Public Schools Board announced Wednesday evening that interim superintendent Dr. Jennifer Collier will take over the role.
Collier took over in August after Dr Mark Bedell stepped down last year. Before being named interim, she was deputy district superintendent.
Over the next several months, the district held several community halls as it searched for a new leader. Collier has received widespread support in many of the forums.
“She knows the children. You know this neighborhood. She was home raised,” said school secretary Erika Taylor.
As the school year began, Collier said her goal was for the district to focus on improving literacy and enrollment.
In the six months that Collier has led the district, Kansas City Public Schools has also moved forward with their Blueprint 2030 plan, which details what the district hopes to achieve in the coming years. After the pushback, the board voted to close just two schools instead of 10.
“Closures are necessary. I wish it weren’t true. That’s not nice to say, and I wish it weren’t true, but it is true given our current reality,” Collier said.
The plan is to keep the eight other schools on the list open. To pay for the buildings, the Kansas City School Board is considering asking taxpayers to approve a bond measure.
The district also has a goal to increase Kansas City school enrollment by 4,000 students over the next 7 years.