KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A charter school superintendent from Kansas City is traveling to the Dominican Republic to help out a school there. But he's not helping them with academics or school administration. What he's doing requires a bit more sweat.
Danny Tipton is the former principal at Hogan Prep High and is now superintendent of the newly expanded Hogan School District. He's been selected as one of 40 secondary school professionals heading to the Caribbean on a very special service mission. He's not going there to teach them about how he runs his school here. He's actually going to learn about building a school brick by brick.
"Actually laying bricks, mixing concrete, and whatever else they ask us to do," says Tipton, "but it's all manual labor."
The mission trip is part of the Lifetouch Memory Mission. Last year volunteers started construction of the new school in a rural area, and this year Tipton and 40 some volunteers will add new classroom space.
"It's in a rural area of the country and they had a need to provide an education for their kids and a place for them to go to school," said Tipton. "Obviously education is important to me."
Kids at Hogan High are supporting the cause too. They paid two dollars to wear hats at school on Monday and the money helps pay for bricks and cement. They're excited to help support the cause.
"Kids everywhere need a good education no matter where you are, it's really important," said Jessica Harvey, Hogan senior.
"I think it's a wonderful thing that my principal is helping build a school so they can get an education," said Kwan Laury, senior.
Tipton says he's taking Hogan t-shirts to give to the kids there and he hopes to come back with a greater understanding of the community and schools. He hopes his students learn from this too.
"If we live in a global society we need to make sure our neighbors are taken care of as well as ourselves," he said.
Tipton leaves for the Dominican Republic Tuesday morning.