KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Six months later, Kansas City Public Schools has a new permanent superintendent, and it’s a familiar face.
On Wednesday night, the Kansas City Public Schools board of directors announced Interim Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Collier will take over the role.
Collier took over in August after Dr. Mark Bedell resigned last year. Prior to being named interim, she was deputy superintendent of the district.
In the months since, the district held multiple community town halls as it searched for a new leader. Collier received widespread support at many of the forums.
“She knows children. She knows this neighborhood. She’s home grown,” school secretary Erika Taylor said.
At the beginning of the school year, Collier said her goal was for the district to focus on literacy improvements and enrollment.
In the six months that Collier has led the district, Kansas City Public Schools has also moved ahead with its Blueprint 2030 plan, which details what the district hopes to achieve in coming years. After pushback, the board voted to close just two schools instead of 10.
“Closures are necessary. I wish it were not true. It doesn’t feel good to say that, and I wish it were not true, but it is true given our current reality,” Collier said.
The plan is to keep the other eight schools on the list open. To pay for the buildings, Kansas City’s school board is considering asking taxpayers to approve a bond measure.
The district also has a goal of increasing enrollment in Kansas City schools by 4,000 students over the next 7 years.