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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A surprise for many families with students in the Kansas City, Missouri, School District: Dr. Mark Bedell will be leaving Kansas City Public Schools after six years as superintendent.

“Over the past six years, with the leadership of Dr. Bedell, the KCPS Board, and with the efforts of our teachers, staff, and administrators, we have worked to educate, encourage and support our students. We have accomplished so much together. With gratitude and mutual respect, today we share with our community that Dr. Bedell will be leaving KCPS later this summer,” the district said in a statement.

Bedell’s resignation will be effective Aug. 5.

“I am truly indebted to you all. I would like to thank the leaders of our collective bargaining unit for collaborating on a more competitive salary schedule to recognize the hard work of Team KCPS. I also want to thank the many board members I have worked with, including our current board members, who have been outstanding partners in this work,” Bedell said.

Part of the reason for Bedell’s departure is because there are so many issues that need to be addressed and fixed that are beyond his and the district’s control.

“The issues that have kept me up many nights are not ones I can solve as superintendent. I’m talking about racism, injustice, a lack of affordable housing, inequitable economic development practices, violence and other systemic issues that cannot be solved in our classrooms alone,” Bedell said.

In his letter to families, Bedell credited other leaders with their help for working with the district to help it regain accreditation.

Bedell will now head to Maryland for his next job as superintendent of Anne Arundel County Public Schools. Bedell previously lived in the county.

Mayor Quinton Lucas released a statement after learning about Bedell’s decision.

“One of the leading school administrators in the country, Dr. Mark Bedell has transformed Kansas City Public Schools, regaining accreditation for our schools, improving the lives of thousands of children in our city, and providing stability in the position unknown to generations of Kansas Citians. 

“His belief in our children and their potential is unmatched and his leadership in relation to COVID and racial reckoning helped shepherd our city through tough times. More than anything, he is an exceptional father, husband, and teacher. Kansas City will miss him. I will miss him even more. I wish him well,” Lucas said.

The KCPS Board of Directors voted to make Deputy Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Collier Interim Superintendent for the 2022-23 school year. She will be introduced Friday morning during a news conference.

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