A Personal Thank You Note to Some KC MVPs

Lindsey Dolge, principal of grades 5 and 6, has been with the Kauffman School since it opened in 2011. 

Earlier this week a researcher from Mathematica Policy Research was asking me questions as part of my final interview regarding the five-year study they started in 2011 of the Kauffman School, which wraps up this year.

While Mathematica’s findings regarding student results at the school are exceptional (you can see preliminary information here), the question that prompted the most expansive feeling in me was, “When you think about the school, what are you most proud of?”

My answer, without hesitation – the people who work there.

My longer answer, also without hesitation – Hannah Lofthus, who founded and still leads the school. Jason Zimmerman, Lindsey Dolge, and Shelli Brown who taught at the school in its first year and continue to lead those amazing outcomes for students to this day. Nita Daniels, who took the job as dean of students in 2011 and has supported students and families ever since. Read more about Kauffman School staff here and Kauffman School teachers here.

That pioneering group started with a single fifth grade in 2011 and is joined today by dozens of educators committing themselves to hundreds of students preparing to be college graduates in grades 5-9. The phenomenal KC talent leading that work in our classrooms is featured in these teacher stories.

To the Kauffman School crew: I don’t see you as often as I want, but think about you a lot and I am always proud to be part of your work. Thank you.

As board chair of the Kauffman School, I am especially grateful for the work of that team, but there are great teachers and leaders in schools all around us. Before the school year ends, please drop a note or take time to say “thanks” to a teacher who shows up every day with the unwavering belief that all students deserve a chance to achieve the successes in school and life they deserve.

KC Teachers: We can never say thank you enough, but please remember to check out DonorsChoose for the KC match offer we hope supports as many of your classroom projects as possible.

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Aaron North

Aaron North is vice president of Education at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation, North served as the founding executive director of the Missouri Charter Public School Association (MCPSA). Before leading the startup effort at MCPSA, North worked in Minnesota as a charter school sponsor, school resource center director, and in the Minnesota Department of Education's Office of Choice and Innovation. He also served as secretary for an urban elementary charter school board in Minneapolis.