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Kauffman Education Fellowship
Who we are

Class of 2020 Fellows

Darryl Answer

Pastor, New Community Church

Micah Chrisman

Communications Manager, Alive and Well Communities

Sabrina Dowdy

Director of Programs, Show Me KC Schools

Meredith Doyle

Associate Athletic Director, Kansas City Public Schools


Crystal Everett

Real World Learning Coordinator, Kansas City Public Schools

Tonya Guinn

Senior Program Assistant, Kauffman Foundation

Tino Herrera

Congregational Care Pastor, United Methodist Church of the Resurrection

Samara Crawford

Director of Community Partnerships, SchoolSmartKC


Jorge Holguin

Manager of Community Organizing, LEANLAB Education

Adam House

Senior Program Officer, Entrepreneurship, Kauffman Foundation

Kiona Sinks

Community Engagement, Digital Marketing Strategy Manager, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

Brandy Lynch

Assistant Professor, Department of Nutrition and Kinesiology, University of Central Missouri


David McDaniel

Senior Pastor, Holmeswood Baptist Church

David John Rios

Retired Principal and School Administrator

Eva Santiago

Plaza Comunitaria Program Coordinator, Kansas City Public Schools


Andrea Sellers

Partner, Stinson LLP

Justin Stein

Statewide Organizing Director, Missouri Jobs with Justice

Rachel Svaty

Executive Director of Central Resources and CFO, United Methodist Church of the Resurrection

Chris Vukas

Director of Economic Development, Sunflower Development Group


Darryl Answer

Pastor, New Community Church

Year 1 Fellow

Darryl Answer was born and raised in London, England. He is currently co-pastor of New Community Church. Darryl has served in a variety of leadership roles within churches, non-profit organizations, and in community development. On Saturday mornings, you can usually find Darryl making breakfast with his daughter, Jaidyn, while listening (and singing along) to children’s movie soundtracks. #dadlife.


Micah Chrisman

Communications Manager, Alive and Well Communities

Year 1 Fellow

Micah Chrisman currently works as a communications manager for Alive and Well Communities. On Saturday mornings, Micah enjoys wilderness adventures with his doggo Raylah, as well as writing short stories and novels. To learn more about his other writing projects and activism, check out mjchrisman.com.


Sabrina Dowdy

Director of Programs, Show Me KC Schools

Year 1 Fellow

Sabrina Dowdy is the director of programs at Show Me KC Schools. She organizes a variety of programs and events designed to help families navigate school options in Kansas City’s education landscape. On Saturday mornings, you can usually find Sabrina taking a Peloton bootcamp class or at her family’s home for pancake breakfast. 


Meredith Doyle

Associate Athletic Director, Kansas City Public Schools

Year 1 Fellow

Meredith Doyle is the Associate Athletic Director for Kansas City Public Schools working with student-athletes, coaches and athletic directors across the district. Meredith serves on a Women’s Coaching Summit steering committee with local leaders advocating for women in coaching and administration roles. On Saturday’s you can usually find Meredith wrangling her children to go for a hike or heading to the lake with family.


Crystal Everett

Real World Learning Coordinator, Kansas City Public Schools

Year 1 Fellow

Crystal Everett, a native of Kansas City, Missouri and 2006 graduate of Lincoln College Prep, currently serves as the Real World Learning Coordinator for Kansas City Public Schools. She has over a decade of experience in education spaces, holding roles with various organizations. On Saturday mornings, you can usually find Crystal in full mommy mode, navigating YouTube Kids and eating bowls of cereal with her daughter.


Tonya Guinn

Senior Program Assistant, Kauffman Foundation

Year 1 Fellow

Tonya Guinn is a senior program assistant in Education for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, where she provides support for education-focused initiatives through program development, program management, conducting research and building relationships. As a Kansas City native, Tonya was a student in the Kansas City Public Schools K-12 and this drives her passion in doing what she can to work in establishing an equitable, fair, and quality education for all students in the urban core. On Saturday mornings, you can find Tonya riding her bicycle.


Martin (Tino) Herrera

Congregational Care Pastor, United Methodist Church of the Resurrection

Year 1 Fellow

Tino Herrera currently serves as one of the pastors in Congregational Care at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection. He currently serves on the board for Turn the Page KC, a non-profit organization that seeks to achieve reading proficiency for students in Kansas City.  On Saturday mornings, you will find Tino brewing up some coffee, a good book in one hand, and making scrambled eggs for his beloved wife, Kauffman Education Fellow Samara Crawford-Herrera.


Samara Crawford Herrera

Director of Community Partnerships, SchoolSmartKC

Year 1 Fellow

Samara Crawford Herrera is Director of Community Partnerships at SchoolSmart KC, where she works to convene, connect, leverage and drive key partners and stakeholders to support and demand quality of all schools on behalf of students and families within the Kansas City education community.  She is a veteran of the Navy and mother to one spirited teenage daughter. On Saturday mornings, you can usually find Samara laid out on the couch; coffee in one hand, a good book in the other and a trashy Lifetime movie on the TV.


Jorge Holguin

Manager of Communty Organizing, LEANLAB Education

Year 1 Fellow

Jorge believes that in order to create change, we must look at the education landscape through an equity glass. Jorge’s most recent project has been working on Preguntame, a platform that provides college-access resources and local support in collaboration with the Mid-Continent Public Library. On a Saturday morning, you can usually find Jorge hiking at Shawnee Mission Park or Clinton State Lake with his partner, Paola, and his daughter Melody.


Adam House

Senior Program Officer, Entrepreneurship, Kauffman Foundation

Year 1 Fellow

Adam has over 20 years of experience developing and supporting program management and strategic planning offices in the private, public and nonprofit sectors. On Saturday mornings you can catch Adam at the local soccer field or basketball court cheering for his daughter while applying ice to his knees and ankles as he continues to play Friday night adult soccer decades past his prime.


Kiona Hughes-Sinks

Community Engagement, Digital Marketing Strategist, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

Year 1 Fellow

Kiona is a community-minded connector with eight plus years of consistent volunteerism and community engagement. She is a community advocate, social & civic innovator, cause-driven equity leader, and immensely passionate about diversity & inclusion. On Saturday mornings you can usually find Kiona drinking coffee, going to the park, and enjoying the free-flowing weekend vibes.


Brandy Lynch

Assistant Professor, Department of Nutrition and Kinesiology, University of Central Missouri

Year 1 Fellow

Brandy Lynch is an Assistant Professor at the University of Central Missouri in the School of Teaching and Learning. She specializes in the application of technology in instruction and the analysis of effective teaching. On Saturday mornings, you can usually find Dr. Lynch riding her bike around town with her family.


David McDaniel

Senior Pastor, Holmeswood Baptist Church

Year 1 Fellow

Rev. David McDaniel is the Senior Pastor at Holmeswood Baptist Church. A significant personal focus for Rev. McDaniel is the work of justice and equality, particularly focused in Kansas City. On Saturday mornings, you can find Rev. McDaniel exploring various parks in the city with his wife and two daughters, ages 3 and 1, and then rooting for the Alabama Crimson Tide football team.


Janay Reliford-Davis

CEO, Camp Choice

Year 1 Fellow

Janay Reliford-Davis is a Kansas City native and graduated from Westport High School as a Kauffman Foundation “Project Choice” scholarship recipient. For the past 23 years Janay has served the Kansas City community through many social service agencies, in various capacities. On Saturday mornings, you can usually find Janay in bed meditating on life.


John Rios

Retired Principal and School Administrator

Year 1 Fellow

John Rios is a life-long resident of Kansas City, Kansas. He had a 34-year career in the KCKPS as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, dropout prevention specialist, and assistant superintendent. John enjoys sports, music, and time with family and friends. On Saturday mornings, you can usually find John doing yard work or chores around the house.


Eva Santiago

Plaza Comunitaria Program Coordinator, Kansas City Public Schools

Year 1 Fellow

Eva is a native New Yorker, former KCMO Police Officer, and current yoga instructor. Eva found a perfect fit at KCPS where she now is the Program Coordinator for Plaza Comunitiaria, a collaboration between The Mexican Consulate in Kansas City and KCPS that promotes health and wellness. “As the Program Coordinator my goal is to address the needs of the Latino school community, specifically our Dreamers, DACA recipients and our undocumented brothers and sisters.”  On Saturday mornings, you can usually find Eva running in Loose Park.


Andrea Sellers

Partner, Stinson LLP

Year 1 Fellow

Andrea Sellers, a partner at Stinson LLP, leverages her law degree (University of Iowa) and background in agricultural biochemistry (Iowa State University) to assist universities and companies to protect and commercialize their research in the chemical, biosciences, and animal health fields. Andrea’s volunteer activities include various education-focused programs. On Saturday mornings, you can usually find Andrea at the farmer’s market, in her own garden, or catching up on housework.


Justin Stein

Statewide Organizing Director, Missouri Jobs with Justice

Year 1 Fellow

Justin Stein is currently a Senior Organizer at Missouri Jobs with Justice, a statewide, grassroots organization that fights for racial, economic, and social justice. Justin has worked on campaigns to raise the minimum wage, protect union rights, expand Medicaid, and bring ethics reform to Missouri politics. Justin enjoys rock climbing, backpacking, gardening, and participating in his book club. On a typical Saturday morning you can find him at the climbing gym or, most likely, mowing his lawn.


Rachel Svaty

Executive Director of Central Resources and CFO, United Methodist Church of the Resurrection

Year 1 Fellow

Rachel Svaty is the CFO and executive director of Central Resources at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection. Central Resources includes finance & accounting; IT; HR & staff development; facilities & construction management; and safety, compliance, & risk management. On Saturday mornings, you can usually find Rachel paddle boarding, coaching her daughter’s volleyball team, or cooking a big breakfast for her family.


Chris Vukas

Director of Economic Development, Sunflower Development Group

Year 1 Fellow

Chris began his community development career helping to pioneer the use of New Market Tax Credits on Native American lands at Travois New Markets. New Market Tax Credits (NMTCs) are a tool to help provide capital in highly distressed census tracts to create living-wage jobs for low-income people or provide goods and services like healthcare, child-care and or grocery stores. On Saturday mornings, you can usually find Chris making breakfast for the family.