Annual Reasons to Believe Celebration is Nov. 21


Contact:  Tammy Dodderidge, communications manager, (913) 279-2225

Twelve distinguished graduates of the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools (KCKPS) will be celebrated for their career achievements and community involvement as they are inducted into the 11th Alumni Honor Roll of the Reasons to Believe program. The induction ceremony and celebration will take place Thursday, November 21 on the first floor of the KCKPS Central Office and Training Center, 2010 N. 59th St. The event begins at 7 p.m. and is open to the public.

Board of Education President Dr. Evelyn Hill will welcome guests, and honorees will be introduced by the current principals of their alma maters. The KCKPS Harp Ensemble will perform, directed by Aimee DeSotel and Diana Raney Smerka. Superintendent Dr. Cynthia Lane will speak about the reasons to believe in today's students.

The Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll annually showcases the high caliber of graduates that the district produces and brings a select group of them together with staff, students, community members, colleagues and key leaders for a night of honors.

Members of the 2013 Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll are:

  • Anna Lu Brune, retired from the Wyandotte County Treasurer's Office, Washington High School Class of 1948
  • Larry Drew, head coach for the Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association, Wyandotte High School Class of 1976
  • Niki Economy, retired KCKPS teacher, Wyandotte High School Class of 1955
  • Joni Franklin, attorney, Washington High School Class of 1989
  • Michael Harrity, an associate athletics director at the University of Notre Dame, Sumner Academy of Arts and Science Class of 1995
  • Kevin Harvey, education consultant/US Army, J.C. Harmon High School Class of 1983
  • Herman T. Jones, II, Shawnee County sheriff, Wyandotte High School Class of 1978
  • Keith Mark, attorney, Washington High School Class of 1978
  • Linda Pendleton, retired Board of Education member/realtor, Argentine High School Class of 1964
  • Linnie Poke, KCKPS educator/principal, Sumner High School Class of 1974
  • Janelle Monae Robinson, professional musician/producer, F.L. Schlagle High School Class of 2001
  • Megan Randle-Robinson, critical care nurse and nursing instructor, Washington High School Class of 1999

Reasons to Believe was established in 2002 to generate pride and celebrate the progress being made throughout the district. As part of the program, nominations are sought for the Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll, which spotlights successful alumni to encourage and inspire today's students.

To review past honor roll classes or to learn more about the program, go to

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Melissa Fears • Communications Office
2010 N. 59th Street • Kansas City, KS 66104 • 913-279-2242