2014 Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll

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Role models who give us Reasons to Believe in the power of education

Dr. Jayson Strickland

Washington High School, 1989

Dr. Jayson StricklandJayson Strickland has been connected to the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools (KCKPS) all of his life. He is proud to continue his family’s legacy and dedication to serving students.

Strickland is the assistant superintendent for secondary education for KCKPS. It’s not only his work, but also his background that makes him an invaluable asset to the district. He has spent his entire career in KCKPS. His positions have included teacher, assistant principal, principal, executive director for elementary instruction and director of curriculum. He has been an assistant superintendent for four years. His favorite part of his work is watching students grow and watching leaders grow.

He knew that he always wanted to be a teacher because his family was so involved in the education system. Their positions ran the gamut from educators to nutritional services staff, and from bus drivers to custodians. He feels like there is no separation between his family and education. And he is proud when he sees the names of his grandfather, Roosevelt Strickland, and grandmother, Mabel, and many other family members’ names, on the Sumner High School historical marker that was erected by alumni at the school’s original site at 9th and Washington.

Strickland’s first male teacher inspired him to want to be an educator. He was a wonderful role model and as he progressed through school, Strickland imagined himself in that teacher’s position. He had planted a seed. That modeling, combined with Strickland’s family ties to education, brought him back home after college to live and teach in the district.

He remembers so many staff at Washington High School who gave him reasons to believe in himself. From his theater teacher to his assistant principal, they provided an expectation for him to do what was right, and helped to engage him in the educational process. A field trip to the state Capitol in Topeka has stayed with him all of these years. It was his first overnight trip away from home, and the experience opened his eyes to responsibility, leadership and independence.

Strickland’s advice for today’s students is: “education offers you an opportunity that will open doors for you if you take advantage of it.”