2005 Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll

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

James L. Antos

Argentine High School, 1970James L. Antos

Every day James Antos gives students a reason to believe in themselves.

As principal at Central Middle School, Antos is not only an administrator to staff, but also an adviser to students. He believes that by working together with students and parents, he can foster positive relationships and help to guide students toward bright futures.

Growing up in the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools, Antos said he was positively influenced by a number of teachers. But his sixth-grade teacher at Noble Prentis perhaps made the most positive impact. She was a teacher who prompted students to think for themselves.

"She encouraged it, demanded it and expected it," he remembers. "She wasn't going to settle for anything less than you getting a good education in her classroom."

Antos has devoted his 30-year career to Kansas City, Kansas students serving in a number of capacities as an educator. He began as a teacher at Northwest Junior High, and has also taught at Northeast Junior High, and Sumner and Wyandotte high schools. He was assistant principal at Central before becoming principal in 1993.

He said one of the biggest challenges he has as an educator is persuading students to stay in school. Many students, he said, are pressured to get jobs so they can earn money to help their families. But, he believes a solid education, including college, is the only way students can reach their full potential.

So he has worked to foster relationships with the community and local businesses to support students in their educational endeavors. One such partner is Colgate Palmolive which supports a number of incentive programs rewarding students for good grades and good behavior.

"I believe in the power of education. It is a vehicle students can use to better their lives, and the lives of their children," he said.