2011 Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll

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

Mary McConnell, Ph.D.

Wyandotte High School, 1967
Mary McConnell, Ph.D.

It takes a unique person to work in the field of special education, and that's why it works for Mary McConnell.

She is known both locally and nationally for her work in the area of functional behavior assessments. As an educational consultant, she has worked with teachers at all levels, empowering them to be more effective in their instructional techniques. In addition to her work as a consultant, she also currently serves as a school improvement special education consultant for the Regional Professional Development Center at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Her role is to provide technical support and training for general and special education teachers and administrators in the KC metro area.

She has written and published several articles and books, including, Effective Teaching Practices for 21st Century Christian Educators, and Functional Assessment: A Systematic Process for Assessment and Intervention in General and Special Education Classrooms. She is also the co-author of Assessing Diverse Learners: Training-of-Trainers Manual developed for the Kansas State Department of Education.

Growing up, she said she always knew she wanted to be an educator and she still loves her work as much today as she did when she started her career right out of college. Her first job was as a special education teacher at Rosedale Middle School.

As for her writing skills, she credits her high school newspaper advisor for giving her reasons to believe in herself, and for nurturing her love of writing.

In 2000, she was named "A Woman of Distinction" by the Friends of Yates, Inc., and received the "Christian Woman of the Year" by Alpha Epsilon Chapter, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority in 1990. Recent awards include the 2008 Community Changer Award and the Alice B. Neely Williams Outstanding Graduate Soror Award by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority in 2010.

A Question and Answer Video of Mary McConnell has been posted on SchoolTube (Time: 5:55).