KCK Board Announces Names of Finalists for Superintendent of Schools

June 19, 2018


Contact: Melissa Fears, Director of Communications and Marketing (913) 279-2225

The Kansas City, Kansas Board of Education will interview the following individuals this week for superintendent: Dr. Jayson Strickland, deputy superintendent for Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools, and Dr. Charles Foust, chief school performance officer for Union County Public Schools.

The Meet-and-Greet sessions will be held from 5 to 6 p.m. in the board room at the Central Office and Training Center, 2010 N. 59th St., Kansas City, Kansas on the following dates:

  • Wednesday, June 20 – Meet finalist Dr. Jayson Strickland
  • Thursday, June 21 – Meet finalist Dr. Charles Foust

The following are biographies for both finalists for the superintendent position:

Dr. Jayson Strickland

stricklandDr. Jayson Strickland is a dedicated, progressive, forward-thinking educator who has moved up the ranks within Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools (KCKPS) - serving in a number of instrumental roles and capacities to further the progress of students, staff and the community.

Dr. Strickland has served young people in the Kansas City, Kansas community for more than three decades, beginning with his family’s preschool Peppermint Child-Care Center. He began his professional educational career as a third-grade teacher in 1993. He would later serve as a third-grade teacher at William Allen White Elementary School from 1994 until he became the program director for Kidzone, a before and after school program administered by the school district.

 Among his leadership roles are the following:

  • a cohort leader at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), where he taught graduate-level courses and advised students from 2000 to 2003
  • principal of Caruthers Elementary School from 2000 to 2005
  • executive director of KCKPS from 2005 to 2010
  • assistant superintendent of teaching and learning of KCKPS from 2010 to 2012
  • assistant superintendent of secondary schools of KCKPS from 2012 to 2017

 Today, Dr. Strickland is the Deputy Superintendent for Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools. He was promoted to this position in the summer of 2017. His passion for education is at the forefront of his leadership in curriculum, instruction and early childhood through 12th grade programs. It is this passion that drives his leadership in overseeing the highly-praised and successful Diploma+ initiative. Diploma+ is an innovative, initiative focused on graduating each KCKPS student with a high school diploma plus at least one of following seven endorsements:

  • completion of one year of college,
  • completion of an industry-recognized certificate or credential,
  • achievement of at least 21 on the ACT or 1060 on the SAT,
  • completion of an IB Diploma Programme or Career-Related Programme,
  • acceptance into the military,
  • completion of a qualified internship or industry-approved project, and
  • an approved plan for post-secondary transition.

Through his leadership and the work of staff, partners and community leaders, the school district celebrated 53% of students graduating Diploma+ in 2017.  His aggressive pursuit of ensuring high school students graduate Diploma+ led to dynamic collaborations with the University of Kansas Edwards Campus for the “Degree In 3” program to enable students to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in only three years, as well as, a partnership with Kansas City Kansas Community College for the Concurrent/Dual Enrollment of students in college-level courses.

Dr. Strickland graduated from Washington High School and attended Grace Lutheran from kindergarten through the 8th grade. He received a bachelor’s degree in education from Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, a master’s and specialist education degree in educational leadership and a doctorate in educational administration from the University of Missouri- Kansas City(UMKC).

Having lived in Kansas City, Kansas all of his life, Dr. Strickland knows the metropolitan area well and uses his talents and skills to give back to the people and the community he feels strongly about. He is the president of the Mount Carmel Redevelopment Board of Directors, as well as serves on the University of Missouri-Kansas City Education Advisory Council, the UMKC Leadership Grant Committee and the Learning Clubs of Kansas City Board of Directors.

He is a 2018 inductee in the Mid-America Education Hall of Fame, a 2015 Reasons to Believe Honor Roll Alumni inductee and a recipient of the UMKC Vice Chancellor Honor.

Dr. Strickland has a passion for the growth and success of all young people. His mission is to support student achievement by leading work that collaboratively engages all stakeholders to create the best educational environment for students and staff so they are best prepared for an evolving future.

Dr. Charles Foust

foustDr. Charles Foust, Chief School Performance Officer from Union County Public Schools (UCPS) is a leader in transformational education, guiding leaders to improve education so that students receive a quality education daily.  He is a certified practicing leader with hands-on experience developing staff, teachers and school leaders, guided by the conviction that leading is about simultaneously improving individual lives, transforming systems and in turn, achieving lasting social and academic change.

Before coming to UCPS, Dr. Foust was a school support officer for Houston Independent School District. In his role, he supervised, coached and mentored principals as well as managed programs that improved math and reading, reduced retentions and dropouts while increasing graduates, and increased the number of effective teachers.

Dr. Foust also served as a principal (middle and elementary), assistant principal (middle and elementary) and curriculum facilitator (high school). He has several years of experience in the classroom, having taught at the elementary and university and community college level.

Dr. Foust received a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a master’s degree in Instructional Technology from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, a master’s degree in School Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a doctoral degree in Professional Leadership from the University of Houston.

Prior to joining UCPS, he coached and supervised principals at the elementary and secondary levels.  He led Brooks Global Studies to become one of the top performing elementary schools within Guilford County Schools in North Carolina.  Brooks Global Studies is a school that focuses on diverse cultures and prepares students to be knowledgeable citizens of a global society.  He has been an assistant principal (elementary and middle), magnet school coordinator (elementary), curriculum facilitator (high school), elementary teacher (5th and 4th grades), and tutor (reading, algebra and geometry).

Under Foust’s leadership, schools have become top performing, moving from low-performing while closing the achievement gaps.  He has restructured strategic plans to target a set of high-impacted priorities, among them: design a more effective, performance-driven, student-centered educational system in his schools.  He meets with assistant principals within his schools quarterly to develop the next generation of school leaders. 

Foust was a highly effective principal in high-performing and turnaround schools. He led Fondren Middle School to become one of the top performing Apollo Middle schools in Houston Independent School District. Under his leadership, the school received several state distinctions in the first year.  He led the school through the International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme process, receiving authorization and becoming a fully accredited program within the three years as a turnaround principal. Additionally, the school became a Steven Covey- Leader In Me School.

The Meet-and-Greet sessions will present opportunities for the public to talk with the finalists, submit questions to them, and leave written comments for the board about them. Those written comments will be delivered to the board who will not be present at the sessions.

The board will interview the finalists in executive sessions at 6:15 p.m. on Wednesday, June 20 and Thursday, June 21.

If you have questions, please contact the Superintendent’s Office at 913.279.2235

Click here to download the English Meet-and-Greet FlyerHaga clic aqui para descargar la version en Español.