2008 Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll

Reasons to Believe logo

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

Wendell E. Maddox, Jr.

Sumner High School, 1965

Wendell E. Maddox, Jr.Wendell Maddox has built his career around serving others. His nonprofit career positions have included five years as executive director of Turner House, and 20 years as regional director of the Humane Society of the United States. Today, he is President and CEO of the United Way of Wyandotte County, helping to provide resources and support to local agencies that serve the community.

"I like giving to others and trying to make a difference in my community," he said.

Growing up in the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools, music was Maddox's passion. During high school at Sumner, he played drums in the jazz band, marching band and pep band. He credits Robert Clark, his band teacher, for giving him reasons to believe in himself. Clark saw talent in him and pushed him to reach his potential.

A job with the parks and recreation department during high school gave Maddox a taste of serving others and steered him toward his career in nonprofit work. But music remained with him as well. He was a nonprofit administrator by day and a musician by night for 25 years. He worked with many local greats including Carmel Jones, Frank Smith, Claude "Fiddler" Williams and traveled briefly with the nationally renowned Ink Spots.

Maddox served his country during the Vietnam War in the Navy before being transferred to the Marine Corp. He earned his associates degree in psychology from Miracosta College, in Oceanside, California in 1973. He also spent one year studying music and African studies at Palomar College in San Marcos, California. In 1999, he attended classes at Johns Hopkins University studying business and education.

He serves on the Boards of the KCK Chamber of Commerce, the Community Health Council of Wyandotte County and Donnelly College, among others.

Maddox wants today's students to take all relationships seriously "because you never know how different individuals will impact your life in the future."

 

2008 Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll

Reasons to Believe logo

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

Susan Docking

Washington High School, 1973

Susan DockingSusan Docking has built a 30-year career as a Spanish teacher at middle and high schools in both Kansas and Missouri. She will retire in the spring of 2008 from the Olathe School District.

She credits her high school Spanish teacher, Sue Williams, for her lifelong career.

"The reason I am a Spanish teacher today is because of my high school Spanish teacher," she said. "She made class exciting and fun. I had always wanted to be a teacher, but after taking Spanish from her I knew that was what I wanted to do."

Docking's teaching skills have impacted more than public school students. She has spent time as a volunteer Spanish and/or ESL instructor at Ridgeview Retirement Villages and through the Center of Grace ESL Program.

But her true volunteer passion over the years has been with several organizations serving special needs children including the Olathe Special Olympics and Heartstrings Community Foundation.

The Dockings' second child, Blake, was born with Down Syndrome. After his birth, she and her husband, Gordon, became involved in organizations to raise awareness of the disability. Together they founded the Down Syndrome Guild of Greater Kansas City, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide support and resources for individuals with Down Syndrome and their families.

Docking attended Washington High School during the years when the school was on a split session schedule due to an overpopulation of students. There were nearly 800 students in her graduating class. She went to school in the afternoon during her sophomore year, and during the morning for her junior and senior years. One thing she missed was never having lunch at school.

"We had a lot of students, but we also had a lot of school spirit," she reflected.

Docking has a bachelor's degree in secondary education from the University of Kansas, and a master's degree in education from Emporia State University.

 

2008 Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll

Reasons to Believe logo

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

Michael P. Bautista, Ph.D.

Washington High School, 1970Michael P. Bautista, Ph.D.

Education has always been at the center of Michael Bautista's life. Through teaching and administrative work, he has positively impacted thousands of students over the years.

He has served as a principal, assistant professor, instructor and administrative director for secondary schools and colleges in the Midwest area. He has opened two performing arts centers and a magnet school for the arts.

Currently, he is associate vice president of learning and academic affairs at the Community College of Denver. He also serves as dean of the Center for Arts and Sciences, and recently developed and opened a Confucius Institute, the only one of its kind at a community college.

He has a bachelor's degree in music education from Kansas State Teachers College and a master's in theatre design and technology from Emporia State University. He earned his Ph.D. in fine arts administration from Texas Tech University in 1981. In 1989, he completed 46 hours of work in educational administration at Oklahoma State University.

His community involvement includes serving on the Board of the Colorado Alliance for the Arts in Education and the Rocky Mountain Arts Consortium.

Growing up in the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools, Bautista was so involved in his classes and extracurricular activities that he practically lived at school. He was an athlete and a member of the orchestra, band and choir. These activities provided him with both physical and mental outlets, and gave him teamwork experience.

He credits his high school vocal music teacher Don Wright and history teacher Lynn Sheppard for giving him reasons to believe in himself. Wright was his first voice teacher and asked him to be his assistant for the school musical. Sheppard supported Bautista in a historical film project that encompassed many technical and academic facets. It gave him an understanding of authentic learning that he uses with his students today.

 

2008 Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll

Reasons to Believe logo

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

Randall P. Kancel

Wyandotte High School, 1971

Randall P. KancelA former high school classmate of Randy Kancel's remembers him as a leader and role model, and these qualities still radiate in him today. As Community Bank President for UMB Bank, he goes above and beyond to ensure that his customers reach their financial goals, giving them the individualized support they need.

Kancel has had a prosperous career in Kansas City, Kansas that includes his current position, nine years as commercial real estate supervisor for Wyandotte County, and six years as vice president of Security Bank.

He credits his strong work ethic to his athletic background. Kancel began swimming at age seven for Victory Hills Country Club. One of his coaches, Pinky Haar, saw his passion and gift for the sport and encouraged him to join the Wyandotte High School swim team. So before his junior year, Kancel transferred from Bishop Ward High School to Wyandotte, helping the Bulldogs to a second place finish at the state high school championships. Kancel said Haar instilled in him the importance of setting goals, and gave him reasons to believe in himself.

Kancel attended the University of Kansas on a swimming scholarship and earned a bachelor's degree in journalism/public relations in 1976. In 1982, he received his MBA from Rockhurst University.

After earning his MBA, he applied for a job in the commercial real estate appraisal business. He was surprised to learn that his boss hired him due to his swimming background, and a reference from another Bulldog.

"Because I was a swimmer, he knew I would work hard, and that's one reason he chose me for the job," Kancel recalled.

His involvement in the community extends beyond his work at UMB. He is a board member on the KCK Chamber of Commerce, Wyandotte Development, Inc., and Cancer Action, Inc. He is a Member of the Appraisal Institute (MAI).

He wants today's students to remember to set goals and follow their passion.

 

2008 Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll

Reasons to Believe logo

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

Melissa A. Bynum

Sumner Academy of Arts and Science, 1981
Melissa A. Bynum

Melissa Bynum is a third generation Wyandotte Countian who is dedicated to her community.

As director of resource development for the Wyandotte County Chapter of the American Red Cross, she assists with fund raising, grant writing and marketing efforts for this service organization that provides relief to victims of disasters.

Bynum may be best known throughout the community for her nine years as executive director for the Leavenworth Road Association. During her term there, Wyandotte County was hit by a tornado in May 2003, leaving massive damage to property and homes. Bynum organized crews of volunteers to conduct weekly cleanups for two months to help residents through the crisis. She was recognized for these efforts and others when she received the 2004 Citizenship Award in the Best of Wyandotte County program.

Her involvement in community organizations is endless. She is president of the Shepherd's Center, a member of the Women's Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis West and the KCK/Wyandotte County Convention and Visitors Bureau Advisory Board.

She believes in the power of education and is thankful that the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools provided her with the education and life skills she needed to be successful. A dedicated student, she graduated summa cum laude from Sumner Academy of Arts and Science, where she was active on the basketball and volleyball teams, yearbook staff, vocal music and Spanish Club. She remembers many great teachers who gave her reasons to believe in herself, including Ginger Ireton, Stan Jasinskas and Ruth Campos.

Bynum is a 1985 graduate of Kansas State University, where she earned a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications.

Her advice for today's students is the same advice she gives to her own children: "Develop and maintain good study habits. You'll be amazed at how it will serve you later."