2002 Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll

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

Valera Jefferson

 Sumner High School — Class of 1962Valera Jefferson

The education Valera Jefferson received at Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools gave her reasons to believe. One experience, in particular, taught her to trust in her abilities. It was during her eighth-grade year and Valera was selected to give a speech over the school's intercom on the history of Kansas. She studied, prepared, and successfully presented her speech. The opportunity to face and meet a challenge taught Valera she could succeed, and more important, that she wanted to help others succeed.

Valera took this lesson and pursued a career in education after her graduation from Sumner High School in 1962. She began her college career at Kansas City, Kansas Community College and transferred to the University of Kansas, where she earned a bachelor's degree in elementary education in 1966. She earned her master's degree in curriculum, instruction, and administration from the University of Kansas in 1977.

Valera is currently the School Improvement Facilitator for two schools in the Kansas City, Kansas School District – Douglass Elementary and New Chelsea Elementary. During her 36 years with the district she has been an elementary classroom teacher, principal, grade-level coordinator, and Title I supervisor. Her involvement in the community includes the Wyandotte County Parents University, where she serves as a presenter and member of the steering committee; Delta Kappa Gamma Society for teachers, past local president; Youth Friends mentor; and member of the International Reading Association and Sumner High School Alumni Association.

A Kansas City, Kan., native, Valera attended Grant Elementary School, Northeast Junior High, and graduated from Sumner High. She currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Donald. They have one son, Arnett.