Reasons to Believe

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

This Year’s HonoreesAbout Reasons to BelieveNomination & Selection • Previous Years’ Honorees

This Year’s Honorees

Reasons to Believe logoThe Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools (KCKPS) will announce the members of the 2018 Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll soon. These are individuals whose accomplishments showcase their incredible skills and life stories, highlighting their perseverance, hard work and dedication. Their qualities exemplify to all of us why they are Reasons to Believe and inspirations to many.

Reasons to Believe was established in 2002 to generate pride and celebrate the progress being made throughout the school district. As part of the program, nominations are sought for the Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll, which spotlights successful alumni to encourage and inspire today’s students. The nominations are reviewed by a panel of judges that includes members of the Board of Education, Reasons to Believe Steering Committee, students, business leaders, and a former Alumni Honor Roll recipient.

For more information about the Reasons to Believe program, visit

The following honorees were celebrated at the Central Office and Training Center on Thursday, November 15 at 7 p.m.

  • Jeainnie Brown: certified public accountant, Hallmark Cards Inc. (1989 graduate, Wyandotte High School)
  • Janie Gaunce: president and chief executive officer of Grapevine Designs, LLC (1976 graduate, Washington High School)
  • Lyle Gibson: division chair, Social Sciences at Metropolitan Community College (1984 graduate, F.L. Schlagle High School.)
  • Neil Harris: president of Harris Data Storage in Lincoln, Nebraska, and chief executive officer of Harris Security and Protective Services in Scottsdale, Arizona (1980 graduate, J.C Harmon High School)
  • James Heggie: retired college administrator, University of Texas??? MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas (1968 graduate, Sumner High School)
  • Timothy Johnson: educator at Basehor-Linwood High School in Basehor, Kan., and former chief of police in Lindsborg, Kansas (1970 graduate, Wyandotte High School)
  • Linsey Lindberg: owner of Artisan Oddities and Entertainment, LLC in Austin, Texas (1998 graduate, Sumner Academy of Arts and Science)
  • James Lindesay: professor of physics at Howard University in Washington, D.C. (1972 graduate, Sumner High School)
  • Bettye Maddox: educator with Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools, and former local, state and national officer with the American Postal Workers Union (1962 graduate, Sumner High School)
  • Kathryn Lee Maddox-Ridley: retired educator with the Kansas City, Missouri School District and co-owner and educational consultant with Pathways to Learning, LLC (1972 graduate, Sumner High School)
  • Robert L. Milan, Sr.: president of the Northeast Economic Development Corporation (1952 graduate, Sumner High School)
  • Bishop Ervin Sims, Jr.: pastor of Mount Carmel Church of God in Christ (1965 graduate, Sumner High School.)