2003 Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll
Wyandotte High School – Class of 1970
“Homegrown talent” is a term frequently used to describe Freda Ogburn. Throughout her life, Freda has played many roles in the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools: student, parent, teacher, assistant principal, and her current position as the principal of Eisenhower Middle School. In each of these roles, her passion, caring, and positive attitude have always shown through.
Her dedication to the KCKPS started at John Fiske Elementary, Central Junior High School, and Wyandotte High School, where Freda was involved in a variety of activities including: orchestra, student council, cheerleading, and athletics. Today, she admits she came to school to participate in the many extracurricular activities, and school was secondary. She still managed to do well academically, consistently being named to the principal’s honor roll.
The next role Freda played in KCKPS was that of a parent. During the years her three sons were students, Freda became involved in the PTA. This experience sparked her interest in becoming an educator and motivated her to go back to school at Kansas City, Kansas Community College to earn an associate’s degree in education. She then continued her education at University of Kansas, where she earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree. She is currently working on her doctorate at the University of Kansas.
For Freda, there is, at times, little distinction between her roles. As the students at her school can vouch for, she treats them as if they were her own children. They view her not only as a principal, but also a role model, listener, source of wisdom, and a friend.
It is no surprise Freda has been the recipient of several awards for her role as a principal, including the Metropolitan Life Insurance Kansas Middle Level Principal of the Year Award. She also was featured as a “Hometown Hero” in the Kansas City Kansan. Freda still remains modest and says, “I haven’t done anything that anyone with supportive teachers and family couldn’t have done.”
Freda’s mother, Mary Cleveland was a teacher for the KCKPS for many years, and she remains her biggest supporter. Freda is married to Billy Ogburn, assistant principal at F.L. Schlagle High School. She has three adult sons, Brandon, Nathan, and Neil. Brandon and his wife, Staci, live in North Kansas City with Freda’s two grandsons, Tyler and Logan. Nathan and his wife, Denise, live in DeSoto. Neil lives in Shawnee. She has a stepson, Keith, who lives in Texas with his, wife, Angela, and their two children, Evan and Quinn.