About PREP KC
Our mission is to create and implement strategies to improve college and career preparation for Kansas City's urban students.
PREP-KC partner districts range from 61-100% low income and 40-99% students of color.
- 2 states
- 14 middle schools
- 15 traditional high schools
- 22,500 students
- 6 low-income, urban districts
- 18 elementary schools
- 3 charter high schools
- 8,675 high school students
President & CEO
Susan Wally President & CEO
In her role as president and CEO of PREP-KC, Susan Wally oversees all facets of the organization’s educational improvement initiatives.
A former high school teacher, principal, and strategic advisor to schools and districts, she joined The Kauffman Foundation in 1990 as manager of Project Choice, an urban high school dropout prevention and scholarship. She served for more than 10 years as vice president for education at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation where she led a grant portfolio focused on the development and achievement of school-aged children.
While at The Kauffman Foundation she developed strategic partnerships with Kansas City’s urban school districts, including “First Things First” in the Kansas City, Kansas School District, and “Achievement First” in five Kansas City, Missouri high schools.
Susan was featured in 2007 as one of Kansas City’s most influential women by KC Business, and in 2009 was profiled by Midwest CEO. In 2009, she was honored by The Central Exchange when she became a recipient of their annual Leadership Award.
Susan holds a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree and specialist degree in education, curriculum and instruction, and education policy and administration.
Doug Elmer Vice President
As Vice President of PREP-KC, Doug Elmer works closely with the leadership of Kansas City’s urban school districts and postsecondary institutions to support the implementation of research-based strategies to increase college and career readiness for urban students.
Doug began his career as a ninth-grade English teacher at Central High School in Newark. He quickly progressed to become a high school instructional coach in Philadelphia before joining Johns Hopkins University’s Talent Development Secondary schools initiative in 2003. Since joining Talent Development, Doug has managed school reform projects in 20 districts nationwide, both recruiting new schools and districts to partner with Talent Development and leading the implementation of the Talent Development model. Since 2011, he has led the Diplomas Now initiative, where he oversaw the implementation of a nationwide Investing in Innovation grant. He has a master’s degree in education leadership from the University of Kansas, and PhD in Education Policy at KU.
Benchmark Coordinator, Instructional Leadership Coach
Lisa Walker Benchmark Coordinator, Instructional Leadership Coach
As PREP-KC’s Benchmarking expert, Lisa Walker coordinates, designs and facilitates professional development for urban school district administrators and teacher leaders in the implementation of Math and English Language Arts Benchmarking. Lisa’s areas of expertise include instructional leadership, data analysis and strategic planning, K-12 curriculum and assessment development, instructional pedagogy and Professional Learning Communities implementation. Prior to joining PREP-KC, Lisa was a secondary teacher, administrator at the elementary, secondary and central office levels, including Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction in the Grandview C-4 School District.
School Change Coach
Susan Engelmann School Change Coach
Susan provides professional development to urban school district administrators and teacher leaders, especially as it relates to their role in supporting high school reform. She supports the implementation of strategies including math benchmarking, early college experiences and career exploration opportunities for high school students in the five urban school districts that are part of the PREP-KC footprint. Prior to joining PREP-KC, Susan was the Executive Director of Secondary Programs for the Kansas City Kansas Public Schools.
College & Career Program Coordinator
Beth McCarthy College & Career Program Coordinator
Beth McCarthy has been with PREP-KC for ten years. She graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in Social Work and brings a wealth of urban school experience to her work with PREP-KC. As a field trainer with the Vera Institute of Justice, Project Affirm, Beth helped deans, school aides and safety officers to decrease violence levels in New York City’s 10 worst schools. Her work in the Los Angeles Unified School District helped build community support for the district’s plan to build 85 schools in five years. Beth has a B.A. in Social Work from Kansas State University.
Career Academies Coordinator
Danielle Binion Career Academies Coordinator
Danielle Binion provides program design and implementation of STEM programs that provide urban high school and college students with a jump-start on a STEM postsecondary degree programs and careers. Danielle’s areas of expertise include: recruiting and facilitating partnership teams, program piloting, strategic planning, and implementation of large-scale initiatives. Prior to joining PREP-KC, she coordinated a national pre-law program for underserved youth at UMKC School of Law. Danielle earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biology at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, a Master’s of Arts in Professional Counseling at Lindenwood University, and is pursuing an Ed.D in Leadership in Higher Education at Baker University.
Career Academy Liaison
Kellyann Jones-Jamtgaard Career Academy Liaison
Kellyann provides support for the implementation and the scale-up of PREP-KC’s career academies. She is enthusiastic about making science more accessible for students. She completed her PhD in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics from the University of Kansas Medical Center and has a BS in Biology and Spanish from Duke University. Kellyann serves as a commissioner on the Kansas City Health Commission, a group tasked with improving public health in Kansas City. Kellyann has also been named a 2017 Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy fellow at the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine.
Andra Culp Executive Assistant
Andra joined the PREP-KC team in 2015 to provide administrative support, working alongside the President and CEO. Andra has a varied background in sports, marketing, and advertising, including over 15 years of experience as an administrative professional. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications and Marketing from Stephens College.
College and Career Liaison
Candace Villanueva College and Career Liaison
As the College and Career Liaison, Candace manages college and career exploration experiences with PREP-KC’s partner schools. Prior to joining PREP-KC, Candace gained experience in working with our partner schools as the Diversity Recruiter at Johnson County Community College. Originally from Kansas City, Candace is passionate about being an advocate for her community. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Services from Ottawa University and a Master of Science degree in Organization Development with an Executive Leadership Certificate from Avila University
Mia Monarca Program Assistant
As the Program Assistant, Mia assists multiple programs with their data collection, process and consistency. Prior to joining PREP-KC, she has worked in education throughout the KCMO region. Mia has a Bachelor of Arts from American University in Washington, D.C. and a Master of Arts from the American University in Cairo. She decided to switch gears and return to school to study Web Development and Digital Media at Johnson County Community College.
Liz Means Benchmarking Coach
As the Math Benchmarking Coach, Liz Means supports urban K-12 teacher leaders and administrators with the implementation of Math Benchmarking. Liz designs and facilitates professional development that emphasizes learning progressions and data analysis specific to math content. Liz’s areas of expertise include curriculum and assessment development, social and emotional learning, data analysis and instructional design, and Professional Learning Communities implementation. Prior to joining PREP-KC, Liz was a secondary teacher, school counselor, K-8 assistant principal and an elementary principal.
K-3 Literacy Coach
Shauna Stephanchick K-3 Literacy Coach
As the K-3 Literacy Coach, Shauna Stephanchick supports urban educators with the implementation of English Language Arts Benchmarking, where she conducts lesson demonstrations and works alongside classroom teachers to collaboratively plan and co-teach lessons. Shauna’s expertise includes reading instruction, instructional coaching, and Professional Learning Communities implementation. Prior to joining PREP-KC, Shauna was an elementary teacher, site and district level instructional coach, elementary administrator and DESE consultant in English Language Arts and Professional Learning Communities.
- Yantezia Patrick
Board of Directors
- Chris Gentile, Board Chair President, Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technology (retired)
- Leo E. Morton (retired) Chancellor, University of Missouri-Kansas City, & President/Chief Operating Officer, DeBruce Companies
- David Warm Executive Director, Mid-America Regional Council (MARC)
- Ray Daniels Educational Consultant
- Ramon Murguia Partner, Murguia, Watson & Dameron Law offices
- Edward F. Honesty President/Chief Operating Officer, Best Harvest Bakeries
- Tom Forrester Senior Vice President and Managing Director, State Street Corporation
- Madeline Romious Regional Vice President External Affairs State, AT&T
- Bank of America Charitable Foundation
- Cerner Corporation
- Civic Council of Greater Kansas City
- Edward F. Swinney Foundation
- Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
- Francis Family Foundation
- George & Anne Murphy Charitable Fund
- George K. Baum Family Foundation
- Hall Family Foundation
- Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City
- Hearst Foundations
- Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technologies, LLC
- Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute, Inc.
- Mason L. Dean Foundation
- Sherman Family Foundation
- Shumaker Family Foundation
- Sprint Corporation
- State Street Corporation
- Tension Corporation
- United Way of Greater Kansas City
- W.K. Kellogg Foundation
- Women’s Foundation of Greater Kansas City
To Raise the Bar, Start by Raising Your Hand.
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone - 816-931-PREP
Allen Village Charter School, Grandview School District, Guadalupe Schools, Crossroads Academy, Center School District, Hickman Mills School District, Independence School District, Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools, and Kansas City Public Schools (MO).
Kansas City Kansas Community College (KCKCC), Kansas State-Olathe, Metropolitan Community College-Longview (MCC-Longview), Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley (MCC-Penn Valley), University of Kansas Medical Center (KU Med), and University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC).
Area Health Education Centers (AHEC), BMO Harris Bank, Burns & McDonnell, Children’s Mercy Hospital, City of Kansas City, Missouri, Health Department, Cerner Corporation, CEVA Biomune, Garmin, Google Fiber, Hallmark, Honeywell, Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute, Inc. (KCALSI), Kansas City Start Up Village, KCNext, Lexmark, PeopleAdmin, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Saint Luke’s Hospital, Saint Luke’s Neuroscience Institute, Sprint Accelerator, State Street, and Truman Medical Centers.