2019 Mid-America Education Hall of Fame honorees announced

by Kelly Rogge, KCKCC

The Kansas City Kansas Community College Foundation has announced the award winners who will be recognized at this year’s Mid-America Education Hall of Fame Awards and Scholarship Event.

The event is from 6 to 10 p.m. April 27 at the Dr. Thomas R. Burke Technical Education Center. Individual tickets are $100 and can be purchased from the foundation’s website at http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07eftlafizc98cbdb2&llr=jfwtcnmab.

In addition, there are still a variety of sponsorship opportunities available ranging from $1,000 to $10,000. Visit www.kckcc.edu/foundation/events/hall-of-fame/sponsorship.html for more information on becoming a sponsor of the hall of fame event.

“The KCKCC Foundation is privileged to honor the 2019 hall of fame inductees. Their dedication to strengthening our community through innovation, creativity and quality education is commendable and deserving of recognition,” Mary Ricketts, chair of the KCKCC Foundation, said. “Scholarship proceeds from this year’s event are critical to our mission. The funds help remove financial barriers so that qualified students can pursue their academic dreams.”

The Mid-America Education Hall of Fame started in 1996 as a way to recognize individuals, organizations and corporate supporters in the community who have made notable contributions to education. Hall of Fame inductees are selected based on a demonstrated commitment to education, their effort to improve the quality of life in the community through a commitment to education, increasing educational opportunities for others and supporting significant changes that have improved the quality of education.

The 2019 honorees:

• Leon Brady. A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Brady enlisted in the U.S. Air Force at just 17 years old, attending the Air Force Schools of Music. After performing around the country, he attended Tennessee State University where he earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree. Drawn to Kansas City because of the jazz music scene, Brady moved to the metro in the late 1950s and became a band and orchestra director at two schools in Kansas City, Missouri. In 1966, he became the instrumental music instructor at Sumner High School in Kansas City, Kansas. During his time there, his students had the opportunity to perform with musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach and Grover Washington, among others and perform all over the world in places such as the Sugar Bowl and Paris, France where they participated in the International Jazz Festival. He currently owns and operates Brady & Sons Music Co. and still provides instruction to percussion students through the Brady Percussion Academy.

• Rebecca Dukstein. Dukstein earned a Master of Science degree in Education in Counseling Psychology from the University of Kansas. She has served as the associate director and now director of the KU TRIO Talent Search Program since 1994. The program is a free college access program administered by the University of Kansas and funded through the U.S. Department of Education. In addition, she is a former instructor of academic strategies at KCKCC and the coordinator of KCKCC’s “YES Scholars” Scholarship Program. She has spent countless hours to provide academic, career, college and personal guidance to middle and high school students in Wyandotte County and strives to help every student reach their academic and college dreams.

• Dr. Jacqueline Vietti. Vietti graduated cum laude from Kansas State University with a Bachelor of Science in biological sciences in 1971. She later graduated with honors from Pittsburg State University with a Master of Science in community college teaching and received her doctorate in adult and occupational education from Kansas State. Additionally, she earned her secondary teaching certificate from Emporia State University. She also participated in the National Institute for Leadership Development with the American Association of Community and Junior Colleges. Vietti served as president of Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kansas, for 17 years before retiring in 2012. She then served as interim president of Emporia State University for six months in 2015 and was the acting president at KCKCC from July 2017 to June 2018. Currently, she facilitates the Kansas Community College Leadership Institute, now in its fourth year, and serves as a guest lecturer for Iowa State University’s Leadership for New Century Program. She is on the board of trustees for the National Teacher’s Hall of Fame and for Newman University. Vietti’s personal mission is to share her acquired knowledge, skills and experiences to help individuals and organizations become their best selves and, in the process, she becomes better.

• Michael and Guadalupe Dean. Citizens of both the United States and Mexico, Michael and Guadalupe Dean are leaders in the Hispanic and metro business community with Mi Rancho Tequila and their foundation, La Familia Dean Lozoya Foundation. Their commitment to Hispanic youth education for status and non-status Hispanic immigrant youth for more than a decade is unparalleled in the Hispanic community. The couple have set a new standard for commitment to the education of Hispanic youth. The Deans continue to sponsor youth development initiatives such as KC Bizfest, STEM scholarships for Latinas, Latino Art programs that raise awareness about immigration and support the Young Latino Professionals as well as invest in the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Michael Dean is a frequent speaker and participant in many Hispanic youth events that involve being an entrepreneur and small business owner in both the United States and Mexico and currently serves on the board of directors for Donnelly College. A scholarship has also been established at KCKCC in the name of their foundation.

For more information on the Mid-America Education Hall of Fame, contact Sharon Clay, director of development at KCKCC, at 913-288-7353 or by email at sclay@kckcc.edu.

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