KCK school board elects new president

The Kansas City, Kansas, Board of Education recently elected Brenda Jones as president and Irene Caudillo as vice president. (Photo from Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools)

The Kansas City, Kansas, Board of Education has elected Brenda C. Jones as board president.

The vote was taken at the July 18 school board meeting.

The board also has elected Irene Caudillo as vice president.

Jones was elected to the Board of Education in April 2007. Born and raised in Kansas City, Kansas, she is a product of the Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools.

She attended Kansas State University and retired after 36 years working at AT&T. She has been active in many community organizations over the years including the Economic Opportunity Foundation, Sumner Alumni Association, United Way of Wyandotte County, the Workforce Investment Board and the Shepherd’s Center of KCK.

She is a member of the Metropolitan Baptist Church, where she serves as the clerk. She is a lifetime member of the Girl Scouts of America and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Caudillo is the president-chief executive officer for El Centro, Inc., an organization that works to strengthen communities and improve the lives of Latinos and others through educational, social, and economic opportunities.

She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Throughout her career, she has developed children and youth programs for nonprofit organizations including El Centro and Wyandotte Mental Health Association in Wyandotte County. She previously worked with the Kansas City, Missouri, Health Department as the first minority health outreach coordinator.

Other positions she has held include executive director for Youth Opportunities Unlimited, Inc., director of family strengthening for Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas and director of clinic operations for Swope Health Services. Her service to the community goes beyond her career with involvement in numerous community boards including AIRR, Community Housing of Wyandotte County, KU Advancement Board, University of St. Mary’s Board of Trustees, University of Missouri Kansas City Public Administration Advisory and Hispanic Advisory Boards.

She and her husband, Ryan, have three children.

– Story from Melissa Fears, director of communications and marketing, Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools


Temperature could hit 100 degrees for Christmas in July event Saturday

With a high near 100 degrees and an excessive heat warning predicted on Saturday, it may feel strange to be celebrating Christmas.

Lou Braswell said that despite the weather forecast, she is looking forward to the annual Christmas in July event scheduled Saturday, July 22, at Wyandotte County Lake, 91st and Leavenworth Road. She is scheduled to be a judge of the annual boat parade that is part of the event sponsored by the Unified Government Parks and Recreation Department and several others. The event is open to the public.

“It’s going to be hot, but there’s lots of activities,” Braswell said. A kids’ fishing derby is planned at 5 p.m.

Pontoon boats decorated with lights and a Christmas theme will participate in a pontoon parade at 8:30 p.m. and then be judged on originality and the theme, she said. Prizes will be awarded.

There will be food vendors at the event. Fireworks are planned after the parade at the beach shelter house.

“It’s a fantastic event, I think it’s one of the best around,” Braswell said. “It’s going to be hot.”

She said one notable pontoon boat in the parade in a past year had a machine producing snow.

“It was fake snow, but it was the idea,” she said.


Candidate forums planned July 24 and 25

Candidate forums are planned from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. July 24 and 25 at the St. Andrew Missionary Baptist Church, 2200 N. 53rd St.

According to Richard Mabion of the NAACP, candidates for the Board of Public Utilities, Kansas City Kansas College Board of Trustees and Kansas City, Kansas, Board of Education will be at the forum on Monday, July 24.

Candidates for Unified Government mayor-CEO, Wyandotte County Sheriff and UG Commission will be at the forum on Tuesday, July 25.

The forums are open to the public.

The hosts of the forums on July 24 and 25 are the Baptist Ministers Union of Kansas City, Kansas, and the Kansas City, Kansas, NAACP.

The primary election is Tuesday, Aug. 1.