Four appointed to leadership roles in Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools Central Office

Four persons have been appointed recently to help lead the Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools Central Office.

The appointments took effect on July 1, according to a district spokesman.

New educational leaders in the Central Office will include Dr. Lynett Hoofkin, deputy superintendent; Stephen Linkous, chief of staff; Dr. Kelli Michelle Charles, executive director of school support; and Lisa G. Walker, executive director for federal programs.

“I want to welcome these dynamic leaders to our school district and our community,” said Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Charles Foust, in a news release. “Each one of these educators has broad leadership skills and knowledge in the areas of K-12 education that will enhance the great work we are focused on in KCKPS to close the achievement gap. I look forward to working with them as we continue on the pathway to becoming one of the top 10 school districts in the nation.”

Dr. Lynett Hoofkin

Dr. Hookfin, the school district’s deputy superintendent, began with the school district on July 1.

In her new role with the school district, Dr. Hookfin will supervise principal supervisors and campus leaders and provide leadership for district initiatives in the areas of teaching and learning, organizational development, transformation, and technology. She will also be responsible for strategic leadership in designing, planning, implementing, and evaluating short- and long-term plans and programs of school improvement plans in addition to analyzing and interpreting data in order to make recommendations for ongoing academic improvements.

Dr. Hookfin has worked in education for more than 22 years. Most recently, she was the assistant superintendent of the Office of School Transformation in Pittsburgh Public Schools in Pennsylvania. In this position, she aided school leaders of identified priority schools in developing and monitoring school improvement plans and supported principals with improving campus culture, student academic performance and instructional programs.

Prior to this, she was a campus instructional leader at Academy High School, a college preparatory high school, in Kingsville, Texas. During her leadership, the school earned seven of seven state distinctions and an overall A+ rating. Dr. Hookfin also served as a “turnaround leader” of Sugar Grove Academy in the Houston Independent School District (HISD) from 2013 to 2017.

Under her leadership the campus, which consisted of a student population of 26 different spoken languages, moved out of required improvement status. Dr. Hookfin worked as a principal in the Normandy School District in St. Louis, Missouri, from 2010 to 2013 and principal of Cullen Middle School in HISD from 2008 to 2010. Dr. Hookfin also served as a district education program manager, instructional coordinator, science specialist, and teacher for HISD. Dr. Hookfin worked as a research specialist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico, prior to becoming an educator.

Dr. Hookfin, a native of New Orleans, Louisiana, earned a doctorate of education in educational leadership from the Cooperative Superintendency Program at the University of Texas in Austin; a master’s degree in education administration from Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas, and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Grambling State University in Grambling, Louisiana.

Stephen Linkous

Stephen Linkous, the district’s chief of staff, began his duties at the school district on July 1.

Among his responsibilities are to support the superintendent in dealing with administrative, educational, legislative and public affairs issues, oversee Title IX and federal program communications, and represent the district with the Kansas Legislature.

Linkous has worked in education for more than 24 years and has served in leadership capacities in two school districts. He was the assistant superintendent of Principal Leadership and Development for Roosevelt School District, where he worked with principals and second tier leaders to examine school systems, practices and use of data. Prior to this, he was a school support officer for Houston Independent School District, where the 10 campuses he supervised met state academic standards.

He also has experience as a principal at three schools, where he was the instructional leader, promoted the mission and vision of the district, and facilitated and created the Professional Learning Community process.

Linkous has a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Denver, where he graduated summa cum laude. He has a bachelor’s degree in history from Park University, where he graduated cum laude. He has principal certifications in Arizona and Texas and is fluent in Spanish.

Currently, he is a member of the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents. He was a member of the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development, the Colorado Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents, the Colorado Association of School Executives and the Texas Association of Latino Administrators.

Dr. Kelli Michelle Charles

Dr. Kelli Michelle Charles, executive director of school support, began her duties with the school district on July 1.

In her new role with the school district, Dr. Charles will be responsible for overseeing the Department of Special Education, ESL, Restorative Discipline and Behavior and Alternative Schools.

Dr. Charles has a track record of improving schools and central office departments through leadership and data-driven decision-making. She was the senior manager for Special Education Services for the Houston Independent School District (HISD) from 2017 to the present, as well as an adjunct history professor for Houston (Texas) Community College. Other positions held at HISD were lead program specialist from 2014 to 2017 and teacher development specialist manager from 2011 to 2014.

Her experience also includes school administration and teaching. She was principal of Frederick Douglass High School in the Recovery School District in New Orleans, Louisiana, and has served as a teacher for 11 years in Louisiana and YES Prep Public Schools in Houston.

She has a doctorate in executive educational leadership from Houston Baptist University, a master’s degree in social science from Southern University, and a bachelor’s degree in history from Grambling State University. She has also studied abroad at Shandong University in Jinan Province, China.

She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Lisa G. Walker

Lisa G. Walker, executive director of federal programs, began her duties with the district on July 1.

In her new role with the school district, Walker will be responsible for overseeing the instructional and financial components of federal programs.

She has an extensive background in education in the Kansas City area. She was academic benchmark program coordinator – instructional leadership coach for PREP-KC in Kansas City, Missouri, from 2014 to the present.

Prior to this, she was assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction and an elementary school principal for the Grandview C-4 (Missouri) School District. Her educational background also includes being an assistant principal for Raytown South Middle School in the Raytown (Missouri) School District, and a secondary teacher in the Hickman Mills School District and the Harrisonville School District.

Walker has a master’s degree in secondary administration and an educational specialist degree in urban leadership and policy from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

  • Information from Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools

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