Superintendent finalist meets public

Dr. Charles Foust, a finalist for Kansas City, Kansas, Public School superintendent, spoke with the public at a meet-and-greet session on Thursday evening at the Central Office, 2010 N. 59th, Kansas City, Kansas. (Staff photo)

A finalist for the superintendent position in the Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools, Dr. Charles Foust, met the public at a meet-and-greet session Thursday evening at the district’s Central Office, 2010 N. 59th St.

He said he has worked to improve reading levels and graduation rates in other districts.

“I believe it doesn’t matter where you come from,” Dr. Foust said, “no one gets to determine your future except you.”

He is the chief school performance officer from Union County Public Schools, Monroe, North Carolina. Prior to that, he was a school support officer for Houston Independent School District, supervising and mentoring principals and managing programs increased the number of graduates while improving reading and math scores.

He also has served as a principal, assistant principal and curriculum facilitator, besides classroom teaching experience.

Dr. Foust said he had analyzed data from the school district and has watched the school board meetings that are posted online.

Other districts are improving their student graduation rates and literacy rates, and he asked why couldn’t the KCKPS also do that? He said he had success in improving these rates in school districts where he had worked. He offered several ideas on how to do this.

“We have to do a better job of building relationships with our kids to make sure they can graduate,” he said.

Dr. Foust said he did his doctoral work on what the KCK district calls Diploma+. He said the program is great, but it would be better if they could add two years to it, allowing high school graduates to go into college as juniors.

Dr. Foust felt certain that he could have a good relationship with the school board. He said the staff should update the board in advance, in committee meetings, so that they have an opportunity to understand the issues before they come to the board meeting level.

On the question of school finance, Dr. Foust said he would encourage everyone to vote. He said he would bring legislators to the schools so they could see the classrooms, and he would convince them to support adequate school finance. In his current school district, the schools receive more than $7,000 a year per student as compared to Kansas’ $4,400, he said.

“I’ll fight for the kids,” he said.

David Smith, of the Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools, said that the school board is expected to make its decision on a new superintendent within several days to a week.

While Dr. Foust received applause after his remarks on Thursday, Dr. Jayson Strickland, the other superintendent finalist, received more applause, with a standing ovation on Wednesday at his meet-and-greet session.

More information about the finalists is at

To see an earlier story, visit

A crowd listened to Dr. Charles Foust, a finalist for Kansas City, Kansas, Public School superintendent, on Thursday evening at the Central Office. (Staff photo)

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