by Mary Rupert
One of two finalists for Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools superintendent, Dr. Jayson Strickland, talked about his background and his positions on issues on Wednesday evening at a meet-and-greet event with the public.
Another meet-and-greet is scheduled tonight at the Central Office, 2010 N. 59th St., Kansas City, Kansas. It is open to the public. Dr. Charles Foust, the other finalist, from Union County Public Schools in Monroe, North Carolina, will meet the public from 5 to 6 p.m. tonight.
“I am a product of this community,” Dr. Strickland told the audience Wednesday at the meet-and-greet event. He said he cares about the community, the school district and the young people.
Dr. Strickland is a former principal, as well as former assistant superintendent of teaching and learning for the district from 2010 to 2012, former assistant superintendent of secondary schools for the district from 2012 to 2017, and deputy superintendent since the summer of 2017.
Dr. Strickland talked about working at his father’s day care business when he was a child, and also talked about working at different schools in the district. He said he had good relationships in the community, and that would make it easier to partner with the community.
He said he had unique qualifications, including experience in working with the district’s Diploma+ program. He said he has seen how the program has grown to this point, and it is a critical point for the program. He also said he had contacts necessary to continue helping the program, giving young people access to jobs in the community.
He also said he was in favor of the district doing better academically, improving test scores and academics.
Dr. Strickland said he believes Diploma+ is the right direction for the district.
“It equips our students with more than that high school diploma,” he said. The students are more marketable with Diploma+, universities will recruit students, and Diploma+ can evolve into a program involving small businesses in the city, he added.
Dr. Strickland also said he believes he could work well with the school board and staff. He also supported the district’s efforts to seek more funds from the state through the school finance litigation. Several other topics were also discussed.