THE COMMUNITY SCHOOL FOUNDATION
Incorporated as a public charity in Kansas in July 2013, the CSF consist of parents, grandparents, alumni parents, teachers, social workers, and community representatives—all volunteers. Its sole purpose is to support CS#1’s mission and vision.
Kathleen Baker, Officer at Large, CS#1 Board of Trustees
Kathleen first became acquainted with CS#1 seven years ago when her son started kindergarten. She and her husband were thrilled to be a part of an incredible educational experience that allowed their son to thrive and grow into a self-confident tween.
Given the many gifts the school provided to her family, she wanted to ensure the school's longevity and availability to students from all walks of life in the Kansas City metro. Accordingly, she became one of the founding members of the Community School Foundation in 2013; transitioning the school from a privately owned entity to a not for profit.
When asked why she serves, Kathleen shared; "Every school day, I know a CS#1 student is given the opportunity to expand his / her mind through artistic exploration, theater, dance, literature, communication, history and science both inside the classroom and out into the city (via 30+ teacher curated field trips each year). From our own family as well as CS#1 families of older college-aged children, I know a CS#1 education inspires young minds (and their families) long after the elementary years and sets the foundation for a lifetime of successful learning and leadership."
Kathleen received her Master's in Business Administration-Marketing at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and her BS-Management at Kansas State University. She is a marketing communications executive at Sprint.
Andrew Bergerson, CS#1 Board of Trustees
Drew is the proud parent of Skye, who attended CS#1 from K through 7th grade starting in 2008. CS#1 provided an educational family that challenged Skye to realize his potential while providing him with the tools and support he needed to get there. Above all, he developed a positive sense of self worth and the emotional intelligence to enable him to help his peers in learning the same.
As he became aware of the financial difficulties facing the school in 2012, Drew took the lead in building the non-profit Community School Foundation to ensure that CS#1 will be available to the children and families of Kansas City for many years to come.
Drew served as the CSFs first President for these reasons: "I am committed to this school because of the changes I have seen in the children everyday, learning responsibility for their own learning as part of a larger community. I support it because of those CS#1 moments: when young children speak their CS#1 wisdom to adults, and have the sense of security and self worth to do so in spite of their age. I remember my love for the school every time I see the children give tours of 'their school' or take over jobs at our Pancake Breakfast. I will never forget the way my son walked out of a parent-teacher conference (in which the teachers spoke primarily with him about his education instead of with me about him) able to articulate the things he did well as well as the areas where he still needed improvement, with a renewed enthusiasm for learning instead of humiliation. I work to preserve CS#1 as an option for Kansas City families above all because it offers a safe and healthy environment for children to be and become who they are no matter their unique differences."
Drew is a Professor of History at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He received his doctorate from the University of Chicago and has written many articles and several books about modern German history. He has applied lessons he has learned from CS#1 in his college classrooms to great success.
Heather Brasel, Secretary, CS#1 Board of Trustees
Heather became involved with CS#1 when her family chose it as the school for her oldest daughter, who was entering Kindergarten. Now she has two daughters at the school who are thriving in the creative, supportive and challenging community.
Heather's family has become advocates for the amazing educational opportunities that CS#1 provides to the Kansas City metro area. Not only do her kids tell everyone that "CS#1 is the best school EVER", Heather and her husband, Ben, also share their enthusiasm about the school to anyone who will listen!
When asked why she serves, Heather said "This school has given us more than we ever imagined receiving from our children's elementary education. It is helping us to raise daughters who are conscientious, kind, curious, smart, and accountable. It provides a safe, nurturing environment for them to learn and grow. It has given our family a new community in which to make new friends, learn new skills and made a difference. CS#1 is a great school for academics, no doubt. But is it that, and much, much more. I serve to help ensure CS#1 is the best it can be and to assist in its mission of growing "Curiosity, Creativity and Community."
Heather received her Master's in Public Administration at Arizona State University and her Bachelors of Arts at St. Cloud State University. She owns Benjamin Lawn & Landscape, LLC with her husband Benjamin (Ben).
John Cigas, CS#1 Board of Trustees
John has two daughters, each of whom spent six years at CS#1 and are now in college. CS#1 provided them a caring community where they learned respect and collaboration and thrived intellectually. It's truly a community, where all children and parents are welcomed and valued. “I've stayed connected to the school through attending events, joining the advisory board, and now joining the board of trustees because the school has served my girls so well and I strongly believe in its mission and vision.”
John holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California, San Diego and teaches at Park University.
Eileen Jagoda, CS#1 Board of Trustees
Eileen (or “Eily” as she’s known by the kiddos) became involved with CS#1 through her grandchildren that attend the school. She is dedicated and devoted to the school and students. “CS#1 nurtures the whole child, teaching self-awareness and celebrating the unique interests and spirit of each student.”
Eileen graduated from Avila College with a BA in Art Therapy. She is an artist and a retired art therapist from Spofford Home and Marillac.
PJ Jaime, CS#1 Board of Trustees
PJ Jaime learned about CS#1 after her dear friend Eileen invited her to the Spring Pancake Breakfast. From there it has been a wonderful experience of learning about and witnessing how the children take ownership of their learning and growth, how they develop through music, art and " hands on" field trips in the community and how they learn to navigate the world with confidence and happiness.
"In my career and job I have seen some very tough situations that, at times, seemed hopeless. When I see CS#1, this is the place where things work well...a safe place for children and support for parents..."
A Social Worker by profession, PJ worked in mental health and family wellness overseeing programming for runaway and homeless youth, juvenile offenders, and foster care and adoption, working both inpatient and community-based settings. Currently she works training and technically assisting Medical Case Managers who work with people living with H. I. V.. PJ graduated from The University of Kansas with her Master's in Social Work degree. She is a Licensed Master Level Social Worker (LMSW) in The State of Kansas. PJ lives with her partner Sandy in the Union Hill Neighborhood of KC with their two pesky pooches Boca And Mr. Bean.
Jeanette Jones, CS#1 Board of Trustees
Jeanette “JJ” Jones has been involved with CS#1 since her son began attending the school in 2008. She has 25 years experience in education. Currently, she is a history teacher at the Pembroke Hill School where she has engaged high school students since 1999. She loves applying the lessons and methods taught the CS#1 to her own classroom, with the “big kids.”
She graduated from the University of Vienna, Austria with a Masters of Philosophy degree in History and a Bachelors Arts in Teaching--History from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Seana Knecht, CS#1 Board of Trustees
Seana and her husband, Jon knew CS#1 would be a great fit for their family after their first visit to the classroom. Both of their children started in kindergarten and had an incredible group of teachers and a community of families to support and guide them through their elementary school years.
During that time, Seana became involved with the fundraising committee and volunteering for classroom activities and organizing the always popular, CS#1 pancake breakfasts.
Seana continues to love and support all-things-CS#1 and is proud to serve on the board with so many talented and dedicated members of our CS#1 community.
Seana attended Long Island University at Southhampton and works at Pryde’s Old Westport.
Eric Powers, Treasurer, CS#1 Board of Trustees
Eric is the proud father of a CS#1 alumni, Eleanor, now 17 and a senior at The Pembroke Hill School. He has been married for 22 years to a truly gifted teacher and leader, Linda Powers, the Director and Lead Teacher of CS#1. As a percussionist, Eric performs with the Kansas City Civic Orchestra and the Kansas City Wind Symphony. He loves the outdoors and spends much of his free time walking, hiking, biking, sailing, skiing, swimming and playing tennis. Travel is very important to Eric and his family and they have been to many of the beautiful national parks in the US. During the day, Eric can be found at a computer, solving problems as a Software Engineer at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
When asked why he serves, Eric says, “I serve on the Board of Trustees to support the unique learning environment and arts integrated curriculum which promotes creativity and critical thinking skills. CS#1 is like no other school in the city and my family and I have gained much through our experiences with this wonderful learning community.”
Spencer Schubert, CS#1 Board of Trustees
Spencer is a current CS#1 parent and serves on the board to help ensure the continued success of the school. "I believe that CS#1 is the perfect balance of education and personal development for our children. There is nothing in the city that compares."
Spencer received his Bachelor of Arts in Sculpture from the University of Kansas in 2000. He is a sculptor of large figurative bronze monuments and the owner of E.S. Schubert Sculpture Studios.
Lorie Stonebarger, CS#1 Board of Trustees
A firm believer in the transformative power of education, Lorie Stonebarger is fortunate to have become familiar with Community School # 1 when the youngest of her four children was in third grade. Impressed by the school’s emphasis on developing a child’s integrity, self-assurance and intellectual curiosity, Lorie and her husband enrolled their son in CS#1.
As a Trustee, Lorie welcomes the opportunity to share with others the positive impact that attending CS#1 has had on her son. The integrative and experiential curriculum prepared her son well for the rigorous college preparatory school that he currently attends. By engaging in cultural events on a regular basis, collaborating with fellow students, exploring topics in depth and in a variety of ways, and being allowed to make mistakes in a nurturing environment he gained the confidence and knowledge needed for continued success. In his own words, "CS#1 helped me become more responsible and mature than a lot of my peers."
Lorie has been involved in education for over twenty years in a number of roles, both professional and volunteer. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from the University of Oklahoma and works as a Job Coach in the Blue Valley School District with young adults who have special needs.
Bradley Stowe, CS#1 Board of Trustees
Bradley Stowe is the parent of a CS#1 alum and proud supporter of CS#1.
“Though my son has aged out of CS#1, I am motivated to do whatever I can to ensure subsequent classes of kids can benefit from this wonderful program, as mine has. As a CS#1 parent, I had many opportunities to accompany the kids on field trips into their community. Without fail, the kids would endear themselves to their hosts or guides with thoughtful, insightful, questions. I’m proud to be involved with this wonderful organization!”
Bradley Stowe received a BS in Marketing from Kansas State University. He is currently a Project Manager at Zircon, Inc.
Annie Watson, Fundraising Chair, Board of Trustees
Annie has been part of the CS#1 community since her oldest daughter began kindergarten in 2014. As a Reggio Emilia Educator and advocate for educational opportunities in Kansas City, Annie knew CS#1 would be the right fit for her family saying, " I was so relieved to find a school where the curriculum was flexible enough to address important topics as they came up organically and prioritized the arts both in the classroom and in the community".
Annie and her husband Max have enjoyed watching their daughter excel in the one room school house setting and appreciate the many ways in which the children are a part of a school community and the larger Kansas City community.
When asked why she serves, Annie shared; "Haddie has created such a strong foundation in her love of learning here. From the bi-weekly trips to Juniper Training farm to the classroom creed, and many ways in between, CS#1 continues to provide Haddie opportunities to be creative, curious, and develop the skills needed to be a confident and socially responsible citizen. As an advocate for public educational opportunities for children across the metro I hope to be able to help broaden the scope of our reach, so more families are aware of this amazing little school."
Annie has been in Early Childhood Education for over 10 years. She is a Reggio Emilia Educator and has worked with children and families across the metro.