Kansas City Public Schools Superintendent Mark T. Bedell, Ed.D. is a talented, caring teacher and administrator and one of the top urban public-school leaders in the United States. As the child of a working-class family in upstate New York, he overcame significant challenges and was inspired to take his education seriously by teachers and other caring adults who pushed him to achieve his dreams.
His educational experience and leadership made Dr. Bedell a natural choice for the Superintendent's post at KCPS in 2016. With guidance from students, parents, staff and partners, Dr. Bedell crafted and enacted first a post-entry plan and later a five-year strategic plan which placed student achievement at the center of the school system’s work, made the central office more effective and efficient, improved School Board governance, and increased staff skills and morale.
In partnership with Metropolitan Community College and the Full Employment Council of Greater Kansas City, he led the effort to launch a Middle College Program to give 17- to 24-year-olds who never finished school an opportunity to earn a high school diploma and enter college. In June 2018, Dr. Bedell and the KCPS School Board created an innovative Equity Policy to direct the school system’s resources and programs so that every student has the opportunity to reach his or her greatest potential. Dr. Bedell has received many recognitions, including being named a “Superintendent to Watch” by the National School Public Relations Association and a “New Superintendent of the Year” by the Missouri Association of School Administrators. He is also one of only 51 people selected to participate in the "Missouri Influencer Series" by The Kansas City Star.
For Dr. Bedell, his most important honor to date came in the spring of 2018 when students from Southeast High School gave him an award of appreciation for his efforts on their behalf and the positive impact he will have on future students.
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Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.