Ameila Maddox - 1st Grade Teacher

Amelia was born and raised in a small town in Missouri. She graduated from the University of Missouri in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, and a minor in Human Development and Family Studies. Currently, Amelia is going back to school to receive her master’s degree in Mental Health in Schools. She loves to read, play with her dogs, drink coffee, and be with her friends and family! Amelia is so excited to be a part of the Gordon Parks family!

Julie Nerich - 1st Grade Teacher

Julie Nerich - 1st Grade Teacher

Ms. Nerich is a native of Kansas City, Missouri where she lives with her two daughters.  After receiving a Bachelor in Science from Park University she spent several years teaching in the Parkhill School District in 1st and 2nd grade classrooms.  Ms. Nerich has spent the last 18 years fulfilling the role of Director and Senior Lead Teacher in the Early Education system.  She is looking forward to being back in first grade here at Gordon Parks.

Ms. Nerich believes in her desire to motivate, inspire and support students by providing a safe and caring environment.

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Kate Cross - 1st Grade Teacher

Kate Cross - 1st Grade Teacher

Kate Cross is a teacher early in her career who is a lifelong resident of the greater Kansas City area. Originally from Kansas City, Missouri she now finds herself in Shawnee Kansas. Kate got her degree in education from Kansas State University. Before switching to education she spent several years majoring in vocal performance. Even though she switched to education, music is still prevalent in her life and in her classroom. She loves teaching using interactive learning models that incorporate lots of movement and cooperation. Ms. Cross can be found outside of the school spending time reading, walking her dog Chickie, or at rehearsals for the Kansas City Symphony Chorus.

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Jessica Nichols - 2nd Grade Teacher

Jessica Nichols - 2nd Grade Teacher

Jessica Nichols grew up in Wisconsin where she attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She and her husband made the Kansas City area home in 1988. After staying home to raise four children, Mrs. Nichols started teaching preschool and later went on attend Ottawa University for her teaching credentials. She also holds a Master’s in Education from Baker University. She taught the past eight years in Blue Valley School District in Kansas.

Mrs. Nichols enjoys reading, running in 5Ks, and spending time with her family. Her children range in age from 22 to 28 and live in Korea, Seattle, Colorado, and Chicago. Her family welcomed a second grandson in August.

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Tyler Smith - 2nd Grade Teacher

Tyler Smith - 2nd Grade Teacher

Tyler teaches Second Grade at Gordon Parks. He got his teaching license through an online Masters Program through Kansas State University. This will be his first official year as a full time teacher. He student taught last year at Gordon Parks and he was a boxing coach for the last five years. Through boxing he grew to love working with kids and teenagers helping them achieve their goals and make a difference in their life.
Before Gordon Parks he worked at a clinical research company for three and a half years in addition to being a boxing coach. He also worked at a bank for two years and a news station for a little over a year. He was born and raised in Kansas and for the last three years has lived in Missouri.

“I'm most looking forward to continuing where we left off last year in building relationships with our students. I was lucky to student teach in the same grade that I will be teaching this year so I will be familiar with how things work at that level. I also was lucky to finish the last two weeks last year as a substitute teacher for first grade. So I was able to get to know the students I will be getting this year.”

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Tamara Allen-Williams - 2nd Grade Teacher

Tamara Allen-Williams - 2nd Grade Teacher

Mrs. Tamara Allen-Williams grew up right here in Kansas City, Missouri.  Her love for education began with her start in private education.  One of the 8th grade graduation requirements was to write an autobiography, and she stated then that she was going to be a teacher.  Her 36 years of teaching experience is proof of her non-wavering determination.  “Active learning is the foundation for student empowerment.  That’s why I am a lifelong learner.”  She enjoys visits from previous students.  “One of the greatest feelings is to teach a student that is the child of a former student.  That’s how I know I made a difference in that student’s life.” Mrs. Allen-Williams lives in the Kansas City area and has two adult sons.

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Brenda Boyles - 2nd Grade Teacher

Brenda Boyles - 2nd Grade Teacher

Brenda Boyles will be teaching second grade at Gordon Parks. Mrs. Boyles grew up in Michigan and upon graduation from high school she moved to Greenville, South Carolina to attend Bob Jones University. She graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education and a Minor in English. She then moved to the Kansas City area to teach second grade. She has taught for over fifteen years, most recently focusing on Pre-K before returning to elementary education. 

Mrs. Boyles and her husband have five children and one granddaughter. In her free time she enjoys gardening and returning to Michigan to visit family.

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