Jennifer Clay - Academic Officer / Principal

Jennifer Clay - Academic Officer / Principal

Mrs. Jennifer Clay has over 16 years experience in education. She has taught almost every grade level from Kindergarten through Seventh grade and was an instructional coach for five years. She has spent her time in Raytown, MO and Buffalo, MO, and nine years in Liberty, MO.

Mrs. Clay graduated from Southwest Baptist University with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary and Middle School Education with emphasis in the areas of Language Arts and Social Studies.  She earned her Master's Degree from Webster University in Curriculum and Instruction again with an added emphasis in Communication Arts. 

Mrs. Hagemaster graduated from Southwest Baptist University with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary and Middle School Education with emphasis in the areas of Language Arts and Social Studies.  She earned her Master's Degree from Webster University in Curriculum and Instruction again with an added emphasis in Communication Arts.  Mrs. Hagemaster is eager to work with the teachers, students, and families of Gordon Parks Elementary.

Read More

Kirsten Lipari-Braman - Operations Officer

Kirsten Lipari-Braman - Operations Officer

Kirsten Lipari-Braman is the Coordinator of the Federal School Improvement Grant. Previously she served as the Director of Federal Programs for the Kansas City, Missouri School District, assisting with the coordination and implementation of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) compliance mandates as well as the analysis and evaluation of their effectiveness.  Mrs. Braman participated in developing administrative guidelines and policies for federal programs, and implementation of Title I Choice and Supplemental Education Services, working with transportation and service providers, and acting as liaison to parents ensuring federal regulations were followed. Prior to working in Federal Programs at the state and local level, Mrs. Braman was a Reading Specialist serving teachers and students in preschool through 6th grade, including gifted and talented.

She has taught science and mathematics at various grade levels, provided special education direct instruction to seventh and eighth graders in communication arts and math, and was a reading specialist for grades preschool through sixth.  Mrs. Braman received her Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education from Avila University and Masters of Education in Reading from Northwest Missouri State University. She is a certified Reading Specialist and Elementary Teacher for Grades 1-6.

Read More

Leslie Gasser - Chief Development Officer

Leslie joined the staff in 2017 and is responsible for annual fundraising, major gifts, and community awareness.

Leslie attended Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri.   She is active in the community and in her profession, serving on the Board of Connecting for Good and as an active member of Rotary Club 13 and the Mid-America Chapter of AFP.  She and her husband Pete live in Roeland Park and are busy raising a family of 4 active boys.

Pam Justus - Dean of Students

Pam Justus - Dean of Students

Pamela Justus has 23 years experience in education, and she might love her work even more now than when she began which says a lot.  She has taught almost every grade and subject from kindergarten through 8th grade, spent 10 years teaching, supervising, and collecting data at UMKC School of Education, and was also an instructional coach.  Her experience was gathered in Houston, KCK, and Kansas City.

Ms. Justus graduated from Iowa State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education with a reading endorsement.  She earned her Master's Degree from UMKC in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Urban Education.

Ms. Justus enjoys living a life she doesn't need a vacation from.  She seeks joy, whimsy, and creative fun in everyday moments.  She loves her people, wellness as a study, and capturing her gratitude with a picture every single day.

Read More

Abbie Plummer - Development and Marketing Manager

Abbie Plummer joined Gordon Parks working with Leslie as the Development and Marketing Manager. She is excited to be a part of this staff and get to know the team as the school year goes on. She moved to Kansas City in January, 2019, after recently graduating from Kansas State University with my Bachelors in Public Relations.

In her free time, she enjoys exercising, playing slow-pitch softball, taking her Husky/German Shepard to the dog park and spending time with her family and friends.

April Maroney - Curriculum & Instruction

April Maroney - Curriculum & Instruction

“I am originally from Tennessee and I’m entering my 16th year in education.  However, I have spent the last 12 years working at Arlington Elementary in Lexington, Kentucky. During those 12 years I served as a classroom teacher, intervention teacher and MTSS coordinator.  

I am so excited to join the Gordon Parks Elementary community and getting to know the students, family and staff.  I can tell that Gordon Parks is truly student focused and strives to do what is best for each student. I look forward to stepping into the role of Director of Curriculum so that I can come  support teaches in providing a quality education for all students.”

Read More

Caylie Yessa - Curriculum and Instruction

Caylie Yessa - Curriculum and Instruction

“I'm originally from central Wisconsin. I graduated from University of Wisconsin - La Crosse with a Bachelors in Psychology and University of Missouri - St. Louis with my Master's in Education. I have taught middle school science in Kansas City, MO, Kansas City, KS, and Brooklyn, NY.

I truly look forward to returning to Kansas City and to serving the children and families of GPES as Director of Curriculum and Instruction”

Read More

Tina Monks - Technology Coordinator

Tina Monks - Technology Coordinator

Tina Monks is excited to be at Gordon Parks as the Instructional Technology Coordinator and Technology Teacher.  She has been in education for 16 years, starting as a 3rd grade teacher in a technology rich classroom which sparked her interest for technology in education.  She loves to help teachers and students use technology to expand and enrich their learning. 

Mrs. Monks graduated from the University of Central Missouri with a dual major in elementary and early childhood education and received her master’s degree from Webster University in teaching.  She has also completed a graduate certificate program in online teaching and learning, and in December of 2015 she recieved her Education Specialist Degree in Educational Technology from the University of Central Missouri.

Mrs. Monks and her husband have 3 children.  In their free time they enjoy going to the lake and traveling to new places.

Classroom Website: http://gpeslinks.weebly.com/

Read More

Meryci Diaz - Administrative Assistant

Meryci Diaz - Administrative Assistant

Meryci D. Diaz-Quezada was born and raised in the Dominican Republic. She and her family moved to the United States when she was 13 years old to give her siblings and herself a better life.

Merycimoved to Kansas City from New York 10 years ago. She is the proud mother of two wonderful children, Wennely, who has a passion for singing and Michael, who loves basketball. She attended Penn Valley Community College and worked as an Administrative Assistant at a previous school for two years. S

Read More

Lauren Gonzalez - Family Coordinator

Lauren Gonzalez - Family Coordinator

Lauren Gonzales was born and raised in Kansas City and graduated from Park University with a Bachelors Degree in Child and Family Studies.  She loves working with children and feels that the development and emotional needs of each child is very important.  She is also excited to build positive relationships with the students, families and her coworkers here at Gordon Parks. 

Lauren enjoys spending time with family, taking walks, reads and loves to water ski!

Read More