Chief Operations Officer earns Trademark Women of Distinction Award

            Kansas City, Missouri, August 9, 2019 – Kirsten Lipari-Braman, COO has been selected for inclusion in the forthcoming Trademark Women of Distinction Honors Edition for demonstration dedication, leadership, and professional excellence. Her compassion and expertise set the standard in the industry. She has truly dedicated herself to her profession. Representing the state as one of the best in the country requires talent, experience and integrity. There is humility and personal touch she adds to her relationships with everyone she does business with. More than the value of her service, it’s her way of treating everyone like an extended member of her own family that people remember the most. As a talented disciplined professional, she has maintained a proven track record of quality service, driven by her desire to succeed. During the vetting process, it was noted along with her exceptional reputation, that she has also maintained a positive peer rating. Her years of service along with her level of expertise and several other factors also contributed to her inclusion. She prides herself on honesty and integrity. She is the kind of professional admired by colleagues and peers alike. Her kindness and willingness to always help others and find solutions to most questions is both exemplary and honorable. She has made her mark on her profession as an expert and will become part of history as one of the top professionals in her field.

About Trademark Women of Distinction

            With expert female members representing every major industry, Trademark Women of Distinction Honors Edition is a trusted resource and tool dedicated to highlight the professional accomplishments and stories of today’s best and brightest women in business. Trademark Women of Distinction is dedicated to the preservation of each individual female’s story as each of them deserve their own special place in history. The talented women profiled in this historic registry share such virtues as determination, courage, leadership, patience, and discipline. It is not these characteristics which set them apart from the rest of us, but their extremely high degree of accomplishment as female professionals. Now more than ever, these females serve as an example. Each of these extraordinary women documented in this publication offer tangible evidence of the value of hard work, goal setting and passion. Trademark Women of Distinction membership provides these hard working accomplished women with a certified and validated third-party endorsement of their accomplishments, and serves as a way to spread the word about their success through a trusted network of women brought together by the same common morals, values and driving force in the success of the publication. Such a well-researched and verified source ensures this tool to act as a bridge forging long lasting new business relationships.

Source: Media and Publications Team at Trademark Women of Distinction.

Gordon Parks Elementary Partners with local KC artist

      KANSAS CITY, Missouri, July 15, 2019 – In the stairwell at Gordon Parks Elementary, students helped create, in the 2018-2019 school year, a beautiful, unique, metal framed, hanging art piece called the Mobile Project.

         Starting over a year ago, local artist, sculptor, and designer, Chris Duh and members of the Gordon Parks staff began brainstorming a hanging mobile project involving our students.

         A group of Gordon Parks staff members including Gordon Parks’ Child Therapist, Evan Linville, and Third Grade Teacher, Sean Klippel, began meeting with Duh in the Fall of 2018 and they drew up the concept for this mobile. From there they started to involve the students in their classrooms and had lessons about animal adaptations and how they adapt to survive.

         Duh said, “I got to see dedicated teachers and board members work to make a positive change for those that went through the curriculum based project.”

         This art piece reflects the learning, creative process, and development that occurred in our kindergarten and third grade classrooms. This project allowed students to learn about approaches to research different animals and their unique attributes that allow adaptation and survival. Students participated in a guided visualization where they identified three animals and their attributes, and then created their own one-of-a-kind animal. The students drew a picture of their animal and wrote a short story about how their animal can adapt to survive.

         “One of the great things about this type of project is how it enriches the students’ learning experiences,” Linville said. “Not only were Missouri teaching standards fulfilled throughout the project, but kids had hands-on, community-based experiences that also encouraged them to reflect on their own identities, challenges and attributes – a practice which has the potential to deepen understanding and shape each child’s character.”

         While the kids were working on this project in the classroom, Duh worked with Alex Espy at Paul Mesner Puppets. Espy hosted our students for workshops which related to the project and social-emotional development. At these workshops, the third grade class was able to make puppets out of paper bags and draw their invented animals. They wrote stories of origin which shared how their animals got their attributes.

         “I loved the process of making something that leaves a positive impression with children especially,” Duh said. “I feel like we achieved that with this project.”

         To finish this project in the spring of 2019, Duh took the drawing of the animals, scanned and digitally processed them, and had them printed on fabric. The fabric was framed into panels that make the mobile. Duh worked with Robert Zahner, Vice President of A. Zahner Company, a local family owned, world renowned metal fabrication company.

         Duh said, “I also learned a lot about different fabrication processes that allowed me to grow as an artist.”

         Zahner and his team installed and fabricated some needed pieces for hanging this project. This mobile is now on display in our stairwell at Gordon Parks Elementary.

         Linville said, “The kids worked really hard and had a great deal of fun, and our school is more beautiful because of that effort.”

Ms. Terrie awarded for Food Safety Excellence

Terrie Parker is the Kitchen Manager at Treat America and works with Gordon Parks to provide a breakfast and hot lunch for the kids every single day. She keeps our kitchen clean and up to standards year round. For that, the Kansas City, Missouri Health Department has awarded her two years in a row with the Food Safety and Excellence Award.

The award is valid for one year and is based on cumulative inspection reports throughout 2018. The Health Department recognizes that excellence is most fully achieved when food service management fully endorses employee education and training. Therefore, the 2019 award goes to establishments that have exhibited excellence in sanitation and food safety, as well as employee education. Those receiving the excellence award, approximately nine percent of the City’s 3,900 permitted food establishments, substantially exceeded the standards of the food code.

Parker has worked with Gordon Parks off and on for six years. The last three years she has been here full-time. She comes in the morning around seven o’clock to prepare the kids’ sacks for breakfast and then heads back to Treat America to gather the food needed to provide lunch to the students at Gordon Parks.

Parker said, "I love the kids and I love the teachers. I’ve got know everybody really well. We’re just one big happy family.”

Four Finalists for Gordon Parks Elementary

KANSAS CITY, Missouri, May 15, 2019 – Gordon Parks Elementary has four finalists selected for the 2019 Excellence in Education Awards by the Missouri Charter Public School Association (MCPSA). There is a total of five awards given and Gordon Parks has a finalist in three of those five categories.

The Excellence in Education Awards celebrate the work of Kansas City’s most impactful charter public school educators. MCPSA has partnered with SchoolSmart KC to provide teachers and leaders with well-deserved recognition and a monetary award to raise awareness of the importance of high-quality education in the Kansas City region.

Our four finalists at Gordon Parks Elementary are Jennifer Hagemaster - the Academic Officer and Principle, Kirsten Lipari-Braman - the Operations Officer, Megan Green - Kindergarten Teacher and Pam Justus - Behavior Specialist.

Board President, Keli O’Neill Wenzel said, “Gordon Parks Elementary School is growing from strength to strength with a lot more coming. We have a very focused team that is executing on a robust plan.”

Hagemaster and Lipari-Braman are nominated for the School Leader of the Year Award, Green is nominated for the Elementary Teacher of the Year Award and Justus is nominated for the School Leader TEAM of the Year Award. Nominees will attend an awards dinner on May 30, 2019. There they will announce the winner of each category. Winners are eligible to receive a $10,000 personal award.

Gordon Parks Elementary School family is very proud of these nominations and we wish the best of luck to all teachers and leaders who were nominated for these awards.

First Annual Bill & Dorothy Curry Golf Tournament

Gordon Parks Elementary School held their first annual Bill & Dorothy Curry Golf Tournament on Saturday, April 27th. We had a beautiful day of golfing at Hillcrest Golf & Country Club and with the help from all of our sponsors, volunteers, and participants, we were able to raise $39,000 to directly benefit Gordon Parks Elementary School. Thank you to everyone who participated, we couldn’t have done it without you!

Our sponsors for this event include:

Bill & Dorothy Curry - Title Sponsor

Platinum Sponsors:

Karbank Real Estate Company

Karen & Craig Lundgren

Diamond Sponsors:

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City

Brett, Joanna, Elsa Jane and Tate Posten

Hole-in-one Sponsors

Midway Auto

Curry Real Estate

Beer Cart Sponsors:

Western Specialty Contractors

Dan & Michelle Bowers

United Beverage Company

Silver Sponsors:

Bill & Irma Lou Hirsch


Melissa Rock


Beverage Cart Sponsors:

Kent Yocum

Tierney Office Supply

Hole Sponsors:

John & Arlene Frye

Howard & Patricia Mick

Holland 1916

Arvest Bank

Chip Power

Olson & Associates

Hollis + Miller

J. Wilbur & Co.

Picasso Dog Groomery

GPES Board of Directors

Margaret Huff

Chip Manson & Jane Parsons - Putting Contest Sponsor

John & Mary Ann Miller - Longest Drive Contest Sponsor 

Treat America - Breakfast Sponsor

Ray & Linnea Brock - Banquet Sponsor:

Brands That Speak - Marketing Sponsor

Mariner Wealth - Apparel Sponsor

Financial Designs Inc. - Closest to the Pin Sponsor

Thank you to all of our sponsors! Without you all, we wouldn’t have been able to reach our goal and our success of this event.

We plan to recreate and grow this event for next year. Next year’s golf tournament will be held on April 25th, 2020 with a 1:30 p.m. shotgun start. SAVE THE DATE!