Our Story

SchoolSmartKC formally launched in March of 2017 with the goal of closing the achievement gap for students in Kansas City. When we launched, 30% of public schools within the boundaries of the Kansas City Public School district were performing in the bottom five percent of schools in the State of Missouri. Despite this challenge, SSKC saw the potential of our community to work together in support of our schools through coordinated strategies to boost school performance and increase student success.

Since our work started, working closely with community partners and our schools, SchoolSmartKC has invested over $30 Million into schools and education partners in Kansas City. These investments, which include direct support to 100% of school districts and LEAs in the city, have seen tangible improvements to schools in the form of new offerings, expanded programming, and improved technology in the hands of our students. They have also allowed for the development and expansions of deeper collective efforts to address issues surrounding family engagement, recruitment and retention of educators, and the critical need for Pre-K solutions in our city.

Now, seven years into our work, our resolve is stronger than ever. Together with the constantly growing group of allies supporting improved public education in Kansas City, we are focusing on harnessing our collective power to tackle the systemic issues that exist for students in Kansas City and continue to move the needle for EVERY child attending a public school.

Our Mission

From our inception our mission has been to eliminate the achievement gap for students in Kansas City. We recognize the existing obstacles and challenges that affect school performance in our city – and we are fueled in our work by the passion of our families, the commitment of our school leaders and educators, the growth in quality and performance in many of our schools, and the overwhelming potential that we see in every child in our classrooms. We know that together we are stronger, and we work with the entire education community to make a difference for our students.

Top Strategies


Family Engagement

We believe that Kansas City schools cannot be successful without the intentional and proactive engagement of our families as full partners in the school system.


We are unyielding in our work to “Connect the dots” within our education system, ensuring high-quality Pre-K is available to local families, particularly those most disadvantaged.

in Success

Real World Learning

SchoolSmartKC is committed to supporting our schools through relevant professional development, programming and enhanced curricula, around Real World Learning.

Talent Development

From the beginning of our work, we have been committed to ensuring top-level talent is brought into and retained by our schools.


Data and Analysis

For our school system to thrive, it must be data-informed and data-driven, so that we can collectively understand school performance and best support schools and our students.


We believe the success of our school system is built upon an effective system of governance that ensures schools are held to the highest standards to benefit our students.

Our Team

Angelique Nedved
President & CEO
Juan M. Rangel, Jr.
Chief Partnership Officer
Robin E. Henderson
Chief Program Officer
Kristina (Kris) Collins
Director of Pre-K and Early Childhood
Ruth Dickson Eddy
Director of Communications
Stanley Taylor
Director, Talent Resources and Development
Stacy Lendt
Administrative and Operations Manager
Sebastian Barraza-Shackelford
Project Coordinator
Abigail Kohout
Agreements Manager

Our Board

Colleen Hernandez
Mark R. Larrabee
Doranne Hudson
Tracey Lewis
Irene Caudillo

Our Investors

SchoolSmartKC is grateful for the partnership and support from our core investors.