Crossroads Superintendent Tysie McDowell

Crossroads Charter Schools select new superintendent

Tysie McDowell, co-founder and former chief academic officer of Crossroads Charter Schools, is the Downtown district’s new superintendent of schools. Former school leader and co-founder, Dean Johnson, announced his resignation in November to establish a new organization that will advocate for public education improvements in Kansas City and throughout Missouri.

“We have no doubt that Tysie is the right leader to ensure that Crossroads continues its journey towards a legacy of success,” said Greg Valdovino, Crossroads board president. “Our board has gotten to witness first-hand the creativity and innovation the staff at Crossroads uses to provide quality education for our students. We know that is a direct result of Tysie’s leadership and we are fortunate to have her assume this role as superintendent.”

Beginning her career as a classroom teacher in Iowa, McDowell has held several school leadership positions and this is the natural evolution of her career.

“I initially enrolled in the College of Pharmacy as a freshman at the University of Iowa,” explained McDowell. “The summer following my freshman year, I read the book, Savage Inequalities, by Jonathan Kozol and was immediately drawn into the idea of teaching in an urban setting. I switched my major to education and felt I had found my true calling.”

And that calling led to a career spanning almost 25 years and resulted in McDowell co-founding one of the most successful charter schools in Kansas City and the state of Missouri.

“Our initial plan with Crossroads was to open and run one really good school,” said McDowell. “That was in 2012 when we had 190 students. Nearly nine years later, with the help of dedicated teachers, supportive families and an invested community, we have three schools with almost 1,100 students!” Click here to learn more about the Crossroads Charter Schools.


KC Ballet presents new broadcast series of ‘New Moves’

The Kansas City Ballet has launched a seven-week online series of free, world premiere ballet episodes, New Moves: The Broadcast Series. This is an innovative, online broadcast of the popular New Moves annual performance series, which have been traditionally performed in the Todd Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity.

New Moves is a highly-anticipated performance event designed to search out, develop and showcase emerging choreographers, both from the national dance scene, as well as locally within Kansas City Ballet. The New Moves tradition returns this season with a twist: all original works have been filmed in beautifully iconic Kansas City locations. Each episode will include bonus features including interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, and more.

The series of 20-minute episodes will be released every Thursday at 7 p.m., for seven weeks. Now showing is Dances at a Gallery performed and filmed at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.  Episode 2 which opens this Thursday is Songs Without Words, filmed and performed at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. To learn more, visit the