Tysie McDowell Named Crossroads’ New Superintendent

February 10, 2021

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Courtney Hughley


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Crossroads Charter Schools names new superintendent of schools

Tysie McDowell, co-founder, became the new school leader of Crossroads Charter Schools, effective February 1

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Feb. 10, 2020 — Tysie McDowell, co-founder and former chief academic officer of Crossroads Charter Schools, is the 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 Kansas City’s most successful charter schools. “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!”

Since its inception, Crossroads has experienced tremendous growth and received numerous accolades. Crossroads has grown from one school serving students in grades K-5 to today having three schools that serve students in Pre-K through 12th grades. In 2017, Crossroads was named Charter School of the Year by the Missouri Charter Public School Association. And in 2019, McDowell was recognized by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools for exceptional educational leadership.

“My goal as the superintendent of schools is to lead our staff in recommitting ourselves to our core values, especially educational equity and authentic learning,” commented McDowell. “For the last few years we’ve been focused on growing into what we are today. Now that we’ve been successful at that, it is time to sharpen our focus on academic excellence, which will take Crossroads from good to great.”

About Crossroads Charter Schools

Crossroads Charter Schools is a network of schools, which offers a dynamic Pre-K – 12 education in the heart of downtown Kansas City. Currently serving more than 1,100 students, Crossroads Charter Schools offer a unique model that emphasizes community engagement and 21st Century Learning. More information about Crossroads Charter Schools is available at crossroadsschoolskc.org.