Meet the Regional Team

Jana
Cooper

Executive Director

jcooper@kippkc.org

Jana joined KIPP Endeavor Academy as School Leader in 2015. She is a Kansas City native and before joining KIPP founded Academia de Niños, a highly regarded elementary school. Jana also worked as a teacher coach at Alta Vista Charter School and in the Hickman Mills School District. Jana brings a wealth of instructional knowledge to KIPP. 

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Mayra
Bencomo

Regional Operations Manager

mbencomo@kippkc.org

Mayra Bencomo became part of the Team & Family as the Front Office Coordinator in the summer of 2016, the same year the Elementary School was founded. Mayra then moved to Middle School Operations Manager. Currently, she is serving as the Regional Operations Manager. She is very passionate about her work and takes pride in meeting the needs of the students, families, and staff. Mayra has 3 KIPPsters of her own which keep her busy! In her free time, she likes to spend time with family and friends.   
 

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Renee
Rivera

Director of

ELL and Special Education

rrivera@kippkc.org

Renee is a Kansas City transplant that graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in Unified Early Childhood in 2011. She went on to be a founding teacher at  Academia de Ninos until moving to KIPP to teach 5th grade in 2015. In 2016 she gladly went back to teaching Kindergarten to help KIPP open their elementary school while also earning her Masters in Administration from UMKC. In 2018 she moved into an ELL teacher role and earned her TESOL Certification from Missouri Western State University. She now serves as KIPP's Director of ELL and Special Education and is passionate about providing an equal and outstanding education to all families.

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Kurt
Bunnelle

Head of Schools

kbunnelle@kippkc.org

Julie
Cook

Head of Talent and Programs

jcook@kippkc.org

Scorpio
Horn

Director of Development

shorn@kippkc.org

Kurt Bunnelle is the Head of Schools at KIPP KC. Mr. B grew up in Mundelein, Illinois and attended Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. He taught 8th grade science in Oakland, California for three years and joined KIPP Kansas City in 2013 as a middle school science teacher. Mr. B helped open the elementary school at KIPP KC in 2016, and was principal for 5 years. In his spare time, Mr. B likes to run, read, and hang out with his 17 month old daughter, Remi.

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Michael
Cobbins

Athletic Director

mcobbins@kippkc.org

Julie Cook started her career at  KIPP:KC in 2009. As a TFA corps member she taught 5th/6th grade social studies and guided reading. She has served as a former Middle School Principal, Assistant Principal, Grade Level Chair, and Basketball Coach. As the Head of Talent, she is excited about continuing to support the growth of KIPP:KC to ensure that we have the best team possible to work with students and families!

Scorpio joins the KIPP team after being the Defensive Line Coach at Missouri Western, where he also played college football. He has taught business and was the at-risk coordinator for the Independence School District as well as a loan coordinator with the Metropolitan Community College. Scorpio is bringing his prior expertise of head coach and defensive coordinator to the Legacy High School Football team and hopes to show Kansas City what our gators are really made of!

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India
Williams
Rachel Phelps,
LMSW

Director of Support Services

rphelps@kippkc.org

KIPP Through College Director

iwilliams@kippkc.org

Michael Cobbins Sr. graduated from Westport High School, Kansas City Public School District and attended Missouri Western State University where he earned a Bachelors of Science in General Physical Education and a Master's in Education Athletics/Activities Administration. His knowledge, education and experience have given him the ability to build out seven sports programs (football, basketball, track, soccer, cheer and dance, volleyball and cross country) over the past four years and formed the Kansas City Metro Conference, an expansion with the Kansas City Public Middle Schools. Coach Cobbins is the current President of the league. He has developed and mentored many students from elementary and middle school to high school and college. He strives to build lifelong learners through discipline, dedication, perseverance and commitment. 

Rachel was born and raised in the Kansas City area. The pronouns she feels most comfortable with are she/hers. She is a human, mom, educator, social worker, and ally who deeply believes everyone is valuable and needed in this world.  She taught Title I Reading Intervention for 5 years before exploring Social Work and Mental Health.  She obtained her Masters in Social Work from Park University and is a licensed Masters Level Social Worker in Kansas and Missouri.  She has worked in areas of community mental health, foster care, and school social work in the KC Metro Area. She coordinates a rock star team of KIPP support staff and community partnerships to serve our students, staff, and families. She is involved with organizations and programs like; Trauma Sensitive Schools, Diversity-Equity-Inclusion, Play and Sandtray Therapy, Mental Health in Schools, and the National School Social Work Association.  

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Jenna
Zakrajsek
Betsy
Brogan

Director of

Foundational Literacy

jzakrajsek@kippkc.org

Director of

Instruction and Curriculum

bbrogan@kippkc.org

India is a proud Kansas City, Mo native. Before joining KIPP in 2015, she worked in higher education focusing on enrollment and student support services. India was appointed by Mayor Lucas to join KC Public Library Board of Trustees. She is currently a member of Congressman Cleaver II's Black/Brown Coalition, and the philanthropy group, Sister Circle. India was named one of The Independent's 2020 Rising Stars. She formerly served as an elected official, a DEI co-chair at Big Brothers Big Sisters KC, and a member of the Jackson County Developmental Disability board. 

Ms. JZ is beginning her 6th year at KIPP:KC! She has taught in Texas, India, and California as well.  She loves teaching students about how to unlock the code to becoming powerful readers!  

 

When she’s not at KIPP, she loves to cook, hang out with her 2 boys (Dev & Ravi), read, paint her nails, and do yoga!

Betsy Brogan is a long term KIPPster, having been with us since 2013! She got to Kansas City after studying Water Policy and Management at the University of Michigan. Betsy started at KIPP as a math teacher and has eventually used her expertise to grow other teachers when she became an Assistant Principal for our elementary school. Betsy now helps all kids learn by researching the best curriculum and instructional models for all three of our schools. In her free time, Betsy enjoys cheering on all things Michigan, hiking, and traveling with her husband Paul and fur baby Finnely who is "the best".