Meet the Regional Team

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Jana Cooper

Executive Director

jcooper@kippkc.org

Micheal Dayton

Director of Human Resources

mdayton@kippkc.org

India Williams

KIPP Through College Director

iwilliams@kippkc.org

Micheal Cobbins

Athletic Director

mcobbins@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. 

Michael Dayton is a native of Kansas City, Missouri and graduate of Rockhurst University, with a degree in Accounting.  Mr. Dayton is in his 8th year at KIPP – where he has served as Director of Finance and Operations, Director of Student Recruitment and Community Engagement, and now serves as Director of Human Resources.  Mr. Dayton started his career at Sellers & Company, CPA, was recruited by the Kansas City, Missouri School District’s (KCMSD) - Capital Improvement Program (CIP) and was promoted to Food Service Business Manager.  After the KCMSD, Michael went to work for the Community Development Corporation of Kansas City (CDC-KC) as their CFO and Director of Ops.  After CDC-KC, Michael went to work for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation working on Minority Entrepreneurship

 

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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. 

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.  Coach Cobbins has mentored and coached for over thirteen years in the Hickman Mills and Independence School Districts, and currently KIPP:KC as the Athletics Director. 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. 

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Elise Sarasin
Renee Rivera
Rachel Phelps,
LMSW
Sheena Watkins
Mayra Bencomo

SPED Director

esarasin@kippkc.org

ELL Director

rrivera@kippkc.org

Director of Support Services

rphelps@kippkc.org

Director of Operations

mbencomo@kippkc.org

Director of Operations

swatkins@kippkc.org

Elise joined KIPP in 2017 and is grateful to be part of a team committed to serving and supporting all students.  As an undergrad, Elise pursued a degree in Childhood Education and Bilingual Education. Prior to joining KIPP, Elise taught Kindergarten (in Spanish) and worked on staff at Teach For America- Kansas City coaching and leading professional development for pre-K-12 teachers across Kansas City. She earned her Masters in Special Education from the University of Kansas and continues to seek ways to grow and strengthen our Special Education department. 

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 teach kindergarten 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 ELL Director and is passionate about providing an equal and outstanding education to all families.

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 started her journey in education by teaching Title I Reading Intervention for 5 years.  Then life helped her decide to take a different path by 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 different districts in the KC Metro Area.  She joined KIPP as a School Social Worker and is now the Director of Support Services.  She coordinates a rock star team of KIPP support staff and community partnerships to serve our students, staff, and families.  She deeply believes we can accomplish more together.  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.  

Sheena is a Kansas City native and a proud graduate of Kansas City Public Schools. She has spent the last 9 years learning and leading school operations in New York City and Newark, NJ. She holds a Bachelor’s in Economics and Psychology from KU, and a Master’s of Arts in Education and Social Policy from NYU. Sheena is STOKED to finally be a KIPPster, and is committed to ensuring the kids of KC have a rigorous, nurturing environment to realize their greatness. In her spare time, she enjoys playing basketball, kickboxing, satirical humor, and happy hours with friends.

Mayra Bencomo became part of the Team & Family as the Front Office Coordinator 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 Middle School Operations Manager and the Director of School Operations. While her plate is pretty full right now she enjoys doing the work to meet the needs of the students, families, and staff. Mayra has 3 KIPPsters of her own and keeps her busy! In her free time she likes to spend time with family and friends.