KCPS enters talks with Dr. Mark Bedell for superintendent post - KCTV5

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KCPS enters talks with Dr. Mark Bedell for superintendent post

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The Kansas City Public Schools Board of Directors voted unanimously to enter into contract negotiations with Dr. Mark T. Bedell to serve as the next superintendent. The Kansas City Public Schools Board of Directors voted unanimously to enter into contract negotiations with Dr. Mark T. Bedell to serve as the next superintendent.
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

The Kansas City Public School Board of Directors voted unanimously to enter into contract negotiations with Dr. Mark T. Bedell to serve as the next superintendent.

The next step in the process will include completion of due diligence and contract negotiations. Once these steps are completed, the board will announce a timeline for introducing Bedell to the community.

The school board’s goal is to have the new superintendent in place by July 1.

The district began their regional and national search search for a superintendent in July. More than 70 individuals applied for consideration. Bedell and Dr. Ronald Gerald Taylor were the two finalists selected from the search process.

Bedell currently serves as assistant superintendent for High Schools at Baltimore County Public Schools in Towson, MD. 

He says he did not take the traditional path to becoming a superintendent. 

"I have seven siblings who dropped out. One that was killed in a driveby when he was 17. The other six that are still alive never made it past the ninth grade. It reminds me every time I go to Rochester, NY what happens when a kid does not get a high school diploma and the cycle of poverty continuously repeats itself. That's something I want to eradicate," Bedell said.

Bedell said he wants to use his unique experiences to help improve attendance and graduation rates in KCMO, and hopes to help the district achieve full accreditation. 

"The expectations I have for my three kids are the same expectations I will have for the other 16,000-17,000 students that are in this school system," Bedell commented.

We spoke with the president of the local teachers union, Andrea Flanders. Flanders says says she's hopeful Bedell will be a good hire, but she's taking a wait and see approach.

"I've been through a lot of superintendents. I've seen them come and go. I've seen them come in and they all have perfect answers. They have their magic wands. They're gonna turn the district around. So, I'm always a little skeptical when I hear their answers. I think actions are going to speak louder than words," Flanders said.

Bedell holds a bachelor of arts degree in history, a master of education degree in educational leadership and administration from Tennessee State University, and a doctor of education degree in educational leadership from Nova Southeastern University.

Before joining the Baltimore County Public Schools four years ago, Bedell worked for Houston Independent School District for 12 years as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, and as a school improvement officer.

While in Houston, he received the Young Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award two consecutive years; the Feeder Pattern Principal of the Year Award and the Outstanding Educator Award from Texas A&M University.

Bedell created an approach to reduce dropout rates for Baltimore County Public Schools. The district's graduation rate increased to 87.6 percent for the class of 2014, up nearly four percentage points from 2012.

In addition, suspension rates at the district have decreased from 8.3 percent to 5 percent from 2012-2014. He also worked to increase the participation rate of juniors taking college entrance exams.

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