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APS Mental Health Series Part 3: School in the time of COVID-19?

6:00 PM
Webinar via Zoom

APS Mental Health Series Part 3: School in the time of COVID-19?

6:00 PM
Webinar via Zoom

The issues surrounding mental health and well-being in our modern world and in our unique community are complex. Further complicating these issues is the fact that discussion of mental health is often considered taboo. Mental health is important to the overall health of our community, BUT if we can’t openly talk about the issues that affect our well-being, how can we hope to adequately support the needs of our community, particularly in a time of crisis?

Join American Public Square at Jewell for a three-part virtual series this summer, From Resistance to Resilience, where we will explore the root causes of mental illness in our community and how we can find ways to meaningfully address them. We will bring together leading experts and practitioners, and KC residents invested in the health and well-being of our community to explore mental health through three distinct lenses:

School in the time of COVID-19?

There is no doubt, the coronavirus pandemic is taking its toll on all of us. We fear for our physical health and safety during this time, and the significantly negative impact of social isolation and inertia is wreaking havoc on our mental health. In that spirit, parents, educators, lawmakers, and other concerned parties are struggling with the efficacy of physically sending children back into school buildings this fall. Join American Public Square as we grapple with this issue and seek answers to questions surrounding both the physical and mental health risks and rewards of a return to the classroom in the time of COVID.


Tufanza Byrd-Primos is an MSW from Kansas City and currently works as a school social worker. She has spent her social work career supporting families engaged in the child welfare system, supporting 200-300 families per year who have experienced child abuse, domestic violence, or whose children have witnessed violence. Her practice centers on the strengths of people and communities and utilizes empowerment theory to engage in advocacy and organizing work. Tufanza pulls on her business background and utilizes her MBA and accounting degree to inform her social work lense. When she is not working in the community she enjoys spending time with her three teenage daughters, husband, and extended family, gardening, reading, and traveling.

Max Eden is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Before joining MI, he was program manager of the education policy studies department at the American Enterprise Institute. Eden’s research interests include early education, school choice, and federal education policy. He was coeditor, with Frederick M. Hess, of The Every Student Succeeds Act: What It Means for Schools, Systems, and States (2017). Eden’s work has appeared in scholarly and popular outlets, such as the Journal of School ChoiceEncyclopedia of Education Economics and FinanceWashington PostU.S. News and World ReportNational ReviewClaremont Review of Books, and The Weekly Standard. He holds a B.A. in history from Yale University.

Dr. Lateshia Woodley, LPC, NCC, was an alternative education student now district administrator that specializes in working with turnaround school transformation initiatives. Since 2008, Dr. Woodley has worked as a turnaround leader to help bring about positive changes in some of the lowest performing schools in Georgia and now In Missouri.

As the Principal of McClarin Success Academy, Dr. Woodley led the implementation of a community school model to assist students in overcoming barriers that hinder successful completion of high school graduation requirements. During her tenure McClarin’s graduation rate increased from 19% in 2012 to 75% in 2017.

She is the author of three books titled “Why Did You Choose to Get Pregnant”, “Issues of the Heart” and “Transforming Alternative Education,” that details her journey as a student then as an administrator. Through her leadership McClarin has been recognized as a 2017 National Model School, 2016 NAEA Exemplary Practices School, and 2016 GAAE Spotlight School.

Believing passionately in the impact of supporting the whole child, Dr. Woodley ventured to work for the Kansas City Public School District. She has had the honor of serving as an Assistant Superintendent supporting School Leadership and now serves as the Executive Director of Student Support Services where she is leading the charge of becoming a trauma informed school district.

Dr. Woodley has received numerous award and accolades which include the 2011 Outstanding Woman in Education Award, 2012 Resolution from the Georgia House of Representatives, 2013 Acknowledgements from the US Department of Education, 2016 National Dropout Prevention Center Crystal Star Award and the 2016 GAAE Administrator of the Year Award, 2017 Central Learning Community Principal of the Year, 2017 ASCD Emerging Leader, 2017 IALA Author of the Year for Education, 2017 Shining Star Educator.

Mark Logan is the Founder of idealect, a social innovation consultancy based in Kansas City.  idealect uses a human-centered-design framework to help clients achieve greater social impact through innovation. Idealect serves startups, social enterprises, civic organizations, and government agencies who are focused on making meaningful, positive social impact.

Before launching idealect in 2018, Mark led the innovation practice at Barkley and founded Moonshot, Barkley’s innovation lab. Moonshot blended human-centered design and emerging technologies to create novel brand experiences. Mark has earned several industry awards including AdWeek’s inaugural Project ISAAC award for best practices in Innovation Management. Moonshot also produced Barkley’s first patent applications and award-winning projects, such as connecting all of Krispy Kreme Hot Lights to the internet.

Before joining Barkley, Mark founded an internationally acclaimed digital agency, lookandfeel new media in 1996. He was twice named among Kansas City’s Top 50 Technology Leaders by the Kansas City Star.

Mark has an A.B. cum laude from Duke University, where he was an A.B. Duke scholar. He recently earned a professional certification in Data Science from UC Berkeley.


Andrea Tudhope is an award-winning community engagement journalist based in Kansas City, Missouri. She is currently coordinating producer for America Amplified, a national public media community engagement initiative, housed at KCUR 89.3 and funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Over her five years at KCUR, she was a reporter and talk show producer covering gun violence, trauma, resilience and mental health. Before audio, Andrea was a print journalist in Colorado Springs, and is humbled to have edited, interviewed and analyzed data for the Pulitzer Prize-winning series “Other Than Honorable” by investigative reporter Dave Philipps.

This program is generously supported by: