Press Release

Local Nonprofit Expands Impact on Preparing Teachers in Kansas City



Kansas City, September 22, 2023 — Founded in 2015 as Kansas City Teacher Residency (KCTR), the organization has been increasing the number of teachers in the Kansas City, MO metropolitan area. Through the residency model, individuals complete a 1-year certification and training program followed by a 3-year commitment to teach in a partner school. This approach involves hands-on experience in the classroom with a Mentor Teacher, along with coaching, professional development, and financial support, culminating in teacher certification. To date, KCTR has prepared over 200 individuals to become fully certified teachers within 86 Kansas City area public schools. 

KCTR has become more than a pre-service teacher residency program, now developing in-service teachers, while also coaching mentor teachers, and hosting education conferences. With this growth of impact in the education landscape, Kansas City Teacher Residency has rebranded to The Educator Academy. The Educator Academy is a name that speaks to the depth and breadth of the organization now and for the future. 

A culture of mutual trust and respect supports a positive learning environment, and that starts with respecting the profession. “The program now known as the Educator Academy has not only prepared me to be an effective educator but has also instilled in me a deep sense of pride in my profession. This new name embodies the continued commitment to excellence and the dedication to preparing educators who are not only proficient but also passionate about shaping the future of young minds. The Educator Academy is not just a name change; it signifies a bold declaration of the value and professionalism that its graduate educators and staff bring to classrooms across the region every day. This represents a significant step forward in aligning the organization’s brand and name with the importance and impact of its mission, vision, and work.”, said Steven Seals, a graduate of The Educator Academy’s residency program. 

“We will continue to prepare and certify new teachers.”, says Andrea Bright Harrell, the Manager of Branding for The Educator Academy. “We’ve always had a focus on retaining teachers in the classroom and that’s important now more than ever. With rising teacher attrition nationally, we know it’s imperative to not just bring in new teachers but to invest in the teachers who already have proven to be effective in the classroom so that a career in education is viable for them for the long term.”

As the breadth of their work expands, The Educator Academy will continue to have a focus on recruiting and retaining diverse educators. Among current program participants, over 60% identify as a teacher of color. This outpaces the national average, where only 7.1% identify as a teacher of color. Their programming also focuses on retaining people in the classroom. After 3 years of teaching, 71% of program participants are still in education, compared to only 51.9% in Missouri statewide. Focusing on cultivating diverse teachers and retaining them in the classroom positively impacts student outcomes. To learn more about The Educator Academy programs go to their website at


Media Contact

Andrea Bright Harrell

Operations Manager: People + Branding

816-363-9849 |