Regional Leadership Team
Our Regional Leadership Team provides direction and vision to the CWC Kansas City school system and provides administrative support to the school. Details of our regional leadership team are below.
Dr. Kristin Droege (Executive Director)
Dr. Kristin Droege began her work as Founding Executive Director on July 1, 2015, having been heavily involved in the launch of CWC Kansas City in the months preceding her start date. Over the past two years, she has worked to guide the school through the process of securing a facility, recruiting and enrolling students, hiring the founding faculty and staff, supporting the Board of Directors, and building partnerships with stakeholders across the city - all while creating and sharing the vision of the mission and model of CWC Kansas City.
Kristin has been a professional educator for more than 25 years, teaching elementary, undergraduate, and graduate students, as well as serving in administration. Kristin has played a role in charter school leadership for the last 18 years. In 1999, Kristin and a colleague founding Mountain View Montessori Charter School in Victorville, CA, where she negotiated the governance structure with the district, served as head of curriculum, and developed/implemented a teacher evaluation system. By 2008, Kristin became the founding principal at Larchmont Charter School - West Hollywood (LCW), growing the school to K-8th grade, and overseeing the merger with the Larchmont Charter School network. In 2013, Kristin was appointed Head of K-8 for Larchmont Charter Schools, overseeing instruction for 1,100 students across four campuses. During her tenure, LCW, another "diverse by design" school, received an Academic Performance Index (API) score of 932 in 2013, compared to a district wide score of 750 and statewide score of 790. The API includes the results of state assessments and generates an overall score.
Kristin graduated from Duke University and holds a Masters and Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of California - Los Angeles.
Ryan Brennan (Director of Operations)
Ryan joined the CWCKC team in October 2015, just prior to the school receiving its charter. Throughout the planning year, Ryan worked closely with the build-out team to bring the vision of a bright, joyful campus to fruition. He was primarily responsible for procuring all equipment, supplies, and curriculum, establishing relationships with our supply vendors, and overseeing our accounts payable system. Ryan was also deeply involved with the recruitment of faculty and students, including overseeing the enrollment and registration process. Ryan has also worked closely with our Board, Sponsor, and Department of Education to ensure compliance across all areas of operations.
Ryan’s career reflects a passion for working in non-profit and service-oriented organizations. By applying strong organizational and process improvement skills, Ryan has a history of creating efficiency in customer service-driven companies with operational experience including financial, event planning/scheduling, insurance compliance, and inventory management. Additionally, Ryan is skilled and enthusiastic about team development, especially recruiting and coaching. His career has spanned church operations, hospitality, finance, and retail management. Ryan earned an MBA from Colorado Christian University and a BS in Business Administration from Colorado State University, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. Ryan is also currently the Operations Team Leader at Gateway Church of Blue Springs and has been a certified soccer referee since 1995 as well as a referee instructor since 2013. Other than the soccer pitch, Ryan loves to spend time with his wife and young son.
Andrew Johnson (Director of Community Engagement)
Andrew Johnson is one of the founding parents of the Midtown Community School Initiative, the grassroots group of parents that partnered with CWCS to bring its innovative school model to their Kansas City community. Andrew helped support the school’s launch in various ways over the past five years and is now excited to step into a staff role supporting the collaborative work among teachers, parents, and community members. His new role at the school includes community engagement, communications, and implementing Restorative Justice practices at CWCKC. He has been trained in restorative practices through the Center for Courage in Renewal, the Ojai Foundation, the Center for Conflict Resolution, and Oakland USD’s Restorative Justice Initiative.
Prior to CWCKC, Andrew served as Executive Director of Pilgrim Center, taught composition courses at the University of Missouri - Kansas City, and worked in program development and community engagement at Harvesters (Kansas City’s food bank). Andrew is also a freelance writer who has published in various literary journals and newspapers including Crazyhorse, Guernica Daily, the Kansas City Star, and elsewhere. Andrew earned an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Missouri - Kansas City and a BA in Communication from William Jewell College. He is married to his high school sweetheart, Kristen, who served on the founding board of CWCKC from 2015-2017. They have three children - and two of them attend CWCKC! When he isn’t working, Andrew enjoys reading, biking, running, and sitting on his front porch.
Tamara Zajac (Operations Assistant)
Tamara is new to the CWCKC team for the 2018-2019 school year. She is eager to step into the education world, utilize her love of systems and organization, and to be part of the development of students. She studied at Midwestern Christian College in Kansas City and received her BA in International Missions. Before joining CWC, she worked for a non-profit organization for over three years in administration and recruitment.