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Center School District

Hear from Jonathan Dandurand about the art and science of teaching.

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Meet Jonathan Dandurand

Teacher Ambassador

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Good teaching is messy. It is time-consuming. It is as much an art as it might be science. We must be advocates for our students. We must protect them from too much of one thing and provide more of another at the same time. Teachers make hundreds of tiny decisions everyday and some of them will matter more than we can imagine. We transform empathy into actions, lessons and units. We see kids as they are and as they might be, even when they cannot. 


  • 9 - 12th Grade Art Teacher



    • 2016-2017 Center High School Teacher of the Year
    • CHS Fine Arts Department Chair (2009-Present)
    • MODESE Regional Cooperating Teachers’ Forum (Fall 2016)
    • Center Teacher Evaluation Model Committee (2012-2013)
    • AdvancED Accreditation Team Northeast Senior High School KCPS (2012)

    Teacher Certification Program

      Why I Teach

      I am lucky to have had many wonderful teachers throughout my life. My grandfather, a minister, took his vocation seriously. Service to his community was not a job, it was a calling. He taught me how to learn and showed me the responsibility that came with knowledge. My childhood art teacher saw and valued me as an individual who did not always fit into my small Arkansas town. She helped me build bridges between my potential and my outcomes. Both of these mentors expected me to use my gifts to create meaning. They constantly challenged me. They did not protect me from failure; they helped me understand it. They compelled me to remember that forward was not optional and that it was always an opportunity. They did so much to empower me. Once I realized how seminal their roles had been, how could I not want to do the same for others?

      By the Numbers

      • 8

        Schools in District

      About Center School District

      • About

        Center School District is nestled in the heart of south Kansas City. As a small public school district, Center enjoys the benefits of city amenities and suburban neighborhoods. The neighborhoods of south Kansas City are consistently voted one of the top places to live in greater Kansas City, and Center School District is proud to offer top-performing schools in the area. With an Annual Performance Report (APR) in the top 25 percent of all schools in the state of Missouri, Center ranks among the top school districts in the state and the region.

        We have been described as a “boutique” school district, with the advantage of high performance and a diverse student population in a small setting.

      • Job Opportunities

        If you’re interested in working for Center School District, check out our job postings at the link below or email kpalmer@center.k12.mo.us.

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