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Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools

Hear from Zulma Perez-Estrella about how she is introducing biotechnology and biomanufacturing to high school students, readying them for a global market.

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Meet Zulma Perez-Estrella

Teacher Ambassador

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Kansas City is a hub right now for biotechnology research. Our students will use this [micropipetter] if they go into the workforce as technicians, researchers or scientists. What's amazing is our students are using the tool right now in high school, instead of having that first experience on the job or in college.


  • 9 - 12th Grade Bio+ Teacher (Biotechnology, Biomanufacturing, Cell & Molecular Biology)



  • Inaugural Recipient of KUMC's Tom Steadman Teacher-Research Opportunity Award (2017)
  • Bio-Link Summer Fellows Fellowship Award (2017)

Teacher Certification Program

    Why I Teach

    I discovered a passion for teaching when I was a freshman in college. I became a science and math educator for a local non-profit organization (Girls Inc.) that I had been a part of for many years. In my new role, I created interactive science, math and health curricula for summer camps and after-school programing. What I realized is that I had an ability and a love to help young girls deconstruct their fears about science and math, all while becoming more empowered to stay in the sciences myself.

    By the Numbers

    • 22,000


    • 80


    • 46

      Schools in District

    About Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools

    • About

      The Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools (KCKPS) is a nationally recognized urban school district that serves approximately 22,000 students. With a Head Start program, three preschools, 30 elementary schools, eight middle schools, and five high schools, the district serves a wonderfully diverse mix of students. A remarkable 74 different languages are spoken in the homes of our students. To serve those students, the district employs approximately 3,650 staff, including more than 1,600 teachers.

      KCKPS's vision is to be one of the top 10 school districts in the nation. Our goal is that "Each student will exit high school prepared for college and careers in a global society, and at every level, performance is on track and on time for success." To help our students achieve this goal, the district is implementing a district-wide initiative called Diploma+. The goal of Diploma+ is for each student to graduate with a high school diploma plus one of the following seven endorsements:

      • Completion of one year of college
      • Completion of an industry-recognized certificate or credential
      • Achievement of at least 21 on the ACT or 1060 on the SAT
      • Completion of an IB Diploma Programme or Career-Related Programme
      • Acceptance into the military
      • Completion of a Qualified Internship or Industry-Approved Project
      • An Approved Plan for Post-Secondary Transition
    • Salary, Benefits & Compensation

      Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools USD 500 (KCKPS) offers an array of benefits to match your needs and provide flexibility as your family grows. Benefits include, but are not limited to:

      • Eight Medical Health Plans, including options that offer zero cost for employee-only premiums.
      • KPERS, state retirement plan.
      • Free athletic fitness center.
      • Employee Assistance Programs.
      • Health Savings Account.
      • Flexible Spending Accounts.
      • Dental and Vision insurance.
      • Accident, Critical Illness, Voluntary Life, Short-Term Disability, Cancer and Identity Theft Protection.

      KCKPS offers a competitive salary and believes in continuous employee career development. If you are a certified employee, you may be interested in our:

      • Hard-To-Fill Teacher financial assistance.
      • Special Education Waiver program, financial assistance for General Education teachers who wish to obtain their Kansas Waiver.
      • Financial assistance to obtain additional degrees.
      • Para to Teaching financial assistance.


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