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KC International Academy

Hear from Kate McDowell about her connection to many countries through her students and their unique experiences.

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Meet Kate McDowell

Teacher Ambassador

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Remembering the look on students' faces when they read a whole page of text on their own, are able to name all 26 letters of the alphabet without missing one, and seeing how proud they are: It helps you stay enthusiastic, excited and committed to the profession.


  • K - 12th Grade ELL Specialist and Program Coach



  • Instructional Coaching-English Learner Teaching Staff

Teacher Certification Program

Why I Teach

I decided to become a teacher to fight educational inequity in U.S. schools and improve opportunities for students. I started my career as a journalist reporting on education issues in South Carolina.

That exposure to the reality of the achievement gap in the United States inspired me to apply for Teach For America so that I could have a direct impact on students in classrooms. 

My favorite part about teaching is the opportunity to see the pride and confidence students build in themselves as they progress and learn. I especially love to watch students as they learn to read! The joy on their faces as they begin to understand books on their own is such an amazing experience—every year that I teach, I learn to appreciate it even more. 

By the Numbers

  • 605

    Dedicated Students

  • 53


  • 1

    School in District

About KCIA

  • About

    KC International Academy (KCIA) is a K-8 charter school located in Kansas City with an international focus. The school's enrollment of 605 students includes many who are members of families who have immigrated to Kansas City from over 15 different countries. The school's faculty is focused on creating a world-class learning environment for all students. KCIA's 96 faculty members work in teams to provide the best possible educational experiences for students and families.  

    For kindergarten, first and second grades, a co-teaching model is implemented, with two certified teachers in each classroom of 24 students. Instructional supports for English learners (EL) include EL instructional experts, EL-certified classroom teachers, a staff of native speaking instructional aides, sheltered instruction and more. Extracurricular activities offered to students include volleyball, Girls on the Run, basketball and honors choir, with after-school transportation provided.

  • Salary, Compensation & Benefits

    The KCIA Salary Schedule includes a base starting teacher salary of $42,000. Faculty have opportunities to earn extra duty pay. Health benefits include medical, dental and vision.

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