We Found Our Champion

by | May 16, 2024 | 0 comments

As I wrap up my time with Lead to Read KC, I am reminded of the incredible experience I’ve had over the past few months learning more and attempting to better understand the literacy landscape and why we have had such a challenge with literacy over the years.   

Terri E. Barnes

I’ve had the privilege of meeting and speaking with incredible community champions, passionate and brilliant educators, administrators, parents and even a few children. Many years ago, a very powerful and influential man told me that education was a problem in Kansas City because we did not have an education champion. To be clear, he was not talking about the superintendent, union leader or any of our hard-working and dedicated teachers. He was speaking of an individual of influence, power and privilege who could convene the right people and make things happen. I fully understood what he meant, and to a great extent, I agree with his point. When big things happen in our City, there is typically a driving force behind making it happen. I am super excited to say, I believe we have found our champion in Rhea Muchalla LeGrand for Lead to Read KC!

After an exhaustive search, we are all very proud to know that Rhea Muchalla LeGrand will take my place and serve as the next Executive Director for Lead to Read KC. Her passion, experience and commitment to educational equity will help ensure the organization stays on the right path and continues to think strategically and creatively about how we can continue to make an impact. Here are a few fun facts as you get to know Rhea.

  1. Where are you from: I am from a very small, diverse, beautiful town in British Columbia, Canada. I moved to Kansas with my mom when I was a tweenager.
  2. Tell us about something on your bucket list: I would love to explore a new country with my family. Some places we’ve been dreaming of include South Africa, Morocco and Peru.
  3. The title of the last good book you read: A History of Burning, Janika Oza. Read it and tell me what you think!
  4. Coffee or Tea: Coffee (all day)!
  5. Weekend pleasures: If it’s the weekend, you can catch me watching soccer with the family. I am a huge KC Current Fan, but my favorite players are my little ones!
  6. R&B, Jazz, Rock & Roll or Country: Beyonce’s kind of country 😊
  7. If you hadn’t taken the education route, what is your next more likely career choice: I think I would have stayed close to education, but perhaps stuck with my original intellectual love, Philosophy, and be a professor of some sort.

Thank you for allowing me to serve and learn. This will certainly go down as one of the most valuable experiences of my life. I’m on LinkedIn and would love to connect. All the best to the Lead to Read KC family & friends. Please stay in touch. What I know for sure – if something is going on that you want to change, you can either be a champion or find a champion. We found a champion in Rhea Muchalla LeGrand. Lead to Read KC is in good hands!

Terri E. Barnes
Interim Executive Director
Lead to Read KC

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