MEET SHEREKA BARNES
I've spent 30 years of my life in the Park Hill School District, first as a student, and then as a single mom of two girls. My daughters are now in college, but I remain committed to making sure our district is prepared for the challenges it faces today and in the future. While my girls were in school, I was lucky enough to be an involved parent, volunteering for school events, participating in the PTA and serving as Vice President of the Band club.
If you're a parent in the district going through a tough time, I understand what it's like to make the best of challenging situations. I understand what it is to have your child on a free or reduced lunch program. I understand what it's like to have technology issues at home, or how difficult it is to find before/after school care. I understand what it is to be an advocate. And to know that it takes a village (and strong community) to raise strong kids.
Like many parents, I've worked hard to provide the best life for my kids. After graduating from Park Hill in 1992, I earned my bachelors degree in human relations/public relations, got married and had my two daughters, Aireanna and Avyon. Life took a turn, and I found myself as a single mom, working nights in order to care for my daughters during the day. Then I earned my Montessori certification, and spent several years in early childhood and elementary education at the schools where my daughters attended. Today, I work in healthcare as a supervisor for three Urgent Care clinic locations in the KC area.
My youngest daughter graduated Park Hill High School in 2020 — it was a rough year for our district. I saw dysfunction in how racially sensitive issues were managed, and decreasing transparency from our leadership. I became even more involved in learning more about how decisions get made in our district. In 2021, I began attending school board meetings regularly in person, and I see incredible opportunity for us to improve and regain our competitive edge as a district.
We have amazing parents and an involved community — we have so much potential to be better, and not simply rest on our accomplishments of the past, but move forward together, creating an environment where our students, staff and teachers thrive.