Our Staff & Board Members

Meet Our Staff

Leslie Kohlmeyer
Leslie KohlmeyerExecutive Director

“I am excited to help families across Kansas City in finding what I like to call ‘educational homes’ for their children. There is no greater reward than knowing that I have helped a child to find a place they feel welcome, challenged, and safe in their learning process.”

Leslie Kohlmeyer has lived and worked in KC most of her life. She has been watching as the city has shifted and shaped itself into one of the most beautiful, culturally significant, and family-friendly cities in which to build a future. During her time in Wilmington, North Carolina while completing a Bachelor of Arts degree at University of North Carolina Wilmington, her heart was constantly aching for Kansas City. On a visit home for a high school reunion she “met” her husband. They have known one another since middle school, have four great kids and make the Historic Northeast their home. Leslie came to Show Me KC Schools from Academie Lafayette where she spent four years as the Outreach and Admissions Coordinator raising the ethnic diversity of incoming students by double digits. She is excited to share that passion for equity in educational options with all families across the city that she loves.

Diane Charity
Diane CharityCommunity Outreach Coordinator

“I am convinced, students deserve the best education Kansas City has to offer, based on each individual’s needs! That’s what Show Me KC schools brings to the table!”

Diane Charity is a 30+ year community activist and organizer in Kansas City, MO. Her career background includes community liaison, secondary school instructor and advisor. Ms. Charity has served as Neighborhood Mobilizer Supervisor, Team Leader for KCMO’s City Planning’s Neighborhood Strategic Planning Initiative (FOCUS), Mental Health First Aid instructor; Life Skills, Effective Parenting, Child Abuse Protection workshop facilitator. Diane’s passion is to build stronger relationships where civic participation drives community equity. She serves as Board Chair for Kansas City Public Television’s Community Advisory Board, founding and current member of Crossroads Charter Schools, past and current President of several (Urban Core) Neighborhood Associations.

Danielle Dispenza
Danielle DispenzaNavigation Coordinator

“Parenting does not come with a handbook, but now thanks to Show Me KC Schools, the residents of Kansas City have one about their school options.”

Danielle Dispenza is a Kansas City area native who has lived in KCMO for over 10 years with her husband. Prior to staying home to raise their two children, Danielle received her Child Development Associate Certificate through the Family Conservancy and worked for 12 years in early childhood and elementary special education. During her time as a paraprofessional in two local school districts Danielle worked one on one with students with special needs to provide them the best and most inclusive educational experience. Danielle spent 8 years providing home health care services for families of children with developmental and medical disabilities. An avid volunteer, Danielle is a mentor with Kansas City Public Schools District and a weekly reading buddy as well as a teacher helper at her children’s school. When not working or volunteering Danielle and her family enjoy hiking and camping especially within the National Parks.

Sabrina Dowdy
Sabrina DowdyDirector of Programs

Sabrina Dowdy is originally from Kansas City but most recently returned back to Kansas City from Los Angeles County. She is a long time Early Child Education advocate and community supporter. She has worked with Jumpstart for many years and has maintained a passion to afford all young children an opportunity for equitable education. After completing her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Public Affairs at the University of Missouri: Columbia she sought out ways to impact children in all communities. She is excited to support ECE programs and parents in finding the right education opportunity for their students. In her free time, she is spending quality time with her family or checking out a great film!

Robyn King
Robyn KingDIrector of SchoolAppKC

“I believe that all families deserve equitable options for their child’s educational journey. I am honored to assist in that work with SchoolAppKC and Show Me KC Schools.”

Robyn King, born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, brings 15 years of education experience and over 20 years of experience in broadcast journalism to SMKCS. She holds a BA from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a Master’s of Arts in Teaching from the University of Central Missouri. She taught college and high school courses in English, Media, and Journalism including yearbook, online, newspaper, broadcast, and photojournalism. King has received many journalism state awards from the Missouri Interscholastic Press Association as well as a Literacy Award from the Missouri State Teachers’ Association.

Sarah Arriaga
Sarah ArriagaSchool Navigator - Spanish Bilingual Specialist

Sarah Arriaga is from wayyy southwest Kansas, a town called Liberal, KS. She moved to the area when she attended Washburn University in Topeka, KS, where she completed her undergraduate degree in Marketing and Finance. After Washburn, Sarah went on to complete a Master’s in Business Administration from Northwest Missouri State University. From her first nonprofit job, Sarah realized that education was the most important cause to her. Sarah recently started a new job as the Director of Development for Northland Early Education Center. She is also currently planning a wedding and a move to KC in the next few months. Sarah has two younger brothers. She enjoys trying to keep her houseplants alive, and listening to any and every crime documentary out there.

Sarah is looking forward to being able to use her native language skills to help families navigate the KC school environment and to learn more about the education system and ways to make it work for families.

Tricia McGhee
Tricia McGheeSchool Navigator - Spanish Bilingual Specialist

Tricia McGhee has called Kansas City her home for two thirds of her life- competing with her early years in California & recent years in Mexico City, Mexico. She is a parent to two bicultural middle schoolers, and experienced the complexity of navigating Kansas City’s educational landscape during her family’s return from Mexico City in 2017. While living in Mexico, she spent time in the classroom & developed an English literature workshop for elementary students that encouraged a chaotic love of books. Motivated by her dedication to language access & family engagement with refugee, immigrant & multilingual families, Tricia served as an AmeriCorps VISTA with the Department of Language Services & Cultural Equity at KCPS. Tricia received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science & Africana Studies from the University of Kansas, and seeks to support parent leadership capacity in Spanish speaking families.

She currently serves as a VISTA Leader at Literacy KC, and is a cohort member of the Parent Leadership Training Institute of Kansas City. Outside of these roles, Tricia can be found connecting with others through music (fiddling!), volunteering, hiking, and fostering one too many cats with KC Pet Project.

Meet Our Board Members

Erik Wullschleger
Erik WullschlegerVice-President

Erik Wullschleger is the Midwest Area Director for WeWork. As a part of this growing, global company, his team is responsible for creating the most remarkable places to work with a focus on creating community in their collaborative environments. Erik and his wife live in Kansas City and have a daughter who attends Holliday Montessori.

Patrick Amey
Patrick AmeyTreasurer

Patrick Amey is a Wealth Manager & Partner with Financial Advisory Service, Inc. in Leawood, KS. He was born and raised in Kansas City, received his undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas and an MBA from Rockhurst University. Pat, his wife, and two children live in midtown Kansas City. Their diverse community involvement reflects their passion for their current and former communities. Coaching lacrosse, volunteering at Irishfest, serving on boards of their neighborhood, and arts organizations are some of the many ways they give back to their communities.

Lindsay Mathews
Lindsay MathewsBoard Member

Lindsay is a family law attorney who represents individuals going through a divorce, modification of custody and child support, paternity, third party custody, stepparent adoption, or minor guardianship in Cass, Clay, Jackson, and Platte Counties in Missouri. She is regularly appointed as a Guardian ad Litem for children and is a trained mediator. She graduated from the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Law with an emphasis in Family Law. Prior to attending law school, Lindsay spent five years working in the education field. She taught for three years in the classroom and worked with teachers on their professional development for two years. Lindsay studied Spanish, Latin American Studies, and History at the University of Kansas where she rowed on the Crew Team and studied abroad in Costa Rica. When she isn’t working, Lindsay enjoys spending time with her family and friends exploring Kansas City.

Amanda Garbach
Amanda GarbachBoard Member

“I have seen so many talented young professionals move out of Kansas City because they were misinformed or simply were not aware of the school options available to their children. SMKCS is not only helping inform families of their choices, but is helping shift the preconceptions about education options available.”

Amanda works as a lead project designer at the architecture firm, Gould Evans, based out of their Westport office. After finishing her master’s in architecture at Kansas State University in 2010, Amanda purchased a foreclosed house in the heart of Volker and competed a total remodel. Since making Kansas City home, she has shifted her focus towards a broader involvement in the community, with a personal and professional focus on youth and education. You can see some of her building designs at Garmin, UMKC, and UCM.

Nicole Collier White, CNP
Nicole Collier White, CNPBoard Member

Nicole Collier White joined Kansas City Public Schools (KCPS) in January 2011. Currently, she serves as the Director of the Kansas City Public Schools Education Foundation where, she works to enrich and enhance the educational experience of all KCPS students by providing financial support and other resources to supplement district-wide programs and activities.

Nicole’s career has focused on community development in the public, private and non-profit sectors. She currently serves on the Advisory Board for WIN for KC, KC Rising: Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, and Big Brother Big Sisters Kansas City.

Collier White received a Bachelor of Arts degree from William Jewell College in Nonprofit Leadership and a minor in Entrepreneurial Leadership in the spring of 2010, she just joined the WJC Alumni Board of Governors in 2017 with the intention of increasing diversity enrollment on campus.

Tricia Johnson
Tricia JohnsonBoard Member
“As a parent, I see tremendous momentum building among parents, eager to seek out great schools and recognizing their capacity to help improve and create quality schools in every neighborhood.” 
 Tricia Johnson has taught middle school in Chicago and internationally. Originally from Southern California, Tricia earned her master’s degree from Teachers College, Columbia University, and worked in Indonesia in support of post-tsunami development before moving to Kansas City in 2009. In seeking a school for their two children, Tricia realized that many KC parents were struggling to find answers to their school-related questions and ended up moving from the city. Tricia founded Show Me KC Schools to help parents find the right information and the right school for their child, right here in Kansas City. In 2020, Tricia joined United Way of Greater Kansas City as their Director of Education Initiatives and is pleased to watch the continuous growth of Show Me KC Schools as a board member. Tricia enjoys jogs on the Trolley Trail, rousing games of UNO with her children, and discovering Kansas City’s many great neighborhoods.
Dalton Mott
Dalton MottBoard Member

Dalton Mott is an attorney at Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP in the environmental group. Dalton lives in the Kansas City area with his wife and baby girl Hazel. He also serves on the board of directors of Inclusion Connections, Inc., a nonprofit, that provides educational services to young adults with disabilities.

Susana Elizarraraz
Susana ElizarrarazBoard Member

Susana Elizarraraz is an educator from & in the community where she’s lived her whole life, Northeast Kansas City, Missouri. She has committed to the work of urban education since she graduated with her Bachelor’s in Elementary Education with an emphasis on Urban Education from UMKC. She began teaching 6th grade at a school in her home neighborhood. In 2017, she then graduated with a Master’s of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language from Webster University.

After teaching for 5 years, the systematic problems in education were as clear as ever & they encouraged her to make a move. She has more recently been committed to equity in education, especially now through her work with the Latinx Education Collaborative. As the VP of Educator Supports of the LEC, she works to increase Latinx educator representation in K-12 classrooms by establishing & fostering relationships amongst all community stakeholders to promote equitable access to Latinx educators, thus working toward an equitable education for all students.