Director of Charter School Operations
Dr. Gerry Kettenbach joined the Charter School Office staff in 2014. Prior to working with the MU Charter School Office, Dr. Kettenbach served as teacher, counselor and administrator in public and parochial schools, including Vashon High School (SLPS), Kirby Junior High (Hazelwood), Cross Keys Middle and Ferguson Middle (Ferguson-Florissant), Parkway North High School, Jefferson Middle School (St. Charles), St. Dominic High School (O’Fallon) and Mary Queen of Peace School.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Bioethics and Future Studies from Saint Louis University, a Master’s Degree in Counseling from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Saint Louis University. His professional certifications are in Mathematics, Biology, Counseling, Middle and High School Principal and Superintendent.
Gerry’s professional interests include secondary education, with an emphasis on middle school (where he served most of his K-12 career), curriculum and instruction, arts education, character education and ethics, and organizational change. He has taught online courses on Assessment and Evaluation and has been president of the St. Louis Gateway Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa (PDK). His avocational interests include the visual and performing arts, travel and local culture, and nature, including wildlife rehabilitation.
Charter School Liaison
Ms. Harris joined our staff in 2013, in a part-time capacity and loved it enough to join us full-time in 2014. She was born and raised in St. Louis, educated in both the Catholic and public school systems–a proud graduate of Beaumont High School.
While she left for higher education, her heart stayed home and she returned to invest over 11 years in social service and not for profit agencies. A large part of that time was spent preparing both elementary and high school students for long-term educational success and employment. Ms. Harris has a lifetime of experience working in and with the St. Louis Community from neighborhoods and schools to coordinating with state and federal agencies, and she is committed to continuing to invest in her home communities.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, a Master of Arts in Legal Studies, and a Masters of Business Administration.
Elizabeth Ann Sanders, Ph.D.
Charter School Specialist
Dr. Elizabeth Ann Sanders is a nationally recognized education leader, education consultant, and former Assistant Superintendent of the Kansas City Public Schools. In 2017, Dr. Sanders was selected as the Executive Director of DeLaSalle Charter High School by the Board of Directors and UMKC Charter School Center. Dr. Sanders’ task was to develop a “turnaround” education and financial plan to best position the school to move ahead and continue the commitment to providing a high-quality, viable education for all students. Dr. Sanders joined Mizzou’s Sponsorship office as KC Charter School Liaison in Spring 2020.
Dr. Sanders earned her doctorate in Educational Policy and Administration at the University Kansas, and she has a passionate commitment and deep expertise in creating educational systems that ensure the success of every learner. For her social justice activism, Dr. Sanders has received the national 2016 Dr. Effie H. Jones Humanitarian Award awarded by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA); and she was awarded the M. Claradine Johnson Leadership Award, awarded by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
With more than 30 years in education, Dr. Sanders has also served as a Principal in the Blue Valley School District, the Director of Secondary Education in the Olathe School District, and Director of Continuing Education at Baker University while teaching both Foundations of Educational Leadership and Program Planning and Evaluation in Baker University’s doctoral program. All of these achievements are highlighted because in each of these positions, Dr. Sanders was the 1st African American to hold any of these positions.
Dr. Sanders has provided leadership for numerous successful educational initiatives including: providing leadership for Kansas City Public Schools to move from being Unaccredited to achieving its current status of being Provisionally Accredited, directing Olathe’s 21st Century Programs, establishing a state-wide Advanced Placement Conference, and serving as chief grant writer garnering more than $6 million for innovative Educational Programs.
A message from Dr. Sanders “Our community has promised all of our children that we will provide an equal opportunity for every child to have access to the American Dream. The Kansas City metroplex, along with its committed supporters, is passionately dedicated to bringing to fruition the promise that every child will be given a high-quality education and the supports to reach each student’s fullest potential.”