Phone: (913) 667-6200, ext. 2920

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Dr. Joe Kelly

Director of Secondary Curriculum, Instruction and Title Funds

Dr. Kelly joined the curriculum team in July 2017 and comes to USD 232 from Holton Public Schools in Holton, KS, where he served as an assistant superintendent, building leader, curriculum director, professional development chair, state accreditation chair and transportation director.

He is a native of Johnson County, holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from The University of Kansas, a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Rockhurst University, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from The University of Kansas.  Dr. Kelly lives in De Soto and enjoys spending time with his wife, Inga, daughter, Norah, and son, Liam.

 

Phone: (913) 667-6200, ext. 2714

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Dr. Ceresa Schaffer

Secondary Curriculum Coordinator

Dr. Ceresa Schaffer has been with the Curriculum and Instruction Department since July of 2014.  She coached and taught English at Hayden High School in Topeka, KS, and then transitioned to Olathe South High School where she served as the BLT Chair, Special Education Department Chair, Counselor Lead, Administrative/Guidance Support as well as coached.

She is from Eureka, KS, attended Johnson County Community College on a Vocal Music and Performance Dance scholarship, and received an associate’s degree in fine arts. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Education/English from Emporia State University and then completed her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Washburn University and Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Baker University. Ceresa lives in Olathe, KS with her husband, Jason, who teaches at Olathe North HS. They are busy with their three children, two boys, Raef and Brooks, and a daughter, Ainsley.

Phone: (913) 667-6200, ext. 2803

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Dr. Cindy Swartz

Career & Technical Education

Dr. Swartz joined the Curriculum and Instruction Department in July 2015 and was previously a Career and Technical Education teacher within USD 232 from 2007-2015.  Prior to serving in USD 232, she served 10 years in the Gardner-Edgerton School District where she was the chair of the language arts department, senior class sponsor, literary magazine sponsor, and teacher.  Dr. Swartz started her career as a teacher in Leoti, KS at Wichita County High School.

She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary English Education from Kansas State University, a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Missouri at Kansas City, and a Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from The University of Kansas.  Dr. Swartz lives in Shawnee and enjoys spending time with her husband, Bart, and daughter, Reagan.

Phone: (913) 667-6200, ext. 2537

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Rachel Mikel

 
District Instructional Specialist, Secondary
 
Mrs. Mikel taught K-5 music at Starside Elementary from 2002-2015 as well as directed the elementary choir. She coached track and taught Family and Consumer Sciences at Lexington Trails Middle School from 2015-2018. She served on the District Technology Committee and was a pilot teacher during the 1:1 evaluation.
 
Rachel Mikel is from Sedgwick, Kansas and attended the University of Kansas, earning a Bachelor's Degree in Vocal Music and Music Education. She is certified in K-5 Band and Vocal Music, TESOL, and Family and Consumer Sciences. She completed her Master's Degree in Instructional Technology in 2017 from Fort Hays State University. Mrs. Mikel lives in Lawrence with her husband, Matthew, a registered nurse in the Kansas City area. They stay busy with their two daughters, Zahrah and Ivy, and honor the memory of their son, Elijah, who they lost in 2018. 

Phone: (913) 667-6200, ext. 2316

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Nichole Gurwell

 
District Instructional Specialist, Elementary
 
Mrs. Gurwell joined the curriculum team in July 2019 and was previously an elementary school teacher at Clear Creek Elementary. Prior to that she was a teacher and Instructional Coach in the Tonganoxie School District.  Nichole was honored as the Clear Creek Teacher of the Year, Jedel Math Award Semi-Finalist, KTOY District Finalist, KSDE Horizon Award Winner, and a KSDE Teacher of Promise. 
 
Nichole Gurwell earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Nebraska, a Master’s Degree in Special Education from the University of St Mary and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Pittsburg State University. Prior to becoming an educator, Nichole was a television reporter at stations around the midwest. Nichole lives in Shawnee and enjoys coaching Mill Valley High School Girl’s Tennis and spending time with her husband, Owen, and her children Morgan and Caden.

Phone:  (913) 667-6200 ext. 3106

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Tami Casey

Tami Casey joined De Soto Schools in the spring of 2019 and serves as the Executive Administrative Assistant of the Curriculum and Instruction Department.   Tami is a Kansas City native and mom to 13 International Exchange Students.  A move in 2015 took she and husband, Gary to the suburbs of Minneapolis, MN, where she enjoyed her job as the Registrar for Chaska Middle School East in Chaska, MN,  After a few Minnesota winters they left the bold north behind, returned to their roots and are happy to call KC home again.