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The GenWhy Leaders Podcast

Aug 19, 2019

Show Overview:

On this episode of the GenWhy Leaders Podcast, we hear from Kirsten Brown, Founding Principal at Crossroads Preparatory Academy based in Kansas City, Missouri. Kirsten and Crossroads Preparatory Academy are disrupting the education sector by helping students build the social, emotional and academic skills necessary to succeed in life. Kirsten tells us how Crossroads Preparatory Academy came to fruition, how she landed the role of Principal, and how she manages 20 staff members and more than 200 students. 

Kirsten’s Why:

To ensure students, no matter where they come from, have the opportunity to be exposed to a myriad of passions they may want to pursue in the future. 

How Kirsten earned the role as Principal for Crossroads Preparatory Academy:

Kirsten was previously a teacher at the middle school of Crossroads Preparatory Academy - Central Street, part of the larger network of Crossroads Preparatory Academy. After receiving a ton of great feedback about the positive impact the middle school was making in students’ lives, and noticing the void at the high school level, Kirsten knew what her next career step should be. She simultaneously applied for the Crossroads High School Principal position, and to Harvard’s Educational Leadership Doctoral Program, in hopes of making her vision come to life at a nationwide scale. Kirsten’s plans for Harvard were put on hold when she earned the position as Principal, not only of the high school but of the middle school as well. 

Preparing students for the future:

After much research, Crossroads Preparatory Academy gathered the most important skills for students to have as they enter their careers is problem solving. Current employers also state new hires also need to be able to think critically, collaborate, and form authentic partnerships to complete a task. The Academy encourages students to provide real-world solutions to problems in the Kansas City community. The school has an “Innovation Partner,” who proactively curates projects to engage students beyond textbooks and research papers to give them real-world experiences. 

Authentic listening = authentic learning

The academy prides itself on constantly evolving and growing from feedback provided by teachers, parents and students. Always keeping an open ear for new iterations, Crossroad’s Preparatory Academy regularly implements the feedback into their programs that is critical for its future success.

How to contact Kirsten:


About Crossroads Preparatory Academy:

Crossroads Charter Schools prepare and inspire students to build a better tomorrow by providing an academically rigorous K-12 education in a creative, collaborative, community-focused environment. Learn more about Crossroads Preparatory Academy by visiting its website