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Meet Our Negotiations Team

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Photo by Garrhet Sampson on Unsplash

Our negotiations team has already had three IBB meetings with the district, one IBB training session, and several planning sessions with our E-board. It's always a heavy load for any negotiations team, but with a global pandemic and societal unrest, this is definitely an incredibly difficult time to be at the table bargaining for all our benefit.

That's why we thought you might like to get to know each of our team members, and if you see them in your building or online, take a moment to thank them for accepting this enormous responsibility.

If you have specific questions or concerns, please send them to Kim at khoward@utw-ks.org

Kim Howard

This is my 22nd year in Wichita Public Schools.  I was a kindergarten teacher for 8 years at Griffith Elementary and an ESOL teacher for 8 years at Washington Elementary.  In my position as President of UTW, I am now a Roving Teacher for the district.  I became a building rep my second year of teaching, and I have been actively involved with UTW ever since.  Over the years, I’ve served as an Executive Board member, Secretary, Vice-President, and President. 


Brent Lewis

I was a K-12 student of Wichita Public Schools, graduating from South High in 1995.  I obtained a bachelor’s degree in Spanish Language and Literature from Wichita State University in December of 2001 after volunteering for active duty as a US Army paratrooper after 9/11.  I served in the US Army’s Commander-In-Chief’s Guard and Escort to the President for President George W. Bush in Washington, DC, and then used the GI Bill to earn my master’s degree in Financial Planning from Kansas State University.

I began teaching in Wichita Public Schools at Heights High in 2006, and I have been at North High from 2008 to the present.  My daughters have attended Wichita Public Schools from Kindergarten to now, with both attending Northeast Magnet High this year.  I have served on the Professional Development Committee and the Labor – Management Committee.  After attending national conferences on curriculum and instruction, I have designed and implemented professional learning for standards-based unit and lesson planning as well as differentiated instruction during my time at North.  I also work on curriculum development teams for USD 259 for high school Financial Literacy and Investing courses.

My experience in business with the financial planning firm I founded in 2013 also informs my perspective on working with the IBB Team.  I’ve conducted financial wellness workshops for United Teachers of Wichita in the past, as well as other union organizations in the state.  I also have an online financial wellness program under development at the moment, which has been an interesting parallel with our current situation in education.

These experiences in the military, in business and in education have built my philosophy for honest, tough collaboration with our district administration to achieve the mission of our organization while also ensuring that certified staff are able to thrive as professionals in a healthy, sustainable work environment.  I worked with the leadership in my Army unit in the same capacity as I am doing now with UTW, and have approached the long-term strategic planning to direct my company in the leadership position.  With a foot in both worlds, I intend to represent UTW from this perspective and bring this variety of experience to the IBB Team.


Jennifer Porter

I have been teaching in USD 259 since graduating college in 2006. For 13 years, I taught primary grades before becoming an Interrelated Teacher. I care very deeply about teachers having a voice in their profession that is why I proudly serve on the IBB team. 


Jonna LaKous

My name is Jonna LaKous, and I am currently an 8th grade math teacher at Curtis Middle School. I am in my 13th year of teaching. I spent 4 years teaching at Brooks Middle School, 4 years at Haysville Middle School, and I'm in my 5th year at Curtis Middle School. I have been a union member in both Haysville and Wichita for most of my career. 

My passion is to serve the amazing teachers in our district who give all of themselves to serve Wichita students. I believe that teachers deserve a voice, and I want to help make that voice heard loud and clear. 


Kelly McDonough

The majority of my 25 years of experience have come through teaching, growing, and learning in Wichita Public Schools. I have enjoyed teaching and preparing first, third, and fourth graders to become lifelong learners. The last nine years I have been teaching in ESL schools where I have learned new skills and strategies that I can share with all my students. I have served on our school improvement team, peer mentoring board, building committee, and as a building rep for UTW.

I’m honored to serve and represent fellow teachers this year as part of the IBB Team.

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