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Jessica Bassett, Principal of Southeast

Jessica Bassett

Principal - Southeast High School

Formative Years

Jessica was born and raised in Kansas City, KS and graduated High School from Sumner Academy of Arts and Science where she was scholar, musician and athlete. She received a 4-year scholarship to the University of Kansas (KU) where she majored in Vocal Performance.  During her tenure there she was deemed one of the “Top Ten Most Powerful Women on Campus” due to her leadership in Student Government and Social Organizations. She was the voice for many disenfranchised members of the campus community and left a legacy of social activism.

Employment History

After graduating from KU she began teaching in a Kansas City, Missouri charter school for Kindergarten through 8th grade students where she taught music and reading. After five years with the charter school Ms. Bassett joined the Kansas City Public School system, where she worked at J.A. Rogers Middle School for 3 years before it was closed due to school reorganization efforts.  She then moved her talents to Westport High School.  An administrative opportunity became available and Jessica was named the Academic Vice-Principal for East High School. Her responsibilities included managing the 7th and 8th grade students that had been moved into a high school setting as well as overseeing the school-wide instructional development. After two years of successfully maneuvering the role of Academic Vice-Principal/Interim Principal for East High School as it participated in the School Improvement Grant Process (SIG), she was asked to lead an elementary school that would be entering the SIG process and assist the other principals with understanding the expectations of SIG. For four years, Ms. Bassett served as principal of Crispus Attucks Elementary School and met the criteria for school turnaround. After district downsizing Ms. Bassett began a new administrative journey as principal of North East Middle School where her expertise in Transformational Leadership was utilized. After just one year at NEMS. Bassett was asked to take over the helm at Southeast High School, where she has successfully established a positive culture and climate and shown academic growth in just 3 years as Principal.

Educational Philosophy

The business of educating urban students is critical work. The quality of our work can determine destinies.  It can empower our student to sit in the company of kings or imprison them to poverty.  It’s serious work that takes a team of passionate, strategic and committed people executing inspired, mission oriented change in tandem.

Spiritual Walk

Jessica Bassett is the devoted mother of 2 high school aged sons, Langston and Lance Bassett. She sees her sons as gifts some God. They have been an example of God giving her “beauty for ashes and joy for her sorrow.  Ms. Bassett has walked with God for all of her life. Jessica gave her public confession of surrendering her life to Christ at the young age of 7 years old and till this day, she has never lost her faith in God and the saving power Jesus Christ. As result, Jessica has worked in many ministries of the Pleasant Green Baptist Church.  Presently, she is one of three Teen Department Sunday School Teacher and Music Department Coordinator at Pleasant Green Baptist Church under the leadership of her pastor, Rev. Jarvis L. Collier. Her daily desire and prayer is “when people go looking for Christ, may the find Him in me”. Ms. Basset wants God to receive the glory for every success and triumph. 

Personal Life

Ms. Bassett is also a member the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and has just celebrated 25 years of membership. She is an avid sports fan. She especially enjoys watching her son Lance play football and basketball. As a KU alum, she always roots for her Jayhawks.  In addition, Ms. Bassett is a musician by trade.  She sings, plays the piano and clarinet.  She receives tremendous joy seeing that same passion in her oldest son Langston as he performs in school musicals, choir performance, band and at church.  This year, Ms. Bassett is committed to completing her terminal degree and become Dr. Bassett by December 2020.  In all, she admits same God that came through last time, is the same God that will come through this time.


University of Missouri - Kansas City, Kansas City, Missouri

Education Doctorate in Urban Leadership, August 2008 to present
Education Specialist in School Administration, August 2008
Principal Elementary Licensure K-8   Career PCP
Principal Secondary Licensure 7-12   Career PCP

Avila University, Kansas City, Missouri

Master of Education/Teacher Certification
Vocal Music K-12
Career CPC

University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas

Bachelor of Arts, Vocal Performance

Shanelle Smith - Associated Principal of AC Prep Upper

Shanelle Smith

Associate Principal - African-Centered College Preparatory Academy

Shanelle Smith is a Kansas City native and alumnus of Lincoln College Preparatory Academy. After attending Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, she returned to Kansas City to work as an educator. Mrs. Smith has served as an English teacher, Instructional Coordinator, adjunct professor, and administrator. In her 16th year of education, she is now the Associate Principal of AC Prep Upper at Southeast High. 

Southeast High School