How we got started

Friends of Hale Cook started in Fall 2010 as a result of several community members coming together to ask what was next for Hale Cook Elementary School. A beautiful building, the school had been mothballed in 2009 (closed by KCPS with the intent of being reopened) and neighbors expressed an interest to discuss what could be done.

We incorporated as a nonprofit and worked for nearly three years to engage the community, rally support for reopening Hale Cook and worked with KCPS to make our vision a reality. In Fall 2013, Hale Cook at Hartman Elementary opened serving one kindergarten class and several first graders.  In Fall 2014, Hale Cook students students moved into the newly renovated school building. For the 2014-2015 school year Hale Cook serves pre-k through 2nd grade students and will add 3rd grade students for the 2015-2016 school year. The school will continue to grow with the addition of classes over the coming years and Friends of Hale Cook is dedicated to supporting the students, family and neighbors of Hale Cook Elementary School for academic success and a stronger public school system.

Our Board of Directors

Sarah Darmitzel
Sarah DarmitzelChair
Structural engineer (energy) at Burns & McDonnell. Licensed professional engineer. Certified private pilot. Member of Greater Kansas City 99’s. Lives two blocks from Hale Cook with husband David and sons Otto, Louis, and Jude.
Kerry Ann Masoner
Kerry Ann MasonerVice Chair
Second grade teacher and Assistant Director of Summer Programs at the Pembroke Hill School. Has a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and Master’s in Elementary Curriculum and Instruction. Lives a few blocks from Hale Cook School with her husband, Bill and son, George.
Christine Ritchie
Christine RitchieTreasurer
Chief Financial Officer of The Cooperative Finance Association. Certified Public Accountant active in Community Linc and other non-profit boards. Has lived in Waldo/Brookside area with her husband, John, for more than a decade.
Sara BarberDirector
Accountant for a Kansas City based family business and a stay at home parent. Is an active Certified Public Accountant. Has lived, for more than a decade, in the Brookside area with her husband, Jared. Enjoys spending time with her two small children, Quinn and Truman.
Nikki Browning
Nikki BrowningDirector
KU Biology graduate and works with Premier Research as a Clinical Manager. Waldo resident for 13 years with husband Aaron and daughter now in 1st grade at Hale Cook. Passionate for the arts in KC and previously served on boards for Young Friends of Art and The Lyric Opera Guild of Kansas City. Founded The Young Friends of the Lyric in 2001.
Rachael Gordon
Rachael GordonDirector
Community Relations Manager at Sherwood Center. Nonprofit marketing and fundraising background and Girls on the Run coach. Kansas State University graduate and Waldo resident for 10+ years with husband Jeff and daughter Fiona.
Joseph Heidrick
Joseph HeidrickDirector
Assistant Dean of the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy. Earned a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D) Degree from KU in 2004. Following graduation completed residency at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Originally from Beloit, Kansas and now lives in Brookside with wife Lindsey and daughter Miles.
Kate Hulsen
Kate HulsenSecretary
Director of Marketing + Business Development at Helix Architecture + Design. Graduate of University of Missouri-Columbia. Lives in Brookside with her husband, Dave.
Brian Mason
Brian MasonDirector
Middle school teacher in the North Kansas City School District. Bachelors in Business from Drake University and Masters in Education from Rockhurst University. Lives in Waldo, 2 blocks from Hale Cook with wife, Rachel, and daughter, Eleanor.
Jeff Phillips
Jeff PhillipsDirector
Sr. Vice President of Missouri Bank. Oklahoma native. Involved with his church, many nonprofits, boards and commissions. Jeff, his wife Allison, and daughters Eliza and Rosie live in Waldo/Brookside.
Elizabeth Sady
Elizabeth SadyDirector
Born and raised in KC. KU Business School graduate. Realtor with The Bash Group. Lives in Brookside with her husband, Tim, and two boys, Maxwell and William. Enjoys spending time with Brookside Mothers’ Association playgroup.
Katie Zeeck
Katie ZeeckDirector
English teacher at Southeast High School. Masters in Education from the University of Southern California. Bachelors in English from the University of Michigan. Michigan native. Active member of Second Presbyterian Church. Lives in Brookside with husband Phillip Zeeck and kitty, Bessie.