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Tysie McDowell-Ray, formerly of Davenport, now of Kansas City, has won a Charter School Leadership Award from the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools.

McDowell-Ray will receive the award at a reception on Sept. 11 in Washington, D.C., that also highlights and thanks African-American members of Congress for their support of charter schools within their districts and states.

The reception will be held during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference. It is co-sponsored with the United Negro College Fund; The 74, a nonprofit news website focusing on educational issues; the KIPP Foundation, a nationwide network of free, open-enrollment, college-preparatory schools in low-income neighborhoods that is the largest network of public charter schools in the nation, and Roland Martin, a Haitian American journalist.

McDowell-Ray received her bachelor's degree in elementary education with a minor in African World Studies from the University of Iowa and her master's degree in school administration from Baker University, Baldwin City, Kansas.

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She taught in Des Moines and Kansas City, was an adjunct professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and founded Nia Educational Consulting.

In 2012, she co-founded the Crossroads Academy of Kansas City, now Crossroads Charter Schools, a network of three tuition-free charter schools in downtown Kansas City, where she currently serves as the schools' chief academic officer.

She is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., and the Missouri Foster Care Adoption Association. She serves on the boards of the Global Association for Multicultural Education and To The World, Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of children in the United States and abroad.

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