Kansas PTA names Shawnee Mission’s Mary Sinclair recipient of Virginia Peak Outstanding Leadership Award

Kansas PTA president-elect Lauri DeNooy (from left), Mary Sinclair, and Kansas PTA president Monica Crowe.

Prior to her election at the SM East area representative on the Shawnee Mission Board of Education last fall, Mary Sinclair had spent 15 years in a variety of roles with the PTAs at her children’s schools and with the district-wide Shawnee Mission Area Council PTA group.

This month, the Kansas PTA recognized her myriad contributions to area PTAs with the 2018 Virginia Peak Outstanding Leadership Award.

In a surprise presentation at last week’s board of education ceremony, Kansas PTA president Monica Crowe and president-elect Lauri DeNooy announced Sinclair as this year’s winner of the award, which honors someone who has “exemplary service to the children and youth of Kansas.”

Sinclair, who holds a Master’s in education from Harvard and a PhD in special education from the University of Minnesota, had been an active presence in both district-level and state-wide analysis of Kansas education policy as one of the legislative chairs of the SMAC PTA in recent years. She has also been involved with the advocacy organizations the MainStream Coalition and GameOn for Kansas Schools.