Melissa Harkes, Board Member

Melissa Harkes and family

I want to take this opportunity to introduce myself.  My name is Melissa Harkes and I am a member of the KAS Board of Trustees.  I have two children, both of whom attended KAS for a portion of their educational journey.  My son attended KAS from first through sixth grade, and my daughter attended kindergarten at KAS.  We learned of KAS after my son had a difficult kindergarten year at a local school.  It was heartbreaking to watch him go from an energetic, engaged student to a sad, bored kid that truly believed he was the problem.  We toured KAS and quickly realized it was the place for him – differentiated learning, small classes, and an engaged, dynamic faculty.  He started first grade at KAS, and it was life changing.  He was excited to go to school again.  He was supported and challenged.  His teachers were wonderful and caring.  I found an amazing community of involved parents and caregivers. My son made friends in his first-grade class that he still speaks with on a weekly basis.  Although I no longer have a child attending school at KAS, I will forever be grateful for the school and what it meant for my family.  I view my time spent on the Board of Trustees my way of giving back to the school that gave so much to my son.  

I began serving on the Board in 2018.  I am proud of the time and effort I have given, particularly during the challenges we faced during the COVID pandemic and all that has followed.   I hope that my years of experience and historical knowledge of both the school and the Board can help guide us in upholding the mission of the school and ensure the success of KAS.  Although I am technologically quite lacking, I am head of the technology committee.  To be clear, I am only a figurehead in that regard.  My husband, Jan, is the technical brains behind the operations and has dedicated hours of his time and knowledge to the Board and the running of all things computer related at KAS – his service in that regard predates my time on the Board and continues to this day.  Professionally, I am a licensed attorney.  I graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and practiced at several large law firms, clerked for a number of appellate judges, and currently work for an online legal content provider.  

I often wish I had been able to attend a school like KAS when I was a child.  I truly believe there is both a place and a need for our little school, and I am proud to be a part of it. I am excited to see what the future holds for KAS. 

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