Discover Barstow

Welcome to The Barstow School, where students from preschool through grade 12 are inspired to be makers, doers and confident leaders.
Barstow combines innovative academics, individualized learning and an emphasis on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts and math) to provide the best independent school education in the region. Forward-looking instruction responds to changing times and the changing needs of students and families for more than 135 years.
We begin with rigorous academics and add opportunities to create, compete, perform, and lead at every grade level. With so much to offer, Barstow students don’t have to choose one path. Instead, we encourage them to explore every interest. From the start, a Barstow education is designed to propel students to go anywhere they choose.

Barstow Student

"I am grateful for The Barstow School because this school really helped me build my character and be proud of my accomplishments and who I am as a person."

Our Mission

and Values

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  • Our Mission

    Since 1884, the mission of the school as stated by Mary Louise Barstow remains “to promote sound scholarship and to give symmetrical development to mind, body and character.”
  • Our Vision

    To graduate students who achieve their unique potential, live meaningful lives and significantly impact the world in which they live.

Core Values

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  • Integrity

  • Inclusiveness

  • Imagination

  • Accountability

  • Courage

  • Purpose

  • Trust

  • Lifelong Learning

21st Century Skills

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  • Collaboration & Teamwork

  • Communication

  • Creativity & Innovation

  • Critical Thinking

  • Problem Solving

  • Entrepreneurship

  • Flexibility

  • Civic Participation

  • Cultural Literacy & Global Awareness

  • Leadership

  • Perseverance & Resilience

  • Technology Proficiency


Not Spectators.
This is how I sum up the Barstow difference. We take kids out of the classroom and put them in the world, out of the audience and onto the stage, off the bleachers and into the game.
How do we do this? We admit curious, passionate learners. We attract and retain faculty who are much more than teachers. Whether we’re learning in-person, online or a blend of both, our school community is creative, connected and resilient.

Innovative thinking is part of our culture. We see how the freedom to try new things leads to moments of discovery and progress. We encourage students to brainstorm original ideas, test them, refine them, and learn from both successes and failures. If you are a curious, passionate learner, welcome to The Barstow School.

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  • Shane Foster

    President & Head of School
    Shane Foster has been an educator, school leader and advocate for innovative learning for more than 35 years.
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  • Judith Yount

    Vice President
    Judith Yount is an experienced teacher and administrator who believes in the importance of recognizing students' unique talents to make learning meaningful. 
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  • Dr. Tom Niermann

    Head of Campus
    Dr. Niermann brings three decades of education experience and leadership to Barstow, where he serves as Head of Campus.
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  • Liz Bartow

    Director of Campus Operations & Registrar
    Elizabeth Bartow is a lifelong independent school educator — serving as a teacher, admission director and administrator. 
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Board of Trustees

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Leadership Since 1884

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  • Our Founders

    A. W. Armour
    T. B. Bullene
    J. V. C. Karnes
    William Rockhill Nelson
    A. R. Meyer
    Gardiner Lathrop
    The Reverend Henry Hopkins
    Colonel C. F. Morse
    General H. F. Devol
    Medill Smith
  • Heads of School

    Miss Ada Brann1884-1897
    Miss Mary Louise Barstow1884-1922
    Miss Rose Adelaide Witham1923-1927
    Mrs. Helen Burton Williams1927-1934
    Miss Mercer Kendig1934-1937
    Miss Winifred Turner1937-1950
    Mr. Richard Sears1950-1965
    Mr. Donald A. Gordon1965-1968
    Mr. Gordon Kent Lenci1968-1975
    Dr. James H. McK. Quinn1975-1979
    Mr. Michael S. B. Churchman1979-1985
    Mr. Deane R. Lanphear1985-1987
    Mr. Thomas M. Reefer1987-1989
    Mr. James E. Achterberg1989-1994
    Mr. Charles H. Sachs1994-2001
    Mr. Arthur N. Atkison2001-2008
    Mr. Shane A. Foster2008-present
  • Original Board of Trustees

    Fred W. Fleming, President
    Marvin H. Gates, Secretary
    Otho C. Snider, Treasurer
    W. Wyan Goodwin
    Thomas J. Green
    J. E. Hutt
    Irwin R. Kirkwood
    H. M. C. Low
    A. B. H. McGee
  • Signers of Articles of Incorporation

    June 1923

    Fred Fleming
    Heath Moore
    William H. Scarritt
    John H. Lathrop
    Rose Adelaide Witham
    H.M.C. Low
    Otho C. Snider
    Marvin H. Gates
    Samuel W. Sawyer
    J.E. Maxwell
    H.E. Minty
    J.E. Hutt

History & Tradition

The oldest independent school west of the Mississippi, Barstow celebrated 135 years of innovative education during the 2019-2020 school year.

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  • Inclusion, Diversity & Equity

    Barstow is committed to inclusion, diversity, equity, equality and opportunity in our school, our community and our country.
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A Barstow Career

Faculty and staff are part of a community that values innovation, collaboration and communication.
Barstow offers educators an independent and collegiate atmosphere in which to teach and grow professionally. Staff members pursue careers in nonprofit administration, marketing and communications, fundraising and support roles. We also have many opportunities for qualified substitute teachers. 

Full-time employee benefits include life and health insurance, short-term disability care, generous sick leave, holiday packages and the VALIC retirement program. Faculty and staff are encouraged to pursue professional development opportunities.


Please download and complete the application for employment. You will need Acrobat Reader to open the file. You may complete the form online and print it, but the data will not be saved. Mail or email your completed application, resume and a cover letter to us.

The Barstow School
Attn: Recruiting
11511 State Line Road
Kansas City, MO 64114

Current Openings

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  • Extended Care Employee

    The Barstow School's before and after school program seeks high-energy employees for the 2020-2021 school year. Extended Care if offered from 7-8 a.m. and 2:45-6 p.m. and serves students in preschool-grade 8. This is a great way for college students to gain experience and make connections for future employment. If you are pursuing an education degree or have experience working with children, you may qualify for an interview. Employees can expect to work 10-18 hours a week with the opportunity for flexible scheduling. Email Max Williams or call 816-277-0429.
  • Substitute Teachers

    The Barstow School is seeking energetic, communicative, and creative people for substitute teachers.  Substitute positions are available for both elementary and secondary levels.  The ideal candidate will be flexible, energetic and willing to engage with students in a vibrant educational environment. 
    A Bachelor’s degree
    Experience working in a school setting
    A willingness to adapt to changing conditions.
    A high degree of comfort using technology in an educational setting

    Please email your resume, application and cover letter to the Assistant Director of Middle and Upper School at
  • Various Long-Term Substitute Positions - Spring of 2021

    November 30, 2020 

    The Barstow School in Kansas City, MO is seeking experienced and talented educators to fulfill various  long-term substitute needs during the spring semester of 2021.  The school is actively seeking  individuals qualified and interested in the following placements below during the general time frame  provided:
    • Middle & Upper School Mathematics (6th Grade Mathematics & Geometry), Jan-Mar, 2021
    • Upper School Science (Physics & Physical Science), Mar-May, 2021
    • Lower School Grade 4 Language Arts, Mar-May, 2021
    Candidates interested in any of these long-term substitute placements should possess a passion for education and student-centered learning. At the time of this posting, The Barstow School is operating  both in-person classes on-campus, along with a synchronous online option. The school plans to continue operating in this fashion for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year, barring unforeseen circumstances. Candidates should feel comfortable teaching in an online setting, along with using various technology tools. 

    The ideal candidate for these positions will possess: 
    • A minimum of a bachelor's degree.
    • Experience in education, preferably in an independent school setting.
    • A high degree of comfort using technology to support instruction.
    • Excellent organization and communication skills.
    Interested candidates should send a cover letter, resume, and a ​Barstow employment application​ to: 
    Joe Fox ‘04, Director of Middle & Upper School  (​)
    along with
    Todd Nelson, Director of Lower School (​).  

    Located in Kansas City, Missouri and founded in 1884, The Barstow School is a co-educational school  where students in preschool through twelfth grade develop in a challenging educational community.  As originally stated by Mary Louise Barstow, the objective of the school remains “to promote sound  scholarship and to give symmetrical development to mind, body and character.”

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  • Notice of Nondiscriminatory Policy as to Students and Employees

    The Barstow School admits students of any race, religion, national or ethnic origin with all the rights, privileges, programs and activities accorded or made available to all students. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, disability or any other characteristic protected by the law in the administration of its educational and admission policies, financial aid policies, scholarship and loan programs or athletic and other school-administered programs.

    This policy of nondiscrimination governs the hiring of employees as well and includes the administration of all benefits and policies throughout the term of employment.

International Partner Schools

The Barstow School is proud to have partnerships with schools around the world, allowing student and teacher exchanges and academic collaboration.