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 Middle School 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."

Mission & 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.


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  • Integrity

  • Inclusiveness

  • Imagination

  • Accountability

  • Courage

  • Purpose

  • Trust

  • Lifelong Learning


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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

    Shane Foster has been an educator, school leader and advocate for innovative learning for four decades.
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  • Dr. Tom Niermann

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

    Vice President 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. Foster2008-2021
    Dr. Tom Niermann2021-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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International Partner Schools

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

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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List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • 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.