About the Department of Culture and Belonging

  • In Olathe Public Schools, we are committed to our strategic plan goal to actively include and value all students and staff to meet their unique needs by providing equitable opportunities in order to develop their understanding and respect of differences, thus preparing them to live in an inclusive, global community and world.

Culture and Belonging logo

We All Belong Together T-shirts

  • We All Belong Together T-shirt logoThe Department of Culture and Belonging is offering the community an opportunity to support the belief that we all belong together by wearing a "We All Belong Together Olathe Public Schools" T-shirt. Wearing the shirts is confirmation that we are creating equitable and unifying schools that will promote a sense of belonging for all!

    Sizes range from small to 4X.

    Order your T-shirt here

Kathleen Smith

Phone: 913-780-7784


Degrees and Certifications:

Director of Culture and Belonging

Kathleen Smith is a champion for all who uplifts and unifies students, staff and community. She centers her work on inclusion and belonging. She meets unique needs by providing equitable opportunities, Pre-K-12, in order to develop understanding and respect of differences which will prepare all to live in an inclusive, global community and world. 

Her passion is to serve, and she became an administrator and teacher to honor her grandfather who was a pioneer principal during all Black segregated schools. She saw how his influence in education helped bridge the gap during integration and how his nine children all became doctors, engineers, military leaders, and teachers. His example proved that education could heal wounds, unite communities, and push students into their own potential successful best. Smith uses the motto “Each one. Teach one. Reach one” as her approach to education through culturally responsive teaching, differentiated instruction and project-based learning and works to support all students to develop their skills cognitively, personally, and interpersonally. 

Smith currently serves on the Johnson County Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Coalition and leads the Olathe Public Schools Diversity Engagement Advisory Council. Smith has served the Olathe School District as the e-Communication Academy facilitator, CTE Pathway leader, Olathe Diversity Engagement Advisory Council (DEAC) employee engagement co-chair, Olathe NEA Executive Board diversity chair, Olathe NEA Racial & Social Justice co-chair, ONW BLT co-chair, and ONW Diversity Leadership Club sponsor. She completed the 2022-23 OPS Lead Academy. Smith was named 2023 Olathe Public Schools Kansas Teacher of the Year-Secondary, received the 2021 KNEA Jack Williamson Award, the 2018 OPSF Excellence in Education Award, and was an OPS 2016 Kansas Horizon Award nominee.        

Smith earned a Masters of Science in Educational Administration from Fort Hays State University, a Masters of Science in Educational Leadership from Fort Hays State University, a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from the University of Kansas, and an Associate of Arts from Johnson County Community College. Smith believes in the importance of family and community and has been happily married for 34 years and has three children and three beautiful grandchildren.  

Aleia Maciula

Phone: 913-780-7947


Degrees and Certifications:

Program Specialist