Topeka, Kansas — Robert Garner has joined the Board of Directors for the Kansas Health Institute (KHI). Garner is CEO/President at Youth Horizons, a faith-based organization known for its mentoring and teen residential services programs. Youth Horizons operates one of the largest residential services programs for displaced teens in the Wichita community.
Garner began his career in education as an Accounting and Business Studies Teacher, followed by 17 years of serving as an Assistant Principal and Principal. He broadened his scope of leadership by serving for six years as the Executive Director of Secondary Education for Wichita Public Schools, one of the largest school districts in the Midwest, serving more than 50,000 students. In that role, Garner was responsible for assisting in providing full leadership and operational support to all secondary schools and many programs. He collaborated with district staff and stakeholders to support student academic growth and development. He was committed to working with school and district leaders to celebrate district, school and individual accomplishments in reaching student learning goals. He also assisted in the implementation of programs and strategies to build capacity throughout the entire educational system.
Garner has had great success with his work around closing the achievement gap and has presented at several national conferences on this issue. He has worked in high-poverty schools, where he achieved double digit gains in both reading and math for three consecutive years and earned the Standard of Excellence award while serving as the Principal for Brooks Center for STEM and the Arts Magnet Middle School. Garner also has received several professional awards as a District Administrator. He has served in a leadership role for Community Education Day and as a member of the Business Educators Alliance task force. He also has served on the Board of Trustees for Leadership Wichita and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce.
“I am pleased that Robert has agreed to join our Board of Directors,” said Kari Bruffett, KHI President and CEO. “As a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization working to improve the health of all Kansans, KHI will benefit from his vast experience in education and the administration of educational programs. We will benefit from the insight Robert brings regarding the health of youth and adults in the Wichita area.”
A native of Wichita, Garner earned undergraduate degrees in business administration and secondary education, a master’s degree in school and district-level leadership, and superintendent licensure credentials from Wichita State University.