Early influences including teachers and parents are fundamental when it comes to driving forces that push people to succeed.
That's according to Dr. Jennifer Klemp, who was the guest speaker at Tuesday's annual breakfast of the Leavenworth Public Schools Education Foundation.
Klemp, a 1990 graduate of Leavenworth High School, is the chief executive officer of Cancer Survivorship Training as well as an assistant professor of medicine, Division of Clinical Oncology, and director of cancer survivorship at the University of Kansas Medical Center Cancer Center.
Tuesday's breakfast was held at Leavenworth High School.
"It is hard to believe I walked these halls over 20 years ago ― they still seem so familiar and there are even still a few familiar faces," Klemp said.
She thanked the community for providing her formative education and experiences.
Klemp is the daughter of former Leavenworth High School teacher and current school board member Nancy Klemp.
The event was the 12th annual breakfast for the Leavenworth Public Schools Education Foundation.
Foundation President Mike Reilly said the organization, which provides support the Leavenworth school district, was founded 12 years ago by three members of the Leavenworth High School site council.
He said the foundation has raised $1.2 million during those 12 years.
"It's truly remarkable how the community is supporting our foundation," he said.
He said the goal for the foundation's fundraising campaign for this school year was $150,000. He said $155,547 was raised.
He said it's rewarding to see that school district employees, as a group, remain the top donor to the foundation. The employees donated $23,000 during the recent campaign.
The breakfast included a state of the schools address by Superintendent Kelly Crane.
Crane talked about the condition of the district's facilities. She said the facilities are a source of pride for the district.
She also discussed emergency preparedness in the schools and the uncertainty regarding how decisions made by lawmakers will impact the district.
Crane said her hope is that as legislators deliberate, they give consideration to what is best for children.
She also pointed to examples of successes in the district.
"Each our schools has successes to be proud of," she said.
During her remarks, Klemp spoke of connecting the dots of how she got where she is today. She said her path included uncertainty and chance. She said there had been disappointment and failure.
"But in the end persistence and passion for the greater good paid off," she said.
She said the people who attended Tuesday's breakfast have answered a need.
"You are willing to help the teachers and children in this school district to meet their potential by giving voluntarily for the sole reason to make our world a better place," she said. "You have made a commitment to this school district and to the community."