Director of Cultural Innovation

Dr. Pilar Mejía

Dr. Pilar Mejía, a trilingual educator native from Cali, Colombia, has served in Topeka Public Schools for almost two decades. Now serving as the Director of Cultural Innovation, Dr. Mejía began her career in Topeka Public Schools as an elementary teacher in 2004 after attending Washburn University where she earned her bachelor’s. She then went to the University of Kansas for her English of Students of Other Languages (ESOL) endorsement and master’s degree, and later to Kansas State University to earn her doctorate. 

Dr. Mejía’s entire career in education has been with Topeka Public Schools and, aside from teaching 4th and 5th graders at Scott Elementary from 2004-2008, she also served as a teacher of English Learners at French Middle School from 2008-2009, transitioning the following year to become the English Language Learner Coach for secondary teachers from 2009-2013.

In 2013, Dr. Mejía transitioned back to Scott Elementary, currently Scott Dual Language Magnet, to serve as the first Dual Language Coordinator. From 2014-2017, she was the Assistant Principal at Scott, became Principal at Highland Park Central Elementary in 2017-2018, and returned to lead Scott Dual Language Magnet where she was Principal during the 2018-2022 school years.

Dr. Mejía is a member of the Equity Council in Topeka Public Schools, and her work in multicultural affairs dates back to when she served as Chair of the Multicultural Committee at Scott in 2006, member of the Multicultural Training Team (MCTT) in the same year, and a member of the Committee for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students (CLD) between 2009 and 2013. She is a local, national and international presenter: Creative Partnerships in Learning for an International World at the National Federation of Urban and Suburban School Districts (NFUSSD), Resisting Linguistic & Cultural Erasure to Qualitative Inquiry at the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry (ICQI), and Closing the Equity Gap: Innovative Strategies for Bilingual/Biliterate Learners at  the Kansas Association of School Boards (KASB), and the National School Boards Association (NSBA).  

In 2011, Dr. Mejía was named one of Topeka’s Top 20 Under 40 for Leadership and Achievement in the Greater Topeka Area. Dr. Mejía is a published author in the article category, and was instrumental in helping lead Scott Dual Language Elementary as it became the first bilingual magnet school in Topeka, as well as the only school in Kansas that has won the School of the Year Excellence in Education Award granted by the Embassy of Spain in 2015, an award given to schools in the United States that show excellence in content and language integrated learning programs in English and Spanish. As the leader of Scott Dual Language Magnet, Dr. Mejía was named Principal of the Year in 2019 and 2020, and in April of 2022, she received the Magna Award Grand Prize on behalf of Topeka Public Schools as a leader in PK-12 dual language education in the United States.

Dr. Pilar Mejia

Dr. Pilar Mejía
Director of Cultural Innovation
(785) 235-7053
[email protected]

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