In the course of his previous job as deputy superintendent with the Independence School District, overseeing the district's early education programs and providing direction in curriculum and assessment, Dred Scott communicated often with the two Boys & Girls Club branches in Independence.

As such, he knew the organization's good local reputation. Since becoming president/CEO of Boys & Girls Club of Greater Kansas City about three months ago, Scott says he's learned that reputation extends to the other branches, and he aims to keep it that way.

“I've been pleased with the reputation our organization has around the Kansas City metro area; it's very strong,” said Scott, who was selected to succeed Dave Smith after Smith's 25 years as leader. “I'm excited to continue telling others how we really make a difference.”

The Boys & Girls Club serves more than 1,000 metro area youth per day, and Scott said the clubs are located “in communities that need us the most.”

“We want to provide a safe environment for kids, make it as fun as possible and have good programming and wraparound education.”

That “wraparound education” Scott refers to might be something many people overlook with the Boys & Girls Club, and includes some areas that to which schools might not have enough time to devote, such as character development, drug prevention and conflict resolution.

During a community welcome reception this week at the Club's headquarters on Blue Parkway in Kansas City, Scott said he's hit the ground running in his first three months.

“I've spent the majority of the time communicating with the board one on one,” he said. “I've met most the staff and most importantly our partners in the community. I've been in every club, meeting all the kids.”

Scott said that many times when a new CEO takes over at a Boys & Girls Club region there is a slight drop in community partnerships.

“I want to buck that trend,” he said. “One of my goals is to continue the partnerships we've had over the last 25 years and look for opportunities to expand our partnerships.

“I'm also focused on program quality. That's where my former education hat comes on.”

Scott, an alum of the former Archbishop Hogan High School, helped as a youth leaders with the local Boys & Girls Club while working on his undergraduate degree at Missouri State University in Springfield. That, he said, marked one of his first forays into education. Before joining ISD's administration team 10 years ago, Scott worked in the Raytown School District for 12 years as an elementary school teacher and principal and then executive director of support services.

He knew of Smith's pending retirement, but his interest in the position particularly grew after a conversation with a member of the club's search firm.

“It's just an organization that I felt matched my core beliefs and passions,” Scott said soon after he was named as the new president/CEO. “I like supporting youths that are at-risk.”

Scott has served on the board of directors for the Jackson County Children's Community Services Fund and the Community Services League and continues to serve on the Truman Medical Center Board of Trustees and the Drumm Farm Center for Children Board of Directors.