Educator Profile    Educators

Dr. Angie Besendorfer (MO '96)

Chief Impact Officer

Lee's Summit, MO

At the time of the Award, Dr. Angie Besendorfer was:

Nevada R-5 Storefront School
Nevada, MO

Biographical Information

Having served in progressively elevating roles in K12 and higher education, Angie Besendorfer currently serves as Chief Impact Officer at AstrumU.  Prior to that she was Executive Vice President of KC Scholars where she created a workforce development program that generated a $50M grant to support low income individuals in accessing training.  Most of her career, Angie served in education instituitons as teacher, principal, special services director, superintendent, as well as chancellor and regional vice president for Western Governors University.  Dr.  Besendorfer served during critical times including as assistant superintendent for Joplin Schools in Joplin, Missouri when an EF-5 tornado impacted 10 schools and one-third of the community. She also led the WGU Teachers College on an interim basis having influenced programs for the largest college of education in the country. At the time of her award, Besendorfer was a teacher at the Nevada R-5 Storefront School, an elementary alternative school serving at-risk fourth graders. Angie has been honored as a John C. Maxwell Leadership Award Top 100, recipient of the Governor's Leadership Coin, and named one of 50 Missourians you should know.

Personal Message

As an educator, I have had the honor of seeing how a community can rally to help our children. The experience of leading after the Joplin tornado was humbling because we literally held hands with the world to bring quality education to children in tragedy. As chancellor, I am working for a bigger change. I have always served in high poverty areas hoping and working so that 12 years of education could make a difference for a child's future. At WGU Missouri, I am able to impact a family in 3 years. With an average time to a bachelor's degree of 3 years and an annual flat rate tuition of $6,000, the online university can help to break poverty cycles. My work is now about building stronger families, stronger communities and a stronger state through education.

Related Connections

Article: Activating Milken Educators: Missouri Teacher Leaders of Tomorrow

Article: "Here’s to What’s Next!": Takeaways from the 2023 MEA Forum

Article: Milken Educators Take Learning to the Next Level at 2021 NIET National Conference

Article: A Letter from Barbara Bush

Article: On the Hill: Milken Educators Meet with Congress

Article: Aftermath of Devastation Fosters New Formula for Success

Dr. Angie Besendorfer Newsletters

Force of Nature vs. Community Nurture
Nov 05, 2013

Lowell Milken Presents Two Awards, Delivers One Message to Students
Oct 18, 2013

Additional Information


1990 Doctor of Education from University of Missouri - Columbia

Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Missouri Southern State University

Master of Science in Elementary Administration from University of Central Missouri


State Finalist for MO Teacher of the Year 1994

2014 Finalist for the James D. MacConnell international architect awards for schools for Soaring Heights and East Middle School

Tri-State Business Journal Most Influential Woman 2010

State Finalist for MO Teacher of the Year 1994

John C. Maxwell Leadership Award Top 100

2012 James D. MacConnell international architect awards for schools for the Joplin High interim high school winner


Creating a Sense of Connection: Online Education in the Modern Era

Creating Value By Focusing on Costs and Outcomes

Online Learning Doesn’t Have to Be Isolating: Exploring the Mentoring Model

Competency Based Education, Affordable Higher Education, High School Reform, Learning and School Design, Group Facilitation, Educator Motivation, Cooperative Learning, Professional Development