Annie Kurtz, 1978-2020
The Kidpower family lost a brilliant light on 11/9/20. Annie Schepers Kurtz trained thousands of young people during her 9 years as a Kidpower instructor. She leaves a powerful and enduring legacy. She was passionate about the safety and well-being of all children and was a fierce advocate for those in need.
Annie's face lit up when she was teaching Kidpower. Kids, parents, and school staff loved her and her Kidpower colleagues loved working with her. She was also a school professional in D49 and an extraordinary coach.
Her most treasured role was as loving wife to Brian Kurtz, also a valued Kidpower instructor and firefighter/paramedic with CSFD, and devoted mom to three amazing children, Emma, Ashley, and Kiley. The Kurtz family is adored by many in our community and all of us at Kidpower wrap Brian and his girls in love always.
Jan DeBoer, 1947-2019
Co-founder, Kidpower of Colorado
Jan DeBoer passed away on October 27, 2019. Her sincere concern for the well-being of children led her to co-found Kidpower of Colorado with Jan Isaacs Henry and Debra Campeau in 1994.
Jan was a therapist in private practice with an expertise in the treatment of trauma with children. Because of what she witnessed on a daily basis with her young clients, Jan was absolutely committed to do something both to prevent abuse and also to help those who already had been victimized to restore their power.
Jan brought humor and laughter and a fair amount of mischief to Kidpower in our early years. Jan prioritized and embraced the core values of Kidpower including diversity, inclusion, justice, and equity.
An exceptional child therapist, Jan DeBoer was ahead of her time. Jan understood that for kids who have been hurt, relationship is key. A solid, trusting, loving relationship with even ONE person can make all the difference in the trajectory of a child's healing process. Jan's clinical intuition was completely rooted in the power of relationship. She wrote about the importance of building hope with kids. She said "even small traumatized selves can recover with lots of help by offering love, safety, and someone to hear the whole story and still love and respect the child." Jan really saw and heard children and they felt her compassion and respect.
Jan was deeply loved by her family and friends, the Kidpower family, and the many clients and families she helped. She will be profoundly missed.
Mary B. Johnson, 1943-2017
Founding Member, Kidpower Board of Directors
Mary B. Johnson passed away unexpectedly on August 15, 2017. Mary was a beloved teacher, friend, co-parent, honorary grandmother, and partner to a long-time Kidpower supporter, Mary Friedrichs.
Mary was an educator and taught mainly at Steele Elementary School in Colorado Springs. She is remembered by so many of her students as the most inspirational and influential teacher in their educational careers. In 1984 Mary received the El Paso Council PTA Crystal Apple award as Teacher of the Year. Her relationships span decades and generations, having sometimes taught the children, and even grandchildren, of her former students at Steele.
After her retirement from teaching, she became a founding Kidpower of Colorado board member, and remained on the board for eleven years. Mary was devoted to the well-being of children and helped to create the strong foundation from which Kidpower grew. She will be deeply missed.
As principal at Monroe Elementary School, Darcell ensured that all of the students and staff were trained by Kidpower because of her passionate commitment to children's safety. Darcell later joined the Kidpower board of directors and, for ten years, provided valued insight and wisdom to the organization. She enrolled her grand-children in classes, bringing some in from distant cities. She was fully dedicated to our mission. Darcell was an extraordinary woman: kind, compassionate, tenacious, intelligent, warm and beautiful inside and out. She was an outstanding role model to many young people. Darcell is deeply missed.
In 2014 the Darcell Palmer Integrity on Behalf of Children Award was created in her honor. This award is presented to members of our community that have shown the same dedication and integrity for the protection of children as Darcell.
For a full list of award winners click here.