Associate Director of Technology
Arkansas Public School Resource Center
Need a data expert? Kay is the one for you. She is currently the Section Leader of the Office of Data Quality for the Arkansas Department of Education in the Division of Research and Technology. She was not always working in the big city though! Her first job as an administrator was for the Arkansas Public School Computer Network (APSCN) in Monticello.
Kay was anything but an expert, but got the job as system administrator and technology coordinator. "You know they were desperate," she says, "when they asked me in the interview 'What do you know about APSCN?' and I had to answer with 'What's that?'" She recovered nicely and became a master technologist.
Kay was not always a network and data superhero. She started her career in education one night in college at 2 a.m. when she had an epiphany on the road to becoming an accounting major. If you have ever had a college accounting class, and you're not now a CPA, then you can probably relate. In any case, educating people seemed a lot more satisfying than balancing credit and debit columns. She changed majors and graduated from Arkansas Tech University with a degree in Business Education.
Her teaching career in Arkansas was cut short when she met a "dashingly handsome Texan", married him and moved to the Lone Star state. Kay and her husband had three children in Texas, where her husband managed a 22,000 acre cattle ranch and she taught business courses in various colleges and universities, until she made the decision to be a full time mom. As Kayís children grew into fine young adolescents, Kay was ready for the working world again. She returned to public education as a business computer applications teacher at the high school level; she jumped onto the runway with Windows and had to scramble to stay ahead of her students.
Currently working for the ADE in Little Rock, Kay develops curriculum and conducts training programs for regional educational cooperatives and schools across the state of Arkansas for the statewide data program, Triand. "I miss the day-to-day interaction with students, but enjoy what I do. I'm still making a difference in students' lives, even if only indirectly." She also helps analyze statewide educational reporting data and develops strategies for improving integrity of the state data system.
When Kay is not immersed in data she enjoys getting outside and working in gardens and flower beds. Living close to the city, Kay and her family still manage the ranch lifestyle by purchasing a good size plot of land with a 100-year-old barn on it outside the city limits. Thus, her future is filled with clearing brush and cleaning out old ponds. Since her last child is set to graduate, Kay and her husband are looking forward to a future filled with travelóeven if itís just a weekend getaway every now and then.