Home > Awards > 2016 State Award Winners

Robert W. Rupert Award

Kay Hartley

Kay works expertly and tirelessly for adult education students at the local, state and national level. Her level of commitment, dedication to student learning and Adult Education as an entire system are unparalleled. Her involvements and accomplishments are too numerous to name, but some are included below. At the local level, Kay has worked closely with the Workforce Investment Board (WIB) of Solano County for over 15 years on numerous innovative projects. In collaboration with the WIB, while at both Vallejo Adult School and Fairfield-Suisun Adult school, she directed training services to pave the way to employment for a diverse group of job seekers, many with significant barriers to employment. She, along with other local leaders obtained funding from the California Department of Rehabilitation and CDE to create a cooperative program that has provided career and technical training and guidance to hundreds of adult and special education students in Vallejo. Kay lead the relocation effort at Vallejo Adult School, and provided leadership and guidance to staff while making sure students were still being served in the best way possible while downsizing. When the economy plummeted, especially in Vallejo, Kay fought hard to maintain key programs such as High School Diploma, Basic Skills and ESL alive while again downsizing by nearly half the program. In Fairfield-Suisun, she was able to maintain a reasonably sized program through the difficult times, by working closely with FSUSD. Kay's work at the state level is reflected in her work locally, and vice versa. Kay has worked as a CASAS pioneer of innovative programs and trainer of trainers for over 30 years. She was a member of the statewide CASAS Secondary Assessment committee and assisted in the development of the CASAS Secondary Diploma Program Assessments that are widely used in California and other states. She was a pioneer in the implementation of the National External Diploma Program (NEDP) at Vallejo Adult School in the early 1980s. She has presented and trained in the use of assessments and NEDP at several conferences and at CASAS Summer Institute.

Kay also involved her staff through her creative and inspirational leadership in the development, field-testing and establishment of the free online Adult Low-Level Literacy Curriculum Modules available on the CASAS web page. These modules follow principles of universal design for learning and utilize research-based practices for low-level literacy learners to advance, including metacognitive and self-determination skills. Kay served on a statewide committee to pilot and implement the Workforce Skills Certification System to help learners transition into the workforce. Kay has been a long-time CalPRO trainer as well, providing budget training to new administrators along with numerous other trainings in curriculum, assessment and program design. Kay not only provides those trainings at the state level, but is passionate about keeping her own staff involved in professional development.

She often hosts and provides training at the local level which she opens up to neighboring districts. Kay has also led OTAN pilot programs and is currently leading the "Community Model of Online Learning" at Fairfield-Suisun Adult School and partnering with Vallejo Regional Career Center (formerly Vallejo Adult School) and Vacaville Education Extension Program to provide math proficiency skills to adult learners. Kay is presently serving on the OTAN Advisory Board and the CALPRO Advisory Board. In those roles she helps guide decisions about the content, direction and delivery of professional learning for the state. Kay is also serving as the Project Manager for the AB86 Solano County Consortium Planning Grant and has earned the high regard and respect of the Solano Community College members who look to her for guidance and leadership in the process. Her counterpart in the Consortium, Leslie Fay, states, "Kay has been dedicated to her job, profession, staff, community and county throughout her career as an educator and leader." This sentiment is echoed throughout the community and state. Kay currently serves on the Field Partnership Team for CDE and is the ACSA Region 4 Adult Education Chairperson.