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Kathy Kay is being hailed as the perfect fit for her job as the Payson Unified School District's new curriculum coordinator.

"We have a very fine one in her," PUSD superintendent Sue Myers said.

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Kathy Kay, PHS curriculum coordinator

Director of curriculum, instruction and special programs Bill Lawson agreed, "she has all the credentials and she's enthusiastic."

Kay, who's been on the job about two weeks, said she is ready and eager to begin the challenge of helping teachers and providing them with the tools and resources they need to be effective instructors.

"I've already been out in the schools and met some of the teachers," she said. "I'm impressed with them, they are a quality group and are hard at work getting their classrooms ready for school."

In addition to helping teachers develop and articulate curriculum for kindergarten through 12th grade, Kay will be deeply involved in professional development for the district's educators.

"I want to be of assistance and help them with their needs," Kay said.

Kay arrives in Payson with a list of credentials, including earning both bachelor's and master's degrees in education from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. Currently, she is studying for administrative certification at NAU.

After wrapping up her job as director of standards development with the Arizona Department of Education in January, she spent the next five months taking classes for a doctorate in education at NAU.

While working for the state department of education revising and updating state standards to meet No Child Left Behind federal mandates, Kay said she had plenty of opportunities to travel around Arizona.

"I got a great overview of the state," she said. "And I realized the Payson district is among the best."

Knowing the quality of the area's educators, she was elated last spring when she heard a curriculum coordinator position had been created in PUSD.

"I knew I had to apply for it -- I wanted to get out of the Valley and I wanted to go somewhere learning was a priority," she said. "I couldn't have found a better place than Payson; I have a job I love in a beautiful setting."

In addition to her state experience, Kay was employed by the Peoria Unified School District for 21 years as an elementary and middle school teacher. She also served as the district's curriculum coordinator.

Among Kay's priorities are to put together, for parents, a synopsis of each grade level's curriculum and learning goals.

"We want the parents to know what their children are expected to learn," she said.

Kay said she hopes to have the guides finished and distributed to parents by September.

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