Karen Kay passed away suddenly on July 6, 2020. She was born in Patterson, NJ to Kenneth and Betty Kay and moved to Florida where she completed her education at FAU and Nova University and began her education career. She is survived by her Daughter Amanda King of Bradenton FL, her niece Annette Jones of Brandon, great niece Bryanna Scholes of Raleigh, NC, Grandson Sherod Carter, Jr., and extended family members Jane Kirkland of Port St. Lucie, Fl. and Shelley Vana of Lake Worth, FL.
Karen had a distinguished 30-year career as an educator and union leader. She began her career teaching in the Glades Area of Palm Beach County. Later she worked with at-risk youth in schools throughout Palm Beach County. A dedicated teacher, she worked to positively influence the lives of her students and to help them build a future with promise. She was a patient and caring teacher.
In addition to being a positive influence in the lives of her students, Karen was a leader in her professional organizations, the Palm Beach County Classroom Teachers Association (CTA), The Florida Education Association (FEA) and the National Education Association (NEA). Her accomplishments included serving on the CTA Board of Directors and numerous PBSD Committees. She was elected to the offices of both Secretary and Vice President of the Palm Beach County Classroom Teachers Association and served in those capacities for many years. She helped new and veteran teachers by serving as a member of the PBCSD PAR Panel, an innovative joint venture of both the CTA and the School District.
Karen was active in both local and state politics. She served on the Palm Beach CTA Legislative Committee and the Political Action Committee and lobbied elected officials both at home in Palm Beach County and in Tallahassee. She was an instrumental member of the Campaign Team that helped elect a teacher from Palm Beach County to the State House of Representatives.
Karen valued her friendships with school colleagues and union activists and traveled with CTA friends to many states to serve on state and National Educational Task Forces and to promote public education issues.
Most of all Karen loved her family. She lived a life of giving and enjoyed every moment with her daughter and her loved ones. She reared a family that knew they were loved.
And even though Karen was such an influential education leader in Palm Beach County, she knew what was important in life and prioritized her retirement time to spend as much as possible with her daughter, niece and her most beloved grandson, Junior. They were able to enjoy many trips together including many outings to Disney World and Universal Studios. They all traveled with Karen to many Teacher Conventions in various states.
Karen was loved by teachers because she was a courageous advocate, a loyal friend and a caring individual who always put others’ needs first.
She was loved by her family and friends because she was an amazing human being that will be an example to them all of how to live a life with courage, passion, goodness and love.
She will be deeply missed, but never forgotten.
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