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President Elect's Message

Dear COABE Members,

It is with grateful heart and my sincerest pleasure to serve as President-Elect of COABE, the premier organization for adult educators. I feel very privileged that you have elected me to serve as your President-Elect for the next two years (2015-2017) as I learn and embrace being your President for the following two years (2017-2019). 

We have such important work as adult education is an issue that goes to the heart of all our communities. My campaign pledge to you was that I would be YOUR champion. A champion that advocates, speaks and fights on your account and in the interest of all the students that need our services across our great country.

I came to the field of adult education by way of family literacy in 1992 after having taught second grade for 12 years in the small community in which I was raised and was raising my children. I learned very quickly that if we are going to improve communities we have to attack its weakest link, that being educationally deprived adults in the community. That adult is the change agent in each family and if we can give each the tools for self-sufficiency through education we will benefit the generations to come in that family and eventually have thriving communities. For these reasons I take my work in Louisiana very seriously and pledge to you that I will work as diligently with our national organization so that every voice is heard and every adult has opportunity to improve his/her circumstance.  

We are at a crossroads in our profession, and we need to call out on behalf of those fighting the daily battle to improve our student's lives and raise awareness of the impacts of adult education for families and communities.  It is time for people to stop, look and listen to us in furtherance of our students. This organization can be that CHAMPION who sees it, says it, and shares it. We have a great opportunity approaching that can begin this movement with National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week that is slated for the week September 21-26, 2015. I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to push forward our awareness actions. This is a time for everyone to get word out about the wonderful work being done locally, then take it the next step and let COABE know so we can share your good news nationally. It will take a collaborative effort for this work to be done efficiently but I am confident we can work together to make this a reality. I hope that you will never hesitate to call or write the COABE office to inform us of your good work with program and student achievements.   

I am so delighted to have been a part of the very important work conducted last year when our organization developed a new strategic plan that would be implemented as our field prepares to usher in the WIOA era. Already we are seeing the plan come to fruition as we are putting into place many of the improvement strategies derived from the plan. Thus it is exciting times and I trust it is pleasing to you to know YOUR voice is being heard and delivered through YOUR organization. We need each and every one of you in the field to contribute with your thoughts, ideas and talents as we execute many new endeavors that will be of service to you as you go about your normal routines under WIOA. I encourage you to please stay involved as much as possible as this is YOUR organization - built and executed for YOU, the members.

I would be remiss if I did not mention the professional development opportunities that members get to enjoy and that is near and dear to my heart as a practitioner. I encourage you to use the repository that was developed with teachers in mind. The webinars, which are all the buzz right now, from the very best presenters and sessions from COABE 2015 are very beneficial especially to those who could not attend the conference. Moreover, the annual conference that continues to grow and improve bringing cutting edge practices and research to your disposal in a variety of formats. All of this and much more is available at your fingertips beginning at coabe.org.

Like never before have we seen the caliber of services COABE is bringing forth and like never before have we seen the need of our services being brought to the forefront of policy makers and national leaders. It is our time to shine and thank you so much for allowing me the opportunity to shed light on the very important work we all do. I commit to you my very best intentions for the next four years. I look forward to meeting each and every one of you at some point during this journey.

Kaye Sharbono
COABE, President Elect