Coalition on Adult Basic Education Appoints Kaye Sharbono Board President

Press Release: Coalition on Adult Basic Education Appoints Kay Sharbono Board President

Syracuse, New York – The Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE) has named Kaye Sharbono president of its board of directors. In this capacity, Sharbono heads the nation’s leading organization that provides leadership, communication, professional development, and advocacy for adult education and literacy practitioners to advance quality services for all adult learners.

“We are thrilled to have Kaye in the position of board president,” said COABE Executive Director Sharon Bonney. “Her vision and leadership skills have earned her the respect of her peers on a local, state, and national level.”

Sharbono retired as director of DeltaLINC, the Literacy Initiative for North Louisiana Communities which provides adult and family literacy education to more than 3,000 students per year at approximately 30 sites throughout the region. She holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree plus 30 hours in educational administration and supervision with endorsements in adult and early childhood education. Sharbono is also past president of the Louisiana Association for Public, Community, and Adult Education (LAPCAE). 

Programs under Sharbono’s leadership have received grants from the Jobs for the Future Accelerating Opportunity initiative, UnidosUS (formerly known as National Council of La Raza), Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, and United States Office of Education Migrant Education.

Additionally, she is one of the key members leading the charge for “Educate & Elevate” a collaboration of COABE and the National Council of State Directors for Adult Education that seeks to empower students, educators, businesses and other advocates nationwide to raise the profile of adult education on Capitol Hill and in communities throughout the nation.

Since the launch of the national Educate & Elevate campaign in February 2017, Sharbono and other COABE members have made more than 15,000 contacts with legislators to share the importance of adult education in advancing career and college readiness for millions of people. During national Adult Education and Family Literacy Week in late September, Sharbono and other educators will visit members of Congress to encourage them to fund adult education at $649 million, the amount called for in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014.

“It is an honor to serve our adult learners through the Coalition of Adult Basic Education and the Educate & Elevate campaign,” said Sharbono. “At 55,000 adult educators strong, our mission is to inspire educators so adults succeed and communities thrive, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to assist with this cause.”

By 2018, 63% of all U.S. jobs will require education beyond high school. Yet, nearly half of the U.S. workforce—about 88 million adults aged 18 to 64—has only a high school education or less, and/or low English proficiency. Adult education helps to close this gap and provide workers with the skills needed for the jobs of today and tomorrow.