History of KAY

Wanda May Vinson

On October 13, 1945, after years of discussion, the Legislative Council passed a resolution to organize a character-building, leadership-training club program to be part of the Association.

On December 15,1945, a committee appointed by the Board of Control, drew up twelve requirements for the club program. These requirements were approved by the Board of Control and E.A. Thomas, Commissioner of the KSHSAA. On June 7,1946, Wanda May Vinson was employed by the Board of Control to direct the program of the Kansas Association for Youth, Kays and Kayettes. The Board of Control on February 22, 1947, employed Carl Kopelk to direct the Kays (boys).

In January, 1957, when E.A. Thomas retired, Carl Kopelk became the Executive Secretary of the KSHSAA and Brice B. Durbin was employed as his assistant. Durbin served as the director of the boys'program until Kopelk's death in October, 1962. Durbin then became the Executive Secretary, and in June, 1963, Nelson Hartman joined the staff as his assistant and to serve as director of the Kays. The continued growth of both the Kansas State High School Activities Association and the Kansas Association for Youth made it necessary in June, 1967, to add to the administrative staff. Keith Akins was hired to direct the Kays. Claire Casselman joined the staff in September, 1982, to serve as the Kansas Association for Youth (Kayettes) director, with the retirement of Wanda May Vinson.

The entire KAY program was brought under Claire Casselman's direction in 1988, with the retirement of Keith Akins. That same year, Kayette Leadership Camp became KAY Leadership Camp, making it a co-ed, leadership-training experience for the first time in its history. Claire Casselman resigned her position in 1989 and Cheryl Gleason joined the staff in November, 1989, to serve as director of the KAY program. The Kansas Association for Youth continues to grow and develop by seekng to fill the needs of current and future generations.




Cheryl Gleason
Cheryl Gleason, Administrator
(785) 273-5329