Kay Arens has influenced many students, teachers, and parents through her diligent and compassionate work in our schools. She served Papillion La Vista Community Schools as a special education teacher, inclusion facilitator, and paraprofessional trainer.

In her 34 years in the district, Arens shared her talents at La Vista West, Trumble Park and Golden Hills. Arens earned her master’s degree in Learning Disabilities K-6 in 1986 and used her expertise to work with students with emotional disorders, learning disabilities, and intellectual disabilities. She worked tirelessly with students with a variety of disabilities and age ranges, making their success her priority. Challenges were met with patience and a smile, building a deep understanding of what is needed by a child. A parent in the district praised Arens for seeing her son as a person first and his disability last.

Arens was at the forefront of the inclusion movement, moving students with special needs out of segregated classrooms to be educated with their same-age peers. She served as the first Inclusion Facilitator for Papillion La Vista Community Schools. As a Paraprofessional Training Coordinator, Arens worked to obtain the best learning experiences for the district’s paraprofessionals, helping them build the skills they needed to serve students.

Arens has been a role model for all through her own courageous fight with cancer and as her children and husband battled cancer. Her positive outlook and desire to continue serving is an inspiration to all. Since retiring in 2015, she continues to be a positive influence for children as a substitute teacher in the district. She is also mentors through the TeamMates program, volunteers for Omaha Street School, and is active in her church.

Gala 2017 celebrates the outstanding education in Papillion La Vista Community Schools. Proceeds from Gala 2017 will support additional educational opportunities for Papillion La Vista students that otherwise would not be possible, such as 6th Grade Outdoor Education, the Elementary Arts Program, Scholarships for Graduating Seniors and more. Gala serves as an occasion to publicly recognize new Hall of Fame Distinguished Alumni, Legendary Educators, and Community Boosters.

Register for or donate to Gala 2017 here.

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