“Who is Robin Bayless? You know, she’s that lady with all the hats!” That sounds better than “That lady who has breast cancer!” I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003 with a recurrence in 2008, but it is not who I am!
I lived my entire childhood in Galesburg, Kansas, a small community 12 miles north and west of Parsons. I did my undergraduate work at Labette Community College and Pittsburg State University, receiving a bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology in 1986. After taking a semester off and discovering that you truly cannot find a job in Southeast Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in either of those fields, I headed to Manhattan where I received by master’s degree in Sociology from Kansas State University. Even with the advanced degree, jobs in SEK were hard to come by so I took what work I could find.
I worked on a survey for the City of Parsons, next as a job placement specialist for Kansas Elks Training Center for the Handicapped in Wichita, and then returned to Parsons to work for the City as a clerk in the water department. That job made me realize I never want to work with the public again! People can be so nasty when they get their water turned off!
However, it was at the City Offices that I was “fixed up” with my husband, so there were some positive results of my employment there! Brad and I married in 1991, had our son, Alex, in 1994, and our daughter, Jamie, in 1999.
We have spent our 19 years of marriage raising our children and fixing up our house, piece by piece.
In 1995, I started working for Kansas Inservice Training System and they haven’t gotten rid of me yet!
My job is to do all the behind the scenes work while the others on the project do training and technical assistance to special educators and early interventionists working with children birth to five. I do the editing and page layout of the KITS Newsletter, technical assistance packets, and handouts for trainings. I also maintain three list servs, make all the arrangements for trainings from booking the facility through copying handouts, help with maintenance of the KITS website, maintain the KITS Collaborative Training Calendar, and compile annual reports. Basically, I try to do whatever needs done.
I enjoy working on the KITS project and love the people here! Even though I work in a sea of KU blue, I like to wear my K-State purple on occasion just to get a reaction from Dr. Dave!