Kathryn K. Black, Professional Educator
Kathryn K. Black, 92, known locally as Kay, died peacefully July 20, 2020 as a result of COPD. Kay was born Kathryn Henrietta Kellenberger to the late Henrietta Yohe Kellenberger and William Franklin Kellenberger on August 19, 1927, in Spring Grove, PA. She graduated as valedictorian of her class at Spring Grove High School in 1945.
After graduating from Bucknell University in 1948 with a degree in English, Kay moved to Woodbury, NJ where she began her 42-year career in the Woodbury Public School system, starting as a high school English teacher. After teaching English for 2 years, Kay moved to West End Elementary School where she taught fifth-grade for 21 years. This was one of the favorite periods of her career as she particularly liked fifth-graders and enjoyed “being with the kids” all day long.
In 1971, Kay was asked by the administration to take on a new and challenging position as head of the gifted and talented program at the high school. After teaching in that capacity for two years, she began her service in Guidance, working as Guidance Counselor for the seventh and eighth grades for 5 years. She then became a Guidance Counselor in the High School, where she eventually became Director of Guidance. Many a “difficult” student found opportunities for change and success under Kay’s tutelage and guidance. During this time, she also returned to college to receive a Master’s degree in School Services
“Extra Curricular” activities were always a hallmark of Kay’s career. Many will remember her during her fifth-grade teaching period as the one who coordinated activities for the yearly May Fair and as the director of the annual Christmas Operetta. In addition, she was an avid coach of a number of different activities, including cheerleading in the late 1940s, and track during the annual Elementary School Track Meet. She started and coached the High School swim team and originated the Girls’ Track team, serving as head coach for 9 years, bringing home 7 championship trophies. For the latter she received many accolades. Her greatest accomplishment, however, was not in the trophies and recognition she brought to Woodbury sports, but in the positive influence she had on her student’s lives.
Kay’s influence can perhaps be best summed up in the words of the 1984 Sundial, Woodbury High School’s yearbook, which was dedicated to Kay with these words:
“A counselor whose devotion to her students goes beyond her profession, a woman who demonstrates courage and understanding, a person whose smile brightens each day, and a friend whose commitment to the senior class makes her unique. For all these things, and many others, the Class of 1984 thanks Mrs. Kay Black. We’ll always remember her as our mentor and friend.”
Kay retired in 1991 after a long and rewarding career. Not idle in retirement and continuing to give back to the community, Kay served on the Woodbury Library Board, was a volunteer for the Red Cross, and was President and member of the Woodbury Women’s Club. She was a long time member of the First Presbyterian Church at Woodbury.
Kay touched the lives of hundreds, if not thousands of Woodbury residents as a teacher, guidance counselor, coach, and community volunteer. Those fortunate enough to have known her will carry her memory with them for the rest of their lives.
Kay was married to the late Daniel D. Black and leaves three daughters, Linda, Peggy, and Meredith. She is also survived by her two sons-in-law, Roy Jankowski and Orlando Cachuela, and a beloved grandson, Nicolai Cachuela.
Due to the Coronavirus, funeral and burial services will be private. A memorial service will be held at a future date. In lieu of flowers, family and friends are asked to provide donations to the Woodbury High School Scholarship Fund (25 N. Broad St., Woodbury, NJ 08096) or the Woodbury Public Library (33 Delaware St., Woodbury, NJ 08096). Memories and condolences may be shared online at daviswagner.com
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Kathryn K. (Kellenberger) Black, please visit our floral store.
Woodbury High School Scholarship Fund
25 N. Broad Street, Woodbury NJ 08096
Woodbury Public Library
33 Delaware Street, Woodbury NJ 08096