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Dr. Brenda Kays awarded PTK’s Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction

Kilgore College President Dr. Brenda Kays has been awarded with Phi Theta Kappa’s Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction, the most prestigious PTK award for community college presidents.

Thirteen recipients were selected from 617 college presidents eligible to receive this award.

Recipients were nominated by students on their campus and are only eligible to receive the award once over the course of their career.

The award recognizes college presidents who have shown support of student success initiatives leading to stronger pathways to completion, transfer and employment.

It also recognizes college presidents who have taken an active interest in supporting high-achieving students and developing student leaders on campus.

“These college presidents have made it a priority to keep students engaged throughout the pandemic,” said PTK President and CEO Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner. “Their nomination is evidence of the gratitude their PTK students feel for supporting them and students like them — even during the most difficult times.”

The Shirley B. Gordon Award is named in honor of the late Dr. Shirley B. Gordon, PTK’s longest-serving board of directors chair and a founder and long-time president of Highline Community College in Washington.

“There is no higher honor than to be recognized by one’s students. We have such extraordinary students who attend and graduate from KC,” Kays said. “Receiving the Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction is an incredible honor, but one that I certainly don’t claim alone. Without our faculty and staff’s dedication and hard work to foster student success, especially during the uncertainty of the past two pandemic years, this award would not have been possible.”

Kays will be presented the award at the PTK Annual Convention, April 7-9, at the Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center near Denver, Colo.

For more information on this year’s PTK conference, “Catalyst 2022,” visit

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