Kaaren Hayes

Kaaren Hayes ‘96, of Valle Crucis, serves as the Program Director for Appalachian's Parent to Parent Family Support Network-High Country (FSN-HC). A grant and donor-supported community outreach program of App State’s Reich College of Education, Parent to Parent FSN-HC provides free support, caring connections, information and hope to families who have a premature baby, a child with a disability, an emotional or behavioral challenge, a mental illness or a chronic health condition, and to families who are grieving the death of a child, in the seven-county area of Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga, Wilkes, and Yancey. The program also provides resources to other professionals serving those families.

Kaaren has been with Parent to Parent FSN-HC since its inception in 1988, and she became the program director in 1998. She graduated summa cum laude from App State with a B.S. in Child Development/Birth-Kindergarten. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2005 Ann Royal Special Recognition Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Leo M. Croghan Foundation for distinguished contribution in the field of developmental disabilities, and from 2009 to the present, Kaaren has written over 150 funded proposals for the university, which total over $850,000.

Parent to Parent FSN-HC works to share both the challenges children with special needs and their families face as well as the strength and resourcefulness of these same children and families. This approach has gained the program support and recognition throughout the High Country and from within the App State community. Kaaren says that one of the most rewarding aspects of her directorship is the dedicated involvement of App State student interns and volunteers to the program. She feels privileged to work with those who also believe passionately in support for children with special needs and their families. 

Title: Director and Outreach Coordinator of Parent to Parent Family Support Networ
Department: Department of Child Development, Literacy, and Special Education

Email address: Email me

Phone: (828) 262-6089

Office address
Children's Developmental Services Agency
2359 Hwy. 105 Boone, North Carolina