Kathryn Basile was born to Gloria and Albert Basile on November 20, 1951 in Boston, Massachusetts. She was the eldest of three children. Together with her siblings Stephen and Lynn, Kathryn was brought up in Watertown, Massachusetts in a loving family and community. She graduated from Watertown High School in 1969, and attended the University of Massachusetts where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Education in 1973.
Kathryn moved to Florida in 1974 where she met her beloved husband, Thomas Gonzalez. They were married on September 14, 1975.
She taught in the St. Lucie County Florida School District for seven years. During this time, she earned a Master of Science degree in Administrative Education from Nova University. She was St. Lucie County’s Teacher of the Year in 1981, and soon after became the Assistant Principal at Port St. Lucie Elementary School.
In 1984, Kathryn and Thomas opened Sunflower Educare, an early childhood learning center. Many of the children and families who passed through Sunflower’s doors remained in close and regular contact with the revered and beloved “Miss Kathy”, as she was so fondly known to them. Sunflower is known for its excellent reputation and currently continues Kathy’s inspirational passion of teaching and nurturing children.
In January of 1999, Kathryn became the Executive Director of Children’s Services Council of Port St. Lucie County, Florida. Her mission to improve the lives of children deepened as she filled this new and crucial role with the full force of her energy, commitment and deep love of children. Kathy was deeply respected by all who worked with her, and a staff that held the highest respect and love for her.
Known for her character, integrity and ideals, Kathy worked tirelessly to create multiple programs and services to meet the many diverse needs of the community’s children. With the belief that every child has the potential to succeed if provided the necessary skills and support, she offered her talents, passion and skills to many boards and organizations. Kathy received numerous awards and recognition for her outstanding work on behalf of children, among them:
- The Florida Senate Medallion of Excellence
- The Florida Coalition for Children’s Lifetime Achievement Award
- The Nineteenth Judicial Circuit Award
- Florida’s Children Forum School Readiness Coalition Award
- Children Home Society’s Dave Thomas Child Advocate of the Year Award
- Kathryn A. Basile Community Service Award
Before Kathy lost her two year battle with cancer on September 7, 2009, she provided the initial funding to establish the Kathryn A. Basile Foster A Dream Foundation to help continue her life’s passion — helping to improve the quality of life for children in foster care. Kathy was a true child’s advocate. She was loved and respected by her colleagues, students, the children of her community, friends and family.
Kathy will forever be in our hearts, and her passion will live on through the work of the Kathryn A. Basile Foster A Dream Foundation.