Kaye Price Hawkins Named Abilene’s Outstanding Citizen of the Year

September 25, 2023

Kaye Price Hawkins was recognized by the Abilene Chamber of Commerce as Abilene’s 2023 Citizen of the Year at its annual Membership Meeting & Awards Celebration on Sept. 21, 2023.

The award was presented to Hawkins by the 2022 recipient, Delores “Dee” Moore. The Outstanding Citizen of the Year award has been given annually since 1946 to a person or persons who has made an impact on the City of Abilene. Individuals and organizations were invited to nominate someone they thought contributed in an outstanding manner to the betterment of the Abilene community over the last year, several years or a lifetime in determining the award.

Hawkins is a retired educator having spent more than 35 years in education as a classroom teacher, tutor, staff developer and trainer. She started her own business in 2000 Priceless Literacy which she said, “allowed her to meet, encourage and share ideas with teacher both in and out of Texas.”

When Priceless Literacy closed in 2017, Kaye donated approximately 1,500 of her cherished children’s books to The Grace, thus creating a reading area on the third floor next to the Education Research Library. Families who stop to read there continue to be delighted.

Kaye is widely known as a large supporter of the arts having spent decades serving on the boards and as President of many organizations such as The National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature, Young Audiences, Abilene Philharmonic, The Grace Museum, and the Abilene Cultural Affairs Council. One nomination said she was “instrumental” in launching the NCCIL and Abilene Education Foundation.

In addition to sharing her time and expertise on these boards, Kaye and her husband, Joe Hawkins have been generous supporters of many of the Storybook Sculpture enhancements to the Cultural District including Green Eggs & Ham, Yertle the Turtle, the Three Little Pigs & the Big Bad Wolf, Evan the Fox and his dog friend, Winnie, Otis the Tractor and the yet to be unveiled, Locomotive.

Kaye and Joe also generously supported the 3-D Mural, “Flight of the Dragon”, Cultural District Pillars, and storybook benches.

Another nomination said, “Perhaps one of the benches she sponsored personifies her view of humanity, “We are our grandmother’s prayers. We are our grandfather’s dreamings. We are the breath of our ancestors. We are the spirit of God.”

Charlotte Kaye Novak was born in Wichita, Kansas. At just three years old, she made the first of six moves with her family that shaped her childhood and teen years. Her father, Warder K. Novak, a minister and her mother, Lottie Novak, a homemaker and Bible class teacher raised four girls: Kaye, Cheryl, Carolyn and Reci, who provided many exciting and challenging moments for them.

She attended Freed-Hardeman College before moving to California to attend Pepperdine College.

Hawkins has two children, Shane Price and Hainey Price-Staley, and several grandchildren: Michael Price, Ben Price, Jessica Yerger, Allen Price, and Ava Staley.


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