Kay-Billie-Klaer Academy is named after Kay Ensworth, Billie
Philbrick, and Betty Klaer-Miles who befriended and supported its founders, Awo and Akrofi Dzietror. They met the couple in 1981 when they came to Ithaca, NY and Akrofi was working toward a PhD in agronomy at Cornell University and Awo enrolled in a child development program at Tompkins Cortland Community College. They were impressed with Awo’s conviction and decided to support her in her dream to start a school back in Ghana.
When Akrofi and Awo returned to Ghana in 1984, the couple recognized the need for early childhood education in their country. In 1990 from their living room they started Kay Billie Klaer with four children. Two of the four were their own children. The three women supported their early efforts by sending books and financial contributions.
The nursery school grew quickly and by 1994 there were 218 children enrolled, with a paid staff of 18. In 1996, the Dzietror’s took a leap of faith and decided to build new classrooms on eight acres of land in Legon leased to them on very generous terms. The Ithaca Presbyterian Church made a onetime grant of $8,000, which gave the initial construction project a big boost.
From an insignificant beginning with four nursery children in April 1990, the school has grown today to offer four years of preschool, six years of primary and three years of junior high school. The school now has an enrolment of 415 students and employs a total staff of 48.
The long hard work of the Dzietror’s has paid off. Their enrolment and reputation as a high quality school has continued to grow over the years. As they have been able they have continued with the construction of the campus and now have an impressive set of facilities with well-landscaped grounds.
For KBK, whose school motto is “Fly With the Eagles”, the future is truly bright.