Leslie Kutz stepping down as executive director of Ardmore Family Literacy

Drew Butler
The Daily Ardmoreite
Ardmore Family Literacy Executive Director Leslie Kutz with former Kaila Gonzalez after she graduated from the program.

Leslie Kutz, executive director of Ardmore Family Literacy recently announced that she would be stepping down from her position, and her resignation was accepted by the board of directors on Thursday, September 16. Kutz will remain in the role through December 31 but could exit sooner if a replacement is hired before that date.

AFL's mission is to improve adult literacy and help those who never graduated achieve a high school equivalency certification. Kutz has served as the executive director since the organization began in 2014. She has decided to move on to continue her own education and become a clinical social worker.

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She said making the decision to leave was extremely difficult, but she feels that AFL needs to have an executive director that is able to devote all their energy into the job. Whereas if she stayed she would have been splitting her focus between work and her studies.

"I've realized there are so many reasons and layers about why they dropped out of school in the first place," Kutz said. "So it really sparked my interest to do more to help others who might be in a similar situation before they drop out in the first place. I'm always telling the students to follow their dreams, so I decided to take some of my own advice."

Kutz said the board is currently accepting applications to fill her role. While a bachelors degree in social work, nonprofit administration or another similar field would be helpful, it is not required, and on-the-job experience working in or with other nonprofit organizations is also acceptable.

"This is a really unique role in that it requires administrative responsibilities and skills in community relations, but it's also all about working with our clients in a helpful nonjudgemental way," she said. "You really have to talk to the students and get to know them so you can find out what obstacles besides their education are blocking their progress."

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She pointed out the position of executive director does not necessarily need to have any educational experience because qualified instructors are already in position to teach the classes.

While she is sad to leave, Kutz said she is looking forward to continuing to help others in the future. The thing she will miss the most of all are the students.

"These students inspire me every single day," she said. "They don't have to be here, but they're choosing to come to make a better future for themselves and their families. I tell them every day it's not about your setbacks, it's about your comebacks."

Ardmore Family Literacy will accept resumes for the position of a full-time executive director through October 15. Those interested in being considered for the position can email a resume to resume@ardmorefamilyliteracy.com.