Legends Club director Steve Bennett and inductee Kay Yechout
Legends Club director Steve Bennett, left, and inductee Kay Yechout share a laugh during the Feb. 12 ceremony. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

Contributions over the years of former media specialist, cheer coach lead to induction

This summer, Kay Yechout will mark 20 years since her retirement from the Philomath School District. Really? Twenty years? It probably doesn’t seem possible to some folks.

During her time in the district, Yechout’s involvement covered everything from media specialist at the high school library to coach of the cheerleading program. And there were many stops along the way with various other hats that she’s worn through the years.

In fact, you might say her contributions to the local school system have been legendary.

The Philomath Legends Club certainly thinks so. On Feb. 12 during halftime of a girls basketball game, the organization inducted Yechout into the exclusive group.

“Our Legends Club is a way we pay tribute to people in our community that have stood out with their support and service towards Philomath student-athletes and the community over the years,” the organization’s director, Steve Bennett, said during the halftime event.

Bennett said that Yechout has been most known for “always creating an area for students and staff to come have fun, feel safe and be welcomed.”

Then he added, “With typical Kay class, she wanted me to make sure I mention that she couldn’t have accomplished any of these things without the support of family, friends and administrators.”

Legends Club members
Participating in the Feb. 12 Legends Club event were, from left, Steve Bennett, Jay Faxon, Kay Yechout, Denny Bennett, Marcia Gilson and Charlie Lamberty. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

Indeed, Yechout thanks others for what she’s been able to accomplish.

“You do a lot, but you don’t expect anything for it,” Yechout, 77, said in an interview after her induction. “I couldn’t do it all if I didn’t have the support from family and friends and when I was here, the administration for sure.”

The Legends Club’s members vote on honorees each year, although this was the first induction since 2019. The event had been originally scheduled for a Jan. 28 home game against Newport with Yechout to be featured along with two others. However, the game was postponed and the other inductees couldn’t be in town for the Feb. 12 event (they’ll be inducted at a later date, likely this fall).

Yechout’s husband, Ron, and their two children, Brian (Class of 1986) and Greg (Class of 1989), were on hand for the event. And a handful of Legends Club members were there as well — Denny Bennett (inducted in 2014), Jay Faxon (2012), Marcia Gilson (2016) and Charlie Lamberty (2017).

She was presented with a Legends Club sweater and a lifetime pass to Philomath athletics.

Yechout worked in the Philomath School District for 24 years — seven at the middle school and the final 17 at the high school. For a time, she was affectionately known as the Philomath High’s “media mom.”

Yechout was instrumental in the library’s transition to a modern system. She wrote a few key grants and joined the Oregon Library Association — an organization that led to her being able to bring computers into the library.

She also established a program that allowed library searches to take place without physically going to that part of the school — a teacher that may want to see what materials are available for a certain topic, for example.

“They could plug it in and they could find the books or texts or whatever they needed to use for their projects,” Yechout explained. “And then when I finally got that going … took the card catalog out and they could access everything by computer. Taught the kids how to do it and the staff and then proposed it to the whole district so that the middle school and elementary schools could share materials and know what everybody has.

Kay Yechout and Marcia Gilson
Member Marcia Gilson, right, helped Kay Yechout try on her Legends Club sweater and also presented her with a lifetime pass to Philomath athletics. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

“So that was a really huge undertaking and then everything was computerized,” she added.

The upgrades allowed better systems for keeping inventory and making students accountable for materials they borrowed.

Outside of the library, Yechout was heavily involved in various other activities. She served as the cheer coach for 10 years.

“Some of those highlights of her volunteering include her starting the ‘Tough Enough to Wear Pink’ event providing funding for breast cancer exams in our local community,” Bennett said. “Kay sat on a committee for the creation of the Oregon seat belt law. She has spent multiple years looming stocking caps for organizations to be provided to local children. .. .she has participated with Quilts of Valor for veterans and served as a board member for the State Library Instructional Systems.”

Some may also know Yechout through her heavy involvement with the Philomath Frolic & Rodeo — she is a former board president of that organization.