Katherine Hayes

Katherine Hutchinson-Hayes, Ed. D. has had her hand in leadership for many years. She loves speaking to groups and delivering messages with a quick wit and real-life stories. Katherine is a freelance writer/content editor, a content editor/writing coach for Iron Stream Media, and a sensitivity reader for Sensitivity Between the Lines. She is a review board member and contributor to Inkspirations (an online magazine for Christian writers), and her writing has been published in Guideposts. Her work in art/writing is distinguished by awards, including the New York Mayor’s Contribution to the Arts, Outstanding Resident Artist of Arizona, and the Foundations Awards at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer’s Conference (2016, 2019, 2021). She is a member of Word Weavers International and serves as an online chapter president and mentor.

She belongs to FWA (Florida Writers Association), ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), CWoC (Crime Writers of Color), AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association), and AASA (American Association of School Administrators). She serves on the board of the nonprofit organization Submersion 14 and is an art instructor for the nonprofit organization Light for the Future. Katherine hosts the podcast Murder, Mystery & Mayhem Laced with Morality. She has authored a Christian Bible study for women and is currently working on the sequel to her first general market thriller novel. As a trainer of trainers, Katherine believes there are many ways to do things well but only one way to do God’s will right. Katherine flourishes in educational and Biblical discipleship. Her sweet spot or zone of genius has evolved from a career spanning 20 years in education and both children’s and women’s ministry; Katherine morphed and transitioned into an educational consultant for charter schools, home school programs, and churches that led up program development; growth facilitating and public relations. Quickly identifying holes and problem areas in these projects, developing strategic planning and team building, Katherine combines over 20 years of experience into her current consulting business.  Katherine provides executive-level accountability so you and your organization get the attention to detail they deserve and you start excelling in a healthy, productive work environment.

Growing up, my parents instilled in me a strong sense of faith, family, and tradition

I consider myself fortunate to have had a diverse upbringing that exposed me to various cultures, traditions, and ways of life. Born in England and raised in New York, my parents’ backgrounds were as diverse as they come. My father was of Scottish and African descent, while my mother was a mix of Portuguese, Irish, and African ancestry. They were both born in Jamaica, W.I., and their Jamaican roots were essential to our family’s identity. Growing up, my parents instilled in me a strong sense of faith, family, and tradition. We attended church regularly, sang hymns, and listened to classical music. My grandparents, who lived on a farm in rural Jamaica, also significantly influenced my life. We would learn about farm life, reggae, and calypso music whenever we visited them.

One of my fondest memories of my upbringing was the food. My parents loved to cook, and my mother introduced me to various dishes from her Portuguese and Jamaican heritage. I learned how to make curry dishes, rice and peas (which Jamaicans call rice and beans), Jerk, Jamaican patties, sorrel, and many other mouth-watering treats. The smells and tastes of these dishes are forever etched in my memory.

Overall, I am grateful for the way I was raised. My parents taught me the value of diversity, the importance of family, and the joy of exploring different cultures. Their teachings instilled a sense of openness, curiosity, and a love of travel that has stayed with me to this day.

How did your upbringing shape the trajectory of your life?

Growing up, I was raised in a home that instilled in me a deep appreciation for the values of faith, family, friends, travel, and food. These values have continued to shape me into who I am today, and I strive to honour them in everything I do. But it wasn’t just these values that my parents instilled in me. They also taught me to love education, music, and serving others. As a result, I have become heavily involved in serving my local and global community. I serve on the board for two non profits, both of which are dedicated to positively impacting the world, and I am a volunteer (virtual) art teacher for a school in Guatemala City.


In addition to these activities, I have been actively involved in the mission field domestically and internationally. I have participated in mission trips to Jamaica, Brazil, and Guatemala and have seen first hand the incredible impact that serving others can have. These experiences have contributed to my passion for helping others and making the world better. I am committed to serving my community and those in need and living a life that reflects the values and priorities instilled in me from a young age.

Please share your most defining moment in early life

When I was younger, I cheated on a test in high school that I had studied hard for to impress my teacher. I made the mistake of using my notes to increase my score, but my teacher found out. The overwhelming feelings of shame and guilt I experienced during that moment of conviction changed me for the better. I made a commitment to never cheat again and to work hard to earn everything I wanted to achieve.

What influenced your career journey?

The decision to switch my major from pre-med to English was a difficult one. I always had an interest in medicine, but I found that I was more passionate about literature. I loved reading and analysing the works of great writers. After completing my English degree, I pursued a career in education. I started out as a teacher and eventually became a school principal. While I enjoyed my work, I felt like something was missing. After my last child, I became very ill. I took a sabbatical. During the sabbatical from my principalship, I decided to explore my love of writing and publishing. I took a few courses in publishing and eventually secured freelancing work with a string of clients and for publishing houses. I found that I really enjoyed the work and decided to make a career out of it. I never returned to my administrative career in education, but I’m happy to say that I’ve continued to flourish in my writing and publishing career.

What gaps have you observed in the Educational sector and how can educators fill this gaps?

As someone who has worked as both a teacher and a school principal, I have had the opportunity to observe the educational system in action for many years. One of the biggest issues I have noticed is a significant amount of inequity in how our schools are funded. Unfortunately, schools in wealthier neighbourhoods tend to have much larger tax bases and families and businesses who contribute significantly more money to support the schools. This means students in these neighbourhoods often access better resources and opportunities than students in lower-income areas. This disparity in funding can have a major impact on the quality of education students receive. Schools in low-income areas often struggle to provide adequate resources and support for their students, leading to lower test scores, higher dropout rates, and other adverse outcomes. This is a significant concern, as education is one of the most critical factors in determining a person’s future success in life. Because I care deeply about education and equal opportunities for all students, I wish there was a way to even the playing field and ensure every student has access to the resources and support needed to succeed. While some efforts are certainly being made to address this issue, there is still a long way to go before we can truly say that our educational system is fair and equitable for all students.

Why did you feel the need to author a Christian Bible study for women? What did you learn in the process and what impact has this made in your life?

When I was faced with a life-threatening illness, I realized the importance of leaving a legacy for my daughters. As a result, I decided to create a Christian Bible Study for women, which turned out to be a roadmap for navigating life through learning from the Bible and life’s experiences. Writing this book was not an easy task, and I learned a lot about the publishing industry in the process. I discovered what not to do and learned a lot about myself. I realized that I had grown but recognized that I still needed to grow in many ways.

This book not only helped me grow personally, but it also opened the door to many other opportunities. I was able to network with other industry professionals, grow my platform, and improve my craft. I am grateful for the experience, and I hope my book can help other women navigate life’s challenges with faith and courage.

What was the inspiration behind Murder, Mystery & Mayhem Laced with Morality Podcast?

When I first started thinking about creating a podcast, I noticed that many existing platforms for authors and experts to share their knowledge and insights were either too difficult to get on (especially without an agent or publicist) or they required some sort of financial commitment. I believe that there are many talented individuals out there who have important things to say, but who may not have the financial resources or the time to invest in such platforms. That’s why I decided to create a podcast that would be completely free and without any strings attached. I wanted to create a space where authors and experts could share their thoughts and ideas with a wider audience, without having to worry about any financial or contractual obligations. So far, the response has been really positive, and I’m thrilled to have been able to provide a platform for so many talented individuals. I’m excited to continue growing the podcast and providing a space for more voices to be heard.

Please share with us your most challenging experience and what you learned about yourself

After going through a period of significant loss, I found myself in a state of emotional turmoil. It had a profound impact on my family, and I was forced to re evaluate my relationships with those around me. The experience taught me a lot about my own character – I discovered that I possess a great deal of resilience and loyalty, which helped me get through difficult times. However, I also realized that sometimes it’s necessary to let go of people to move forward in life. It wasn’t an easy lesson, but it was an important one that has helped me grow and develop as a person.

You are part of many networks in leadership capacities, how important has community and sisterhood been for you in both career and personal life?

I place great emphasis on the importance of community and sisterhood. I believe that having a strong support system of like-minded individuals who share similar values and goals is crucial for success and personal growth. In my career, I actively seek out opportunities to connect with colleagues and industry peers, attend networking events, and participate in mentorship programs. These relationships not only help me stay up to date on industry trends and developments but also provide me with valuable guidance and support. In my personal life, I prioritize spending time with friends and family who uplift and inspire me, and who share my passion for community involvement and social justice. Overall, I believe that building and nurturing meaningful connections with others is key to achieving fulfillment and happiness in both one’s professional and personal endeavors.

How can women leverage the community to build themselves and others?

Women can create a positive impact on their community by sharing their knowledge and experiences through their books, speeches, and actions. By doing so, they not only empower themselves but also inspire and motivate others around them to achieve their goals. By leveraging their voices and the power of storytelling, women can create a ripple effect of positive change that can transform their communities and beyond. Their stories can serve as a source of inspiration for others who aspire to achieve greatness, and their examples can set a new standard of excellence that can help build a more equitable and inclusive society.

From your experience what is the biggest challenge speakers have in articulating their message ?

One of the most significant hurdles we encounter while trying to convey our message effectively is the internal struggle with self-doubt, which makes us question our abilities and the worthiness of our message. Another common challenge is discouragement, which often stems from a lack of immediate response or recognition of our efforts. Lastly, we tend to compare ourselves with others who may have more experience or a different approach, leading to feelings of inadequacy and insecurity. All these factors can hinder our ability to communicate our message clearly and confidently.

How do you envision AI will affect content creators and writers?

It’s possible that in the future, the amount of copyright infringement that creators experience could decrease. This could happen if more effective measures are put in place to protect intellectual property rights and deter infringers. These measures could include better enforcement of existing laws, the development of new technologies to prevent unauthorized use of copyrighted material, and improved education efforts to raise awareness about the importance of respecting intellectual property. As a result, creators may feel more secure in their ability to profit from their work and may have greater control over how it is used and distributed.

What advice would you give readers writing their first book?

For anyone who is starting to write their first book, my advice would be to focus on writing something that you would personally love to read. It is important to choose a theme, topic, or genre that excites you and resonates with your interests. This will help you stay motivated and engaged throughout the writing process, and also ensure that the end result is something you are proud of. When you are passionate about the material, it can be easier to convey that enthusiasm to your readers, and it can also make the writing experience more enjoyable and fulfilling. Ultimately, if you write a book that you would love to read, chances are that others will feel the same way and appreciate your work.

What drives you?

“My faith is a constant source of motivation for me. It gives me a sense of purpose and direction in life. Apart from that, I find great joy in serving others and doing my best at whatever I undertake. It gives me a sense of accomplishment and fulfilment. I also cherish my relationships with my loved ones. Creating wonderful memories with them and cultivating strong bonds is something that I deeply value. These experiences give me a sense of belonging and happiness that I cherish deeply.”

What’s your favourite superhero movie?

As an African American individual, I found the superhero movie “Black Panther” to be particularly inspiring and powerful. The movie’s central theme of overcoming oppression, challenges, and obstacles really resonated with me and reminded me that anything is possible with hard work and determination. Watching this movie made me feel incredibly empowered, as it represented hope and flourishing even during darkness. The way the characters were portrayed, and the message they conveyed was truly impactful and left a lasting impression on me. All in all, “Black Panther” is not just a movie, but a symbol of hope and inspiration for many, including myself.

How do you unwind?

When I want to unwind after a long day, I always make sure to spend quality time with my loved ones. Whether it’s having a cozy dinner with friends or just chatting with my family, I find that being around the people I care about the most is the best way to de-stress.

In addition to socializing, I have a few hobbies that I turn to when I need to relax. One of my favourite things to do is watch great movies. I love to get lost in a good story and forget about everything else for a while. Cooking is another passion of mine. I find it therapeutic to create delicious meals from scratch and experiment with new recipes. Traveling is also a great way for me to unwind and recharge. I love exploring new places, trying new foods, and meeting new people. It’s always an adventure and I come back feeling refreshed and inspired. When I’m not socializing or traveling, I enjoy quiet activities like reading good books. I’m a big fan of fiction and non-fiction alike, and I find it soothing to lose myself in a good story. I also love to play the piano and paint. Being creative helps me to relax and express myself in a different way. Finally, I can’t forget about spa days! Whether it’s getting a massage, a facial, or just soaking in a hot tub, I always feel pampered and rejuvenated after a day at the spa.

What inspires you? 

The story of individuals who overcome insurmountable obstacles and emerge victorious always inspires me. I draw immense inspiration from my parents, who hail from two different countries and migrated to the United States in search of a better life. They are individuals who have endured challenging circumstances but managed to carve out a life for themselves while simultaneously securing a future for their children. What’s even more remarkable is my father’s roots, as he comes from the Scottish involvement in the slave trade in Jamaica. Despite his lineage and the adversity he faced, he managed to succeed and build a life for himself. Similarly, my mother’s family comprises descendants of Portuguese Jews who were forced to flee persecution and ended up in Jamaica. Their journey has been one of resilience and strength, and their perseverance is a constant source of inspiration for me.

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