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The History of Kairos Public Schools

The Founding Story of Kairos Public Schools 

The Opportune Moment in "Time"

Innovators always look for the "Kairos" moment (The opportune moment).  


As former Vacaville Unified School District (VUSD) employees, Four longtime local educators who  had a dream of creating an innovative school that would benefit the Vacaville community, partnered together. 


Jared Austin, Leslie Shebley, Bob Hampton and Taryn Jones came together to form Kairos Public Schools and get the charter school approved by the Vacaville Unified School District Trustees in November of 2013. 

Jared Austin and Leslie Shebley both worked as educators at Buckingham Charter Magnet High School and were deeply rooted in the Vacaville community. As parents, they had a strong desire to see more options available in Vacaville. 

Bob Hampton and Taryn Jones both served the Vacaville community for many years at Buckingham Charter Magnet High School. Bob Hampton is a Co-Founder of Buckingham and long time Principal. Taryn Jones was a long time Administrator and former Principal at Buckingham.  

The Co-Founders had a long history in the local community as well as the larger Charter School Education Movement throughout CA and nationally. Including connections with the CA Charter School Association (CCSA) Charter School Development Center (CSDC) and the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. 


After helping Kairos Public Schools get approved by VUSD.  Bob Hampton continued to serve until retirement as Superintendent of Guajome Schools in Vista, CA. Taryn Jones transitioned into local Business development opportunities. Bob continues to support and consult as a friend and community leader to this day. 


Jared and Leslie worked to build Kairos Public Schools from the ground up. Organizing parents, building campus culture and community and building systems and operations.  Kairos Public Schools opened its doors in August 2014 with 470 students and over 300 on the waitlist.  That has grown to over 675 students today and a waitlist of over 1,000 students. 


In 2016, The team analyzed the waitlist and noticed approximately 35% of waitlisted families were homeschooled. Kairos Public Schools decided to open the Kairos Innovative Scholars Pathway (KISP) in response to this desire from families.  This second academy has grown from 46 students in year one, to 165 students today with a waitlist of over 150 students. 


The desire of the Co-Founders is to build unique learning academies that meet the needs of the local community K-12. KPS will continue to grow and provide a high quality choice for families. 



Jared Austin, Co-Founder & Executive Director 

Former Vacaville Unified School District (VUSD) Educator, Local Resident, Parent and Community Leader 


Bob Hampton, Co-Founder of Kairos Public Schools

Former Vacaville Unified School District (VUSD) Educator, Administrator, Co-Founder of Buckingham Charter,  Retired Superintendent of Guajome Schools, Former President of CANEC, CCSA consultant, state and national presenter. Early contributor to the CA Charter School movement. 

 Local Resident, Author, & Community Leader 


Leslie Shebley, Co-Founder & Flex-Based Learning Coordinator 

Former Vacaville Unified School District (VUSD) Educator, Local Resident, Parent and Community Leader 

Taryn Jones, Co-Founder of Kairos Public Schools

Former Vacaville Unified School District (VUSD) Educator, Former Director at the CA Charter School Association,  Business Leader, Parent  

Founding Board Members 


Jules Moore, Founding Board Member 

Pastor, Youth Advocate, Local community roots, Vacaville Unified Graduate 

Tim Kruse, Founding Board Member 

Local Business Owner. 


Ellen Beckmann-Jones, Founding Board Member 

40-year Vacaville USD Retired Educator and School Counselor 


Ron Mitchell, Founding Board Member 

Former Executive Vice President Northern CA Mechanical Contractors Association (MCA) 




Brian Swetland,  Founding Board Member 

Fairfield Unified School District Teacher