About Kathy

KS-006Kathy Sheehan BEd (Behaviour Management) Author and Founder of ‘Sparky and Shady’

Kathy has over 20 years experience as a behaviour consultant, a class teacher, an assistant principal and an acting principal. Kathy has taught in public, private, faith-based and alternative schools working with children aged 5 to 18. A serious accident at 22 sparked Kathy’s passion and relentless research to find a way to help kids cope with problems and believe in themselves. Her ‘Sparky and Shady’ program and series of books is the result.

Kathy has two beautiful sons; Ashley aged 23 and Jack aged 12. She lives on the sunny east coast of Australia with Jeremy her handsome husband, Jack their adventurous son, Ranger their loyal pup and Rosie, their loving rabbit.


The real life stuff – Kathy was adopted as a baby and grew up in a loving family with her mum, dad and two brothers. Despite her amazing life she felt totally misunderstood by her parents. She rebelled in her teenage years which culminated in her being ‘disowned’ at 18 for moving in with her boyfriend and dropping out of Uni (she was studying law).

Kathy reunited with her family at 20 when her mum was diagnosed with cancer. Her mother died 9 months later.

Kathy had previously gone back to Uni to study teaching. On the first day of her fourth year she had a motorbike accident and seriously injured her right leg (she hit the back of a car at 70 km an hour). A week later on her 22nd birthday she found out she was pregnant.

Kathy did everything she could to get her leg better, she was on a mission to give birth without a walking aid. She did it but her leg still needed work. Over the next three years Kathy had a total of seven operations. In this time she split up with Ashley’s dad and got totally stuck in a pit of despair. During one of her hospital stays she woke up feeling hopeless and helpless and thought, “Why didn’t anyone teach me how I worked when I was a kid?”

Kathy’s determination returned. She was driven to find out how human beings worked; how our body, personality, thoughts and feelings all work together so she could empower kids to cope with problems.

After 23 years of researching, writing, trialling and testing, ‘Sparky and Shady’ was born!

The program is based on three tenets:

  • Everyone on earth is here to make a difference that only we can make.
  • Everyone has a ‘loving’ side; here we call it ‘Sparky’. Sparky loves us unconditionally, believes in us and helps us meet our human needs.
  • Everyone has a ‘fearful’ side that we call ‘Shady’. Shady is scared our needs cannot and will not be met.

If this sounds ‘fair enough’ to you, check out workshops, classes and books to empower your kids!

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