Kaye Nickoloff is currently one of the contest directors for the baton twirling competitions at the Fair, alongside her sister, Callene. Kaye was employed at Driscol Music Company in Lorain for 22 years as a band instrument repair technician and school educational representative. Due to the recent closing of Driscol Music Company, Kaye is now a substitute teacher at various Lorain county schools. Kaye earned a bachelor of music education (oboe) from University of Kentucky in 1975 and has taught music in public and private schools for 15 years, six of which she spent at Clearview High School as band director. Kaye is a 23 year member of the Lorain County Community College Civic Concert Band.
Alongside her sister Callene Derrick, Kaye was an assistant coach for the USA Baton Twirling All Stars that performed at the 2008 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Kaye was also a feature twirler for the University of Kentucky Marching Band and served as the director of Edna Kaye’s Steel City Strutters, a popular baton and musical corps in the ‘60s and ‘70s that included her sisters Edna Puca and Callene Derrick.
Kaye’s first involvement with the Ohio State Fair Baton Competition was in 1966 when she twirled as a solo competitor. Since 1966, Kaye is proud to say she has been involved with the Fair’s Baton Competition as a competitor, coach, judge and director.
Kaye and her husband, Len, were directors of the Ohio State Fair Baton Competition from 1999 to 2011. In 2012, Kaye and her sister, Callene, took over as directors of the Fair’s Baton Competition under the name of Twirl Explosion, with Len remaining a very important part of the team.