Supporter Spotlight Story: Katie DeClercq
Support, Passion, and Service to CPEF and a Community
“Service has just always been something that I do,” says DeClercq. “Seeing the need is just the type of person that I am and something that I enjoy. I also think serving others is just something everyone should do and want to do. Someone may not have tons of money but there are so many other ways you can give and help.”
As a lifelong resident of Johnson County, Katie DeClercq has been teaching at Whiteland High School since 2003, where she is an English teacher with a passion for innovative education. She also serves as the advisor for the National Honors Society and Student Council, along with coaching the girl’s golf team. DeClercq proudly shows support for the Clark-Pleasant Education Foundation through the payroll deductions and her significant volunteer work.
DeClercq has a natural passion for supporting students in their educational paths, which is why she became a teacher in the first place. As an educator, she is driven to help students to shine through hands-on learning in the classroom. The relationships with her students are what keeps her immersed in her job every day. She has a special connection with the school district, as her kids go to Whiteland, and she knows she is supporting their education in funding the Clark-Pleasant Education Foundation, which directly benefits her own kids’ as well as her students’ educations. She believes that CPEF supports their teachers and listens to what assistance they may need.
“I know the struggles of being a teacher and the Foundation supports us in every way that they possibly can, and they’ve done some really good things for us teachers with the grants and all the things they do for us, so putting it back is what’s important,” she says.
As the NHS advisor to the Whiteland high school students, she helps the kids coordinate their service hours to work for the Foundation to mutually benefit their required school hours and CPEF, as helping with Foundation’s events all goes back into the favor of their own educations.
She says that NHS is, “all about leadership, scholarship, and character. We really push our kids to be service oriented and require half of their service hours to be school related. We just feel that it’s important for them to be a part of the school community and so with the Foundation, it’s a great way for the kids to help give back to those people who have always given so much to them.”
DeClercq believes it is more important that NHS supports the Foundation in their needs rather than CPEF giving to their program, so then CPEF can turn around and support educators and the school, as a whole. NHS at Whiteland High School does not accept monetary support from the foundation.
“Our role is support them in their events because we know what kind of support that takes.”
DeClercq believes that involvement in CPEF allows her students to shine beyond the classroom setting.
“Some of the stuff that my kids come up with and do is truly amazing. I had a student a couple years ago that created a program to match kids that needed tutoring with tutors. With a STEM grant, the Foundation funded a robotics team for each of the elementary schools in the district and I know there has been a lot of support from the community for that program.”
DeClercq is also a supporter of the Foundation’s payroll deductions. She says she always had payroll deductions to something worthwhile, as service is important to her. So, when they started offering the deduction for CPEF, she felt like that would be a good way to support the students, support her own kids, and support the community, which is an effort herself and her husband have always strived for.
“Well, in participating in payroll deductions we are funding ourselves, as in your own support, but I also think at the same time, we are supporting the kids that we are teaching and helping to grow which is really what we are supposed to do. As educators that is our mission. To support all the kids in Clark-Pleasant, not just the ones we have in class.”
By: Colleen Kincaid