Emerging Leaders Alliance: 5 Questions with Kati Todd
Kati Todd, 33, is assistant principal at WhitKo High School in South Whitley, Indiana. She has been a member of the ELA since 2014 and currently resides in the 46807 in Fort Wayne.
As an emerging leader, who are you?
As an emerging leader, I am someone who likes to get to know the people I encounter. I believe building relationships with the people around us, whether it is my colleagues at work or my neighbors, makes every day more fun. I also believe it builds a trust that allows for transparent and meaningful conversations to occur that can truly have a positive impact. I try my best to always understand where another individual is coming from and what unique characteristics and life experiences they've had that have shaped them. I'm able to learn from everyone around me this way. I feel like when we really understand how different we all are, we become more comfortable and confident in being our own self and our own type of leader.
What counties do or have you lived in here in Northeast Indiana?
I am originally from Lagrange County and grew up on the lakes. I have worked in Lagrange County and at Trine University coaching girls basketball. I now live in Allen County in the 46807 neighborhood and work in Whitley County. I love that my neighborhood is close enough to downtown Fort Wayne that I can bike there and that we have so many young couples moving into the area.
What do you love about Northeast Indiana?
Northeast Indiana is the perfect combination of lakes up north with a downtown city life in Fort Wayne. It's only getting better and better. I don't know if I'm having a lot of influence but I feel connected to those that do. I like being close to those having impact on the city. I love that those that are having a big impact on the region are so accessible and easy to talk to. The growth is really exciting. I’m not leaving Northeast Indiana and I want where I live to be the best.
What would you like to see in Northeast Indiana in the future?
I would love to see more activity on our rivers. After growing up on the lakes, it's torture to be away from water. I'm on our rivers weekly. The only way the rivers will get used is if people make the effort to use them. I would really like to see that.
What is something that you have done in Northeast Indiana that you never expected to do?
I didn't see myself being involved in so many counties and I always kind of hoped that Fort Wayne might be in the picture. Enjoying time in Warsaw and Columbia City has been great. I have spent time working with city government in Columbia City. They are very active and work really closely with the youth and high school administration to support kids who are in need.
I currently co-chair a committee. We decided to create a few task forces. One of those is education. Education is so important because I want my students to have a choice and options. Without a diploma they won't have them. We are responsible for letting students know the expectation. The decisions that they make now will impact pay rates, quality of life, and their future families as well as whether or not they are happy in their day to day lives. Academically speaking, our choices matter and that diploma matters.
by Stephen J. Bailey for the Emerging Leaders Alliance, a program of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership