By Cathy Deal
“History has its eyes on you,” sings the cast of the Broadway musical “Hamilton.” JWS member Kat Posada has risen to that challenge. In 2018, she was teaching at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, when the horrific shooting massacre of seventeen students took place there. In its aftermath, Kat “felt called to do everything I could to make sure something positive came out of that event.” She reached out to the deans of the School of Education at IU Bloomington and to some of the Union Board Directors at that time to ask if there was any way she could share her experience. Her initiative resulted in Kat speaking with education majors at IU, “mainly to encourage them to continue on their path to become educators, despite the turmoil that the educational world is facing.” Kat also shared her insights with the general public in a question-and-answer conversation in the Whittenberger Auditorium during her visit back to campus.
Kat’s commitment to furthering insight and understanding through education in its multiple forms is of long standing. Currently, she teaches high school English at Durham Academy in North Carolina, including Sci-fi & Dystopian Fiction as well as Issues in American Literature and Society. She also is one of two Lead Advisors for the Class of 2024. In outreach to the wider community, Kat is a co-sponsor of the school’s Red Cross Club as well as the Urban Ministries of Durham Club. Her background in performing arts informed her involvement in musical theater back in college.
It was the encouragement of a 2001-2002 Union Board Director friend, Kevin Mogyoros, that sparked Kat’s audition for and participation in a UB-produced musical. She subsequently participated in committee meetings and helped plan other events on campus. Having realized how much fun Union Board was and how much Union Board was doing for the students of IU, Kat applied to be on the Board the next year. As a Board member, Kat was Director of the Performing Arts Committee.
What did her Union Board experiences teach her? Says Kat, “It taught me lots of things I would need in life: time management, how to work with different kinds of people, including ones with differing interests and motivations, differing management styles and ways of doing things, and how to lead a team. I also learned a lot about myself: the experience gave me a chance to fine-tune my organizational skills and figure out what I was good at – and some things I wasn’t as good at.”
Travel is an enduring passion of Kat’s, with husband Ray and kids, Noah and Maya. A cross-country RV road trip in 2017 gave her a chance to show them the IU campus as well as the Union Board Office. Other adventures include trips to Disney World, Mount Rainier, and the Mendenhall Glacier near Juneau, AK. Up next summer: Paris, Jerusalem, the Greek Isles, and Iceland.
Kat’s advice to current Union Board committee members and Directors? “Get involved! Union Board does so much good for the students and community of IU, and being a part of it is such an amazing experience. You will make friends you will never forget and will gain experience that will serve you in everything you do going forward! Work hard but be sure to have fun!”