When Michele Starkey started teaching second grade at Fairview Elementary, she hadn’t planned on moving into administration.
But that’s just what she did five years later — and she’s still on the administrative end now, in her 21st year in the Logansport Community School Corporation.
Starkey, LCSC superintendent, was named Businesswoman of the Year last month by the Logansport-Cass County Chamber of Commerce after being nominated by a chamber member, then selected by a secret committee of other chamber members who were not part of the chamber’s board of directors.
Chris Armstrong, the chamber’s outgoing board president, congratulated Starkey at the chamber’s annual dinner where Armstrong presented Starkey the award.
“Michele Starkey is truly deserving of this award,” Armstrong said, alluding to Starkey’s involvement in the United Way of Cass County, an advisory board for Indiana University-Kokomo and the Logansport Rotary Club.
“She’s very passionate about what she does,” Armstrong added.
It was the second year in a row that the chamber’s Businesswoman of the Year award went to a representative of a nonprofit organization. In 2012, the award went to Joyce Mayhill, executive director of United Way of Cass County.
Nonprofits are not often recognized in the same class as for-profits. However, the schools operate on about $35 million per year, said Starkey, and follow the same fundamental principles.
“You need to be fiscally responsible. You need to have a strategic plan of where you’re going and how you’re getting there,” Starkey said, illustrating similarities to doing business in the for-profit sector.
Starkey, a 1987 graduate of Logansport High School, returned home in 1992 to teach. She’d chosen a career in education, she said, because “I like working with kids and people. Basically, that’s why.”
She hadn’t planned to switch to an administrative role, she said, but after a few years decided she should because of the larger impact she thought she might be able to make.