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Our Mission

In support of Muncie Community Schools’ Strategic Plan, the Community Engagement Council provides support to the initiatives of the district and serves as a liaison to the community.

Muncie Community Schools (MCS) and Ball State University have empowered a passionate group of professionals to serve on the Community Engagement Council (CEC). The purpose of the council is to support the Muncie Community Schools by identifying, in partnership with administration and community, initiatives in or to be added to the Strategic Plan that the Council can contribute to. The Council also serves to amplify the voice of the district to the community and the community to the district.

Keep up with the council’s efforts on the CEC Facebook page or CEC LinkedIN page. Read below to learn about some of the council's current initiatives.  

Advocating for MCS is a core priority for each Community Engagement Council member! Our council receives monthly updates from MCS administrators on the current needs, student trends, district initiatives and any emergent obstacles facing the district. We consult the strategic plan and seek input from community voices to identify ways we can positively impact the learning happening within Muncie Community Schools and the wellbeing of the families who trust MCS to educate their children.

Fundraising- We actively fundraise in support of MCS initiatives. Be on the lookout for our annual Golf Outing and other opportunities to help us support MCS through in-kind and monetary giving. 


We welcome community input! Contact the council at CEC@muncieschools.org or through individual councilmembers email if you have supportive ideas to share or suggestions on community partnerships.

In 2022 the council launched a Student Assistance Request Form with the intent to develop a more robust rapid-grant program in coming years. These requests should be for non-recurring funding or in-kind donation of any physical items that the lack thereof imposes barriers to a student's success in school. The Student Assistance Request Form can be submitted by any MCS employee and can be accessed here

This initiative supports the Strategic Plan, Pillars II and V (5.3)  


CEC council members are committed to promoting the wellbeing of MCS schools, teachers and students. When public schools do well, so also does the broader community! There are many ways we support district wellbeing including: 

Teacher Wellness & Appreciation- you will often find us partnering with MCS in funding and administrating district activities and events that promote teacher appreciation and support. 

Volunteerism- Our schools rely on parents and community members to provide volunteer support in the schools. You can register to volunteer by visiting the volunteer opportunities page. MCS uses the GivePulse volunteer management system. Please reach out to a council member or your school of choice for additional volunteer opportunities and needs.

Student Assistance Requests- see above 


Teachers socialize at a wellness event

Meet the Council

Bria Zolman
Bria Zolman, Council Chair, Liaison to Muncie Central High School

TeenWorks@BSU & Guardian Scholars Program Manager, Ball State University
Contact: View Email

A hoosier native and longtime Muncie resident, Bria has two children in Muncie Community Schools attending Northside Middle School and Muncie Central High School. Bria is passionate about removing barriers to access and improving the quality of public education for vulnerable and under-served student groups. She finds purpose and joy in attempting to love God and her family, friends and neighbors well. She views her work on the CEC as an extension of that purpose.

Darbi Strahle
Darbi Strahle, Council Vice Chair, Liaison to South View Elementary

8twelve Coalition Coordinator, Open Door Health Services
Contact: View Email

The 8twelve Coalition works towards improving quality of life in South Central & Thomas Park/Avondale Neighborhoods using a collective action approach. Open Door Health Services serves as the administrative/fiscal agent for the 8twelve Coalition with a shared vision of improving quality of life. Learn more here: https://8twelvemuncie.com/

Courtney Bishop
Courtney Bishop, Council Secretary, Liaison to South View Elementary

Community Engagement Manager, Open Door Health Services | Board Member, Ross Community Center | Secretary, Minnetrista Central Neighborhood Association
Contact: View Email

Courtney attended Ball State University, and during her time as a student, fell in love with Muncie and the people here. She is passionate about this place and the organizations and resources that help create more equitable systems in Muncie. Courtney and her husband live in the Minnetrista Central neighborhood, where they enjoy walking downtown, utilizing the greenways, and shopping at the farmers market.

Jason Donati
Jason Donati, Liaison to East Washington Academy

Stormwater and Recycling Educator for the Muncie Sanitary District | Board Member of the Cardinal Greenway, the Muncie Land Bank, the Delaware County Emergency Management Advisory Council, the Muncie Action Plan, and the East Central Neighborhood Association
Contact: View Email

Jason and his wife, Sasha, have four children, two of whom are currently enrolled at Muncie Central and two in the Dual Language Immersion Program at West View Elementary. Jason was formerly elected to the MCS Board of Trustees in 2016 and has served on the MCS Community Engagement Council since 2019.

Ana Marie Pichardo
Ana Marie Pichardo, Liaison to North View Elementary

Qualified Individual Disabilities Professional, Phoenix Community Services | Board Member, YMCA | DIG (Diversity Inclusion Global) Committee Chairperson
Contact: View Email

Ana is a former MCS employee with 25 years of teaching experience in Visual Arts Education. She also spent eight years serving as the MCS Communications Director. Ana is a lifelong learner who believes that keeping a spirit of adventure and discovery is important. She currently has five grandchildren attending Muncie Schools.

Kelli Huth
Kelli Huth, Liaison to Longfellow Elementary

Associate Vice President for Community Engagement, Ball State University
Contact: View Email

Kelli was born and raised in East Central Indiana and her children attended Muncie Community Schools for several years. Kelli is passionate about community engagement and is dedicated to enhancing our local school district through university and community partnerships.

Jeff Helm
Jeff Helm, Liaison to Grissom Elementary

Chief Executive Officer of the Youth Opportunity Center | Board Member and past Chair of Hillcroft Service’s Board of Directors
Contact: View Email

Jeff and his wife, Tammy, are the parents of Micayla, a Ball State graduate of Special Education, and Jared, a student in the HVAC program at Ivy Tech. Tammy is a developmental therapist with First Steps.

Molly McGuire
Molly McGuire, Liaison to MAC

Vocational Rehabilitation Area Supervisor | Area 11 - Indiana Family & Social Services Administration
Contact: View Email

Molly is a state employee, supervisor, VR brand influencer/networker, social services/community navigator, advocate, counselor, problem solver, and coffee imbiber. She is also currently serving as a Parent Representative on the Indiana Department of Education Advisory Council for Children with Disabilities.

Dr. Dominyse Carey
Dr. Dominyse Carey DNP, APRN, FNP-C, Liaison to Southside Middle School

Nursing Faculty at Ivy Tech Community College Muncie | Nurse Practitioner at IU Health | Board member of American Red Cross (Central Indiana Region) and Ball State University Nursing Alumni | Muncie Juneteenth Committee Member
Contact: View Email

Dominyse is a Muncie native who graduated from the Indiana Academy and has two degrees from Ball State University. She has two children and wants to make Muncie a better community for current and future residents.

JB Bilbrey
J.B. Bilbrey, Liaison to West View Elementary

Communication Specialist, College of Sciences and Humanities, Ball State University
Contact: View Email

Phil Boltz
Phil Boltz, Ph.D.

Director of Accountability, Reporting and Data, Muncie Community Schools | Vice President, Muncie Public Library Board of Trustees | Board Member, Muncie Children’s Museum Board of Trustees and Muncie Afghan refugee Resettlement Committee
Contact: View Email

Dr. Boltz is a public education, equity, and community development advocate. He lives with his spouse and three children, who attend East Washington Academy and Northside Middle School. In his free time, Phil rehabilitates old woodworking power tools and tries to not cut himself.

Michael Hewitt
Michael Hewitt, Liaison to Northside Middle School

Pastor, Rising Hope Church
Contact: View Email

Michael and his wife, Kim, moved to Muncie in 2017 to start Rising Hope Church. Pastor Mike is the proud father of six kids and is a dedicated MCS advocate. Pastor Mike has been serving in ministry for more than 25+ years and loves exploring the outdoors and trying new things!

Katie Washburn
Katie Washburn, Liaison to Muncie Central High School

PharmD CACP | Clinical/Staff Pharmacist at IUH Ball Memorial Hospital
Contact: View Email

Katie has two children in Muncie Community Schools, at Northside Middle School and Muncie Central High School. Her husband, Mark, is a genealogist who is the owner of Mark on History. In Katie’s free time she enjoys running and reading. She loves Muncie Community Schools and is proud to serve on the Community Engagement Council.

Non-voting representatives at council meetings include: Muncie Community Schools Director of Public Education/CEO, Chief Communications Officer, Community Volunteer Program Manager and a representative of the MCS School Board.

If you have interest in joining the Community Engagement Council, please email us at CEC@muncieschools.org to express your interest! We will reach out with an interest form for you to submit.