BELIEVE IN COURAGE IN CARTWHEELING PAST OUR COMFORT ZONES AND TRYING SOMETHING A LITTLE BIT SCARY EVERY DAY. BELIEVE THAT FAILURE NEEDN’T BE A NEGATIVE THING; RATHER LEARN FROM OUR MISTAKES AND FAIL SMARTER NEXT TIME.
Mary Coats has a strong passion for education. With over 30 years of teaching experience, she also spent time as a volleyball coach, assistant athletic director, and now being retired – she still works athletic events for Northrop and stays in contact with the school. During her time teaching at Northrop, she shared her love for volunteering during her time educating students in her Lifetime/Leisure Sports class. Her hope is that those students will continue to live a life full of service and giving back to the community they live in.
Aside from teaching, volunteering, her love for athletics and students – she is an incredible Gardener and Crafter. Her crafts include card making, scrapbooking, and even basket weaving. She is also frequently traveling, especially to wine countries and vineyards in California and Northern Michigan.
Throughout her lifetime of service and dedication to Allen County, Mary was introduced to the idea of Women United. Joining alongside powerful women in just the infancy of this group, she knew change would be coming at the hands of this strong group. Mary began attending Women United events and was then asked 3 years ago to Co-Chair the Women United steering committee – now she remains on the committee as a member because of her passion for the work being done.
Coats describes “Women United is important to me because it is designed to help children in Kindergarten prepare for and excel in grade school. We know that a good education leads to being successful in life. As a former teacher, I saw first-hand students struggle because they did not have the proper tools for a good, basic foundation. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing that smile on a child’s face once they get it!”
Mary shares that having a firm foundation, unconditional love, and a joyful life is what has helped her get to this point. Her role model was her mother, Helen. Being taught life skills, how to deal with adversity and joy, and how to be a caring person all stemmed from her rock, her mom. “In her 97 years, she raised two families and always put others first. She left school in 8th grade to care for her mother – in return she ensured all her children would have a college education.”
Mary knows that only greater things are to come from Fort Wayne, from Education, from Women United. And she cannot wait to be a part of it all. With growth comes opportunity, and she truly hopes the community can benefit from this. Women United will play a vital role in encouraging our youngest generation to know the joy of learning, giving, sharing, and growing up to be productive individuals. Women United can do this by supporting various programs (such as Kindergarten Countdown) and ensuring that students feel safe, valued, and are given the tools they need to grow and succeed.
Mary is dedicated to her community and the education that each child deserves, we are so grateful to have her playing a role in Women United.