Debra Kunce has only been an IPSEF board member for a year, but she has been around IPS students and teachers for several years in her professional life. Kunce helped manage the capital improvement program in IPS and was always impressed by what she saw from IPS students and teachers.
“I’ve worked with [IPS] for over 10 years,” she says. “Because I was so closely working with staff and administrators – over a year in a school every day – I saw both the challenges and the good in how the teachers really try to help their students.”
Since then, Kunce has felt connected to the great work happening in IPS classrooms that many people don’t get to see. Through her involvement as an IPSEF Board Member, she has been able to help support these classrooms and help them get access to resources they need, like technology.
“When the Foundation really started focusing on how can they help invest in the technology, I thought it was a great way to make a real impact,” she says. “It’s great for the Foundation to recognize this opportunity to equip the schools, and it’s not a need that is going to go away. Technology gets out of date quickly, so it’s a great ongoing program for the Foundation.”
Kunce is also proud of the Foundation’s work in supporting DonorsChoose.org because of how specific the funds are to meeting each classroom’s needs. Through DonorsChoose.org projects especially, people are able to truly meet the needs of each classroom because the projects are so tailored to the individual teacher and classroom needs.
Outside of supporting the Foundation financially, Kunce would encourage Indianapolis citizens to volunteer in classrooms, either for their own children or in communities where they work and spend time. According to her, when volunteers get into the schools and see what is actually happening in IPS classrooms, it’s easier for them to understand what the needs are and how important the IPSEF’s work is.
“It’s important for organizations like the IPS Education Foundation to really hold up the cause and bring it to the masses,” Kunce says. “We’re not in the daily work like teachers and staff, and we really can talk about why it’s so important to help improve education in our central city. It’s vital to our city and quality of life.”
Debra Kunce, FAIA, LEED AP, owns the Indianapolis based management and consulting company, CORE Planning Strategies, focused on helping clients execute facility construction projects. Deb is a registered Architect who applies creative design strategies with practical implementation and has been recognized by her professional and business community as IBJ’s Forty Under 40 and Midwest Construction’s Top 20 Young Professionals in 2011.