Ball State University President Geoffrey S. Mearns today announced the appointment of Dr. Kathleen Washburn to the Muncie Community Schools (MCS) Board of Trustees.

As part of its historic partnership with MCS, which began in July 2018 to provide excellent public education to every student in Muncie, the University appointed a seven-member governing board for the school district. Five members are appointed by the Ball State Board of Trustees, based upon recommendations from President Mearns. The remaining two members are appointed by President Mearns (one chosen from three nominations by the Muncie mayor, and one selected from three nominations by Muncie City Council).

Dr. Washburn, an anticoagulation pharmacist in IU Health’s East Central Region, was nominated by Muncie Mayor Dan Ridenour.

“Dr. Washburn’s experience in healthcare and her passionate commitment to community service make her an excellent addition to the Muncie Community Schools Board of Trustees,” President Mearns said. “Her insights and dedication will enhance our efforts to provide an outstanding public education for every student in Muncie.”

Dr. Washburn’s appointment to the MCS Board begins Monday, June 17, and runs through June 30, 2026.

“I am excited and humbled to be appointed to the Muncie Community Schools Board of Trustees,” Dr. Washburn said. “Since my oldest child walked into Storer Elementary School 12 years ago, my family passionately supported Muncie’s students, teachers, and administrators.

“As someone who lives and works in our community and the daughter of two public school employees, I know the value that a well-rounded public school education provides,” she continued. “Over the past few years, I have been encouraged and impressed by the school board’s work, and I share in my fellow trustees’ commitment to provide our children with the best educational experience.”

Dr. Washburn brings a diverse background to the MCS Board. Upon earning her Doctor of Pharmacy from Ohio Northern University in 2001, she embarked on a career as a clinical and staff pharmacist. She has also prioritized educational initiatives in her field, having established and led a pharmacy internship program and serving as a preceptor for various residency rotations.

Beyond her professional accomplishments, Dr. Washburn is involved in community service. She has played roles in health outreach programs at the East Side Church of God, including a medical mission trip to Haiti and local health screenings. Additionally, she has been a key organizer in community events like the Imagine Christmas program, which engaged more than 1,000 community members.

Dr. Washburn’s commitment to service and leadership is further reflected in her long-term involvement with Kappa Phi, a national Christian student society, where she has held several national and regional leadership positions. Her accolades include scholarships, honorary memberships, and graduation from the Emerging Leaders Program at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital.

Ball State received oversight authorization of MCS from the Indiana General Assembly in May 2018. Since that time, under the direction of the seven-member school board, the district has ushered in many positive changes, including:

  • Student enrollment has stabilized for the first time in more than 15 years.
  • Budgets have been balanced annually since 2018.
  • Teacher pay has increased by almost 40 percent, with MCS now one of the top-paying districts in the region; combined with a shared sense of optimism, teacher retention rates have increased to nearly 90 percent during the partnership.

“This city-wide effort—led by an appointed seven-member board of trustees—has set a new precedent for the role higher education can have in K-12 schools and has solidified Ball State’s commitment to its community,” President Mearns said. “As we continue this important work, I am excited to welcome Dr. Washburn as our newest MCS Board member. Her skills, experience, and vision complement an already diverse, talented board.”