Mark Kern has been a part of the New Palestine school community serving as a longtime school administrator for 18 years. He retired in 2017, following service as principal at each of the Southern Hancock elementary schools over his nearly two decades of service. Mark is a founding member of the New Palestine Education Foundation, and served as the foundation's president for several years. Since his retirement as a school leader, Mark has served the congregation at Pleasant View Baptist Church. He now serves as the pastor of the church. Mark and his wife, Pat, serve as volunteers at the David Nolen Pantry of Hope at the the Hope Center Indy. Mark and Pat (both retired as educators) have two adult children and six grandchildren. Interestingly, both of their children and their spouses are all educators! Mark is excited to continue serving the Southern Hancock school community through the Foundation. He calls on other retired New Pal educators to join the Foundation in MAKING A DIFFERENCE!
Caralee Griffith has over 15 years of experience in mental health and people-focused careers, with the last 2 years concentrated on senior living. Caralee developed her leadership and event management skills as the Executive Director of the New Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce. Caralee uses these skills to bring joy, smiles, and lasting memories to the residents of all Justus Senior Living Communities through a variety of life enrichment opportunities. She is married to her husband Wayne and they have one adult son. Caralee holds a BA degree in Psychology from Indiana University.
Lynnette Bell has over 30 years of experience in the Death Care Industry along with her husband, Jeff. They have 3 children who have or are currently attending Southern Hancock Schools. Together they own and operate 2 funeral homes, Bell Mortuary and Crematory, Shangrila Chapel, (east of New Pal), Bell Mortuary and Crematory, Royster-Askin-Sandrock Chapel (west of the Indy Zoo) and All Pets Go To Heaven Pet Crematory. Jeff and Lynnette are faithful Christians who have served many families as well as the New Palestine community in their time of need. Lynnette has lived and served in New Palestine for over 30 years as an active member of New Palestine Main Street and New Palestine Lions Club as well as a past board member of the NPHS Band Boosters. Lynnette and Jeff are supporters of the Southern Hancock School’s sports and fine art programs. Lynnette enjoys camping, fishing, hiking, gardening and spending time with her family, friends and all of her pets in her spare time.
Katie Arthur has three children within the Southern Hancock School District. NPI (5th grade), Brandywine (2nd grade), and NPE - Little Dragons (will also be at Brandywine next year). We briefly lived in New Pal, left for Franklin Township, and quickly returned. Mackenzie started her first-grade year at Brandywine. She grew up on the eastside of Indianapolis and graduated from Warren Central. She works for Salesforce as an HR Operations Manager. She is a guest facilitator for Dress For Success - Indianapolis, a certified #IamRemarkable Facilitator, and 10+ year volunteer for Flashes of Hope. For the last 10 years, she has organized the Indianapolis Chapter annual charity event - Pirates and Princesses. Her platform is all-around mental health and is working on her certification to be a NAMI Facilitator.
Loretta Forgey is a retired elementary school teacher in the New Palestine community. Before entering the teaching profession, Loretta was very active as a PTO officer at New Palestine Elementary. An original board member, Loretta served as the chairperson of the annual Gala fundraiser and foundation treasurer for many years. She and her husband, Mike, have raised three adult children who graduated from New Palestine High School. They also have four grandchildren.
James Voelz is the principal at New Palestine High School. He has served as a school leader in the Southern Hancock schools for twenty-one years primarily at New Palestine Junior High/Doe Creek Middle School. He and his wife are New Pal residents and the proud parents of four children, all NPHS graduates.
EX-OFFICIO BOARD MEMBERS
Miles Hercamp is the ex-officio liaison between the Southern Hancock Schools and the Foundation. He is a busy man in the school community serving as the Director of Instruction, Director of Technology, and Director of School Safety. Miles was a long time teacher and administrator at New Palestine High School before moving to the Administrative Office team. He and his wife are New Pal residents with adult sons and several grandchildren.