MENTONE — Ever since she was a teenager growing up in Wabash, Caroline Day has been a community-minded individual. Now, as a counselor at Mentone Elementary School living in Warsaw, Day remains committed, not only to children, but to the wider community as a member of the Beta Epsilon chapter of the philanthropic sorority Psi Iota Xi.
“I enjoyed being involved in my community,” Day remembered of her high school days. A member of the student council, she was always active, be it in fundraisers, canned food drives or downtown beautification projects. But she balanced her civic mindset with a love of the outdoors, and shared with her family a passion for water sports of all kinds. Her summers were largely spent at her grandparents’ lake house in Cold Water Lake, Mich., where from a young age she enjoyed water skiing, tubing, kayaking and sailing.
Now she enjoys these activities with her husband, Kevin Day, a Warsaw-based chiropractor, and when she is not at school, she is often helping him with external marketing events or providing “another set of hands” at First Fridays. The couple are also currently looking to open a new office in Fort Wayne.
For the last five years, Day has been a counselor at Mentone Elementary School. “I liked working with children so counseling was the perfect route,” she explained. After earning a degree in human services from St. Mary of the Woods College in Terre Haute, Day received a master’s degree in counseling from Ball State University.
Her first counseling position was at Northfield High School, where she especially enjoyed helping students “find the right fit for their future,” be it college or vocational training; however, she commented, “I wanted to work with younger kids.”
One thing Day has found, even with elementary students, is “kids put a lot of pressure on themselves.” They feel pressure to succeed academically, in sports, and are even concerned with body image, “even in elementary school,” Day affirmed.
She attributes this to technology, and the access they have to “so many things, the good and the bad.” Day is quick to add she is in no way anti-technology. Academically, technology has been a boon to children of all ages, she noted.
So perhaps it is all the more important school be, in Day’s words, “a consistent, solid place to be,” a place where children can focus on things other than incarcerated or divorced parents or the many other issues she meets with them to discuss. “The teachers are fabulous in letting me know a student needs to talk,” Day noted.
With the focus on standardized testing in schools, Day spends a lot of time helping children prepare with practice tests in various subjects. She is in charge of all standardized testing; however, Day particularly enjoys leading character education classes where children learn about kindness, respect, personal space, anti-bullying, internet safety, self-esteem, anxiety, being role models for each other and, one of Day’s favorites, honesty.
Day is looking forward to water sports season, and spending time at her parents’ Yellow Creek Lake house. She is also preparing for a mini-marathon in honor of a friend who died of cancer, though she confesses, “I will be doing a lot of walking.”