Wilma Willard is more than just a Portage citizen; she is a powerful and positive force within the community. As Title 1 Coordinator for Portage Township Schools and an active member of Liberty Bible Church, Willard is a person who loves life and strives to instill that love in others.
Willard is originally from western Illinois. Growing up on a farm with six siblings, family and hard work have been values that define Willard to this day. She moved to Indiana when she was 16 and has lived in Porter County since she was 22.
Over the course of her life, Willard has worn many hats. She has empowered others as an educator, coach, and nonprofit director; all, of which, are roles that allow her to give back to the community. Nowadays she serves as the Title 1 Coordinator at Portage Township Schools.
“My job helps to support students who are struggling in literacy and math and proficiency in the English language,” said Willard. “Coordinating these efforts district-wide is very rewarding. I love working alongside our Title team and our terrific Portage principals, teachers, and staff who work directly with our students.”
The end of the year is a busy one for Willard and her team; nevertheless, it is also a time to acknowledge the annual progress the schools make each and every year.
“Now's the time when we look back at the school year and know that together we have helped our students make gains in their education that will impact their lives,” said Willard.
Aside from her involvement in the schools, Willard is also a committed member of Liberty Bible Church. God is central to her life, and she takes almost every opportunity to give back in His name.
“I love God and volunteer with landscaping, missions, and sing in the worship choir at Liberty Bible Church,” said Willard. “God brings purpose and meaning to a person's life.”
Willard is also a member of the Porter County Master Gardener Association. She enjoys sharing information with other fellow gardeners and designing their online newsletter. Outside of these involvements, Willard enjoys the simple things in life. In fact, she recently took a trip to Europe that allowed her to reconnect with her family’s origins.
“This year I went to Europe - Switzerland, France, Germany, Netherlands - with my two oldest brothers, John and Tim, in search of ancestral roots,” said Willard. “We can trace our Detwiler genealogy back to 1500s in northern Switzerland.”
Willard continues to lead a full life that allows her to acknowledge that variety is indeed the spice of life. She exercises these values on a regular basis, whether that’s helping kids succeed at school or encouraging worship at her church.
“Try lots of different things in life - like sports, foods, jobs, clubs, travels, and educational opportunities,” said Willard. “You never know who you will meet or what will end up being your thing!”