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MSW student Kate Noel garners award from alma mater

Carmel, Ind. native Kate Pedersen Noël left an indelible mark on her alma mater, University High School, when her “Leadership and Philanthropic Studies” course was offered as part of the school’s curriculum. This course, which she developed as a student in 2005, cemented public service as part of the young school’s culture. Last week, the University High School community gathered to celebrate Noël’s legacy and award her the Sue Anne Gilroy Excellence in Public Service Award.

This award, established by the University High School board of trustees, is named after former staff and board member Sue Anne Gilroy. Before joining University High School and connecting students with community organizations, Gilroy served as Indiana’s first female Secretary of State from 1994-2003. Today, she is the vice president of development and the executive director of the St. Vincent Foundation.

Gilroy remembers Noël as one of the school’s most natural philanthropists. “Everywhere Katie went, people followed,” she said. “University High School can change the direction of your life, and I saw Katie’s life change when she became a philanthropist.”

As a University High School student, Noël served the Central Indiana community through organizations like Brooke’s Place and IPS School 54. Now, as she pursues her master’s degree in social work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Noël helps children and families in her new community as an intern with SAFEchild.

Six years after graduating from University High School, Noël still credits the school’s unique approach to education for teaching her that her life’s work need not be different from her life’s service.

“University High School and Sue Anne Gilroy taught me that it’s possible to marry my work with my passion,” said Noël as she accepted the award.

University High School of Indiana is an independent college preparatory school located in Carmel, Ind. Founded in 2000, the school provides an educational and empowering environment for its nearly 280 students that promotes faculty/student mentoring; a small, cores-values-driven community; four-year, student-focused college counseling; and personalized education.

Story courtesy University High School