Interview with Marketing Manager Katie Ward
Today, I’d like to introduce you to CHEC’s Marketing Manager (and tech wonder woman) Katie Ward. Katie is a key component of our team, and she keeps us running with her incredible amount of energy, fun, and ideas!
Can you tell us a little about yourself and your family?
I’m a homeschool grad and I live with my parents, Bill and Karen, and two sisters, Amy and Esther, in my favorite little town in America: Lee’s Summit, Missouri, just southeast of Kansas City. My elderly aunt Mary and my grandmother Frances also live with us, along with two dogs (a maltese and an Australian shepherd poodle mix) and two birds (both cockatiels).
My brothers, Billy and Andy, live nearby and visit often, so the household stays pretty bustling and there is never a dull moment. I am grateful for parents who welcome me to live in our family home and be a part of the family culture. Their friendship and mentorship is a blessing I don’t take for granted, and I am thankful for the opportunity to be accountable to a family with the challenges and blessings that brings. (Plus, I really love that they do my laundry!)
My homeschool experience was stellar — not because of my academic abilities or accomplishments — but because I gained a real relationship with Jesus Christ through the intentional discipleship of my parents and the opportunities I had to walk with them, up close and personal, as they grew in their own relationships with the Lord. I also learned to work hard, and what’s even better, to enjoy the work. After college, I jumped right into working for non-profit organizations — a homeschool ministry, my church, and now CHEC.
What are some of your favorite aspects of being a homeschool graduate?
I loved that my homeschool experience made it easy to transition into college — at least the academics part. I was rather shocked at how doable my college class task loads were. I was so accustomed to being self-directed that it seemed rather TOO easy to have a teacher giving me a syllabus at the beginning of the semester with a list of what to do. However, it was tough for me to transition into the social atmosphere, not because I had a problem interacting with people, but because it was discouraging to see how many people are immersed in sin.
And that brings me back to why I loved homeschooling so much. I didn’t have a perfect childhood, and I struggled through things just as much as any other kid. But every year, I grow in my understanding of God’s sovereignty, and my gratitude increases for parents who sacrificed to give me the gift of a solid family to grow up in. They walked by faith, and I knew as I observed them that they were seeking the Lord for each step, not just following the culture (either the world or the homeschool culture).
Today, I love being a homeschool grad because homeschooling gave me the solid foundation of a good work ethic and a love for Christ and people. Those things impact everything I do each day.
On the lighter side … I really love all those “You might be a homeschooler if …” jokes because they are mostly true, and it’s such fun to enjoy the inside jokes of being a homeschool grad! (Yes, I did wear PJs and I did sleep in a whole lot!)
What does your job look like as Marketing Manager? Do you have an aspect that you enjoy most?
I oversee all of the communication and publicity for CHEC, making sure that our staff and volunteer teams do our best to communicate information about CHEC creatively, winsomely, and excellently to serve homeschool families. Practically, that means I directly handle things like website management, email newsletters, and event publicity, and I help with aspects of some special projects (like the recent HomeschoolSummits.com event). I also oversee the “presentation” of CHEC in things like the blog, magazine, events, and other publications. We have such a great team, and I love working with people who love the Lord and love homeschooling families! My favorite part is that I get to work from home (yep, all the way from Missouri!), on a flexible schedule, for a cause I am wholeheartedly supportive of — helping families to raise their kids to know and love God. I can’t believe I get to do this!
What are some of your favorite things (favorite vacation, book, dessert, activity to do with your family, hobby)?
In no particular order … I love ice cream, traveling (see this photo where we combined ice cream and traveling — pretty awesome!), watching British period movies (Jane Austen!) with my sisters and adventure movies with my brothers, walking and hiking, finishing projects, having coffee (aka frappuccinos) with friends, posting on Instagram, spending time with family, and learning new things by reading good books and blogs. And I love free time! 🙂
Katie Ward (left) visiting Mount Rushmore with family