Mary Roller of Rushville, Indiana, has been working with adults and adult education since her graduation from college in 1978. At that time Mary went to work with seniors, helping to found Shelby Senior Services in Shelbyville, a non-profit organization. Mary stayed with them until 1985, when she married and had a child. Her break from the work-force lasted nine years.
When she returned to full-time employment in 1994 Mary became an educator with the Rush County Soil and Water District. She was concurrently a science teacher with the Rush County Schools at the elementary school level.
Mary made another career change in 2005 when she went to work for the Community Education Coalition in Connersville. After four years with the coalition Mary took on the job that she has today, manning the reception desk at the Ivy Tech Cooperative as the site manager.
Mary has always been determined to expand the horizons of people of every age and type. The way she sees it, education is a synonym for opportunity. Because of her unique and varied background Mary is uniquely positioned to help grow the local adult education program in Rushville, helping to make an impact on the next generation.
“It’s all about education. Everything I‘ve done has been about education in one form or another, and hopefully it is a process that we never stop. Life-long learning is just that, if we don’t learn we stagnate,” Mary said.
“There are so many more educational opportunities now. We have students as young as 17 and up to 73 currently enrolled. There is formal learning. There are informal learning credit classes, non-credit classes – thanks in large part to the internet,” she added.
Mary explained that she sees her job at Ivy Tech as helping people transition from being out of the world of education to getting back into it, even after many years.
“I often tell people in my office, that they have already made the most difficult decision about furthering their education, they walked through my door,” Mary said with a smile.