The newest member

Perry Meridian alumni becomes the newest member of the Perry Township school board to give back and stay active in the community


Photo from Perry Township Schools

On Jan. 8, Collin Fultz was sworn in as a new board member for Perry Township Schools. Fultz is an alumni from Perry Meridian and wanted to become a part of the school board to stay active in and give back to the community he grew up in.

Emma Wiese, Reporter

The long road leading to Colin Fultz’s election to the Perry Township school board began with meeting Hannah Dale in elementary school. They stayed in touch over the years, so when Dale heard of the opening on the school board, she knew it would be a perfect fit for Fultz.

“I knew that was something Collin was interested in,” Dale said. “I wanted to make sure I encouraged him to apply for that and give it a shot.”

Fultz grew up in Perry Township. He had attended Burkhart Elementary School, then he moved on to Perry Meridian Middle School and High School. He was very involved in sports and extracurriculars. He played baseball, he participated in band and marching band, and he was the drum major his senior year. He was his class’ vice president and an anchor on Falcon T.V. He was also team captain for Perry’s robotics team in high school, Cyber Blue. Through it, he received a scholarship to Purdue University, where he got a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering, and got his foot in the door at one of the companies that sponsors Cyber Blue, which lead to a high school internship, a college internship and then a full-time job.

Fultz had expressed interest in staying involved with the district. He is a PMHS alumni, an active volunteer and a parent of two. Dale believes these things made him a great candidate for the opening.

Now, he lives with his wife, who is also a PMHS alumni, and their two kids. After they had their first child, they decided to move back to Perry Township from New Hampshire to be closer to their families. They believed that Perry Township would be a good place for his children to grow up.

“I’m a firm believer in the idea that you get what you celebrate,” Dale said. “ I think Perry Township does a good job at offering students an opportunity to pursue what interests them.”

Fultz had been thinking about running for the school board for about a year before hearing from Dale about the opening. After hearing about it, Fultz spoke with Dale’s mother, Jo Ellen Buffie, who had been on the school board for 8 years. When he met with Buffie he  asked her about what the job meant and the expectations, to make sure he really wanted the job.

“Talking with my mom helped him really understand all of the different aspects of being a school board member, and what it takes to be a good school board member,” Dale said. “I think it was a lot of things he already knew, but he was able to be validated in the fact that he wanted to do this in the first place.”

After deliberation, Fultz applied for the position online by sending in a letter and his resume. From there, the board selected three individuals to be interviewed at a board meeting, which was open to the public. The three candidates, which were Fultz and two other hopefuls, were interviewed separately and by all six board members. Fultz’s interview lasted about 25 minutes, and he was told they would make a decision after the new year.

The first week of January, he was called and asked to attend a board meeting on Jan. 8. At that point, as the other two applicants hadn’t been summoned, Fultz began to think that he would be the one nominated to be approved by the board, but nothing was official yet. The board still had to vote.

“The beginning of that meeting was a little nerve-wracking for me,” Fultz said. “But I was nominated, and approved, and sworn in, and took my seat as a board member.”

Since becoming a member, Fultz has been volunteering around Perry Township. He volunteers at his old stomping ground with the PMHS Cyber Blues as an engineering advisor. Every Wednesday, there’s a Lego robotics program at Abraham Lincoln Elementary which he attends and helps lead. He is joined by a few students from the PMHS robotics team, who serve as peer coaches. The experience of leading an activity for students right in their classroom has “opened his eyes” to the everyday challenges of teaching students and the privilege he has to widen their horizons.

“The fact that we’re able to give these kids an enrichment activity that’s outside of their normal curriculum is really great,” Fultz said.

Fultz’s time on the board has also been used to learn about and meet new people. He is in the process of meeting all the principals in the district and learning about all the things that have changed in the district in the 15 years since he’s graduated. He has spent time at both Perry and Southport High School talking to the principals and teachers about new changes. He says he enjoys his time spent as a “conduit.”

“I love going in and talking to principals, talking to teachers and just asking, ‘What are you excited about? What are you doing at Southport that’s cool that we need to let the community know about?’” Fultz said. “… We do a lot of really great things in Perry Township, and I think we should let people know about them.”