Meet Bill Kerr! Bill graduated from Central Catholic in 1983. After high school, Bill went to Purdue for a year. He took a break from college to work for a few years before returning to Purdue to study Aviation Management. While a student at Purdue, Bill worked for American Eagle Airlines at the Purdue Airport. He then transferred to Tallahassee, FL where he was accepted into American Airlines’ Management Development Program. It was in Tallahassee that he met his wife Gina. “She flew in one day, saw me, and said that I was the one she was going to marry. (This is my version of the story ),” said Bill.
After completing the American Airlines Management Development Program, Bill became the manager for the American Eagle station in Meridian, MS. “I had dreams of one day living in Fort Lauderdale, FL,” said Bill. Eventually, a management position with American Airlines opened up in Fort Lauderdale, and he was fortunate to get the position. In 1993, Bill moved back to Lafayette. Gina also moved to Lafayette in 1993, and they were married in 1994. Bill and Gina have two children – Kaitlin (CC ‘13) and Garrett (CC ‘16).
Bill began working for Subaru of Indiana Automotive (SIA) in March of 1994 and will celebrate 25 years with SIA in just a few short months. In addition to working at SIA, Bill is also an adjunct instructor at Ivy Tech Community College.
While at CC, Bill participated in Cross Country as well as junior achievement, where he was assigned to radio station WAZY as an occasional disc jockey. He played soccer in junior high, and although CC did not have a team back then, he played in pickup games at Purdue while he was in high school and college. When he lived in Florida, it was easy to find pick-up games, so he was able to continue to play. When Kaitlin was in 3rd grade, she decided that she wanted to play soccer. Bill offered to be an assistant coach for her team. “I eventually became a head coach and found coaching to be extremely enjoyable and personally rewarding,” said Bill. Over the next few years, he coached several of Kaitlin and Garrett’s soccer teams. In 2007, Bill was asked to be an assistant soccer coach for McCutcheon High School. He served as an assistant high school coach for four years. In 2011, Bill was named the Head Coach for the Central Catholic Girls’ Soccer Program. “I had the pleasure of being Kaitlin’s coach once again for her junior and senior seasons. Our program has been blessed with great young ladies who come in, work hard, and do what it takes to be successful,” said Bill. The girls, who were ranked 3rd in the state most of this past season, won their third consecutive sectional championship and advanced to the final four in the state tournament.
How did your education at LCSS prepare you for college and your career?
Most CC graduates that I speak to attest to the fact that CC did an outstanding job of preparing them for college, and life in general. I am no different. At CC, I was challenged by exceptional teachers who expected nothing less than our best. Teachers who were there offered guidance and encouragement. The teachers and the administration were firm but compassionate. I always felt that we were held to a higher standard — I for one needed that. I have often thought back to my time at CC and realized how thankful I am that the expectations were set so high. In high school, I was not the best student, but once I started to apply myself at Purdue, I realized how beneficial my classes at CC were. Lessons that I learned at CC still apply today. If you set a goal and work hard at achieving that goal, you can accomplish much in life.
Both of my kids, Kaitlin and Garrett, also went through the Lafayette Catholic School System, and they are better because of their experience. Both are strong in their faith, and Central Catholic prepared them well for college and beyond.
What did you like most about your experience at LCSS?
The thing that I liked the most at Central Catholic was the closeness of the school, especially my class. I felt that we were all friends. I felt that I could hang out with any member of my class. I loved my classmates while at CC and I still do. The closeness of my class has always been special to me.
What is your favorite memory from your years at LCSS?
My favorite memory would have to be Miss Anthrop’s history class. The National History Day Competition and the Cemetery Project were staples at CC even when Kaitlin and Garrett were at CC. I recall driving around Lafayette going to cemeteries that I did not even know existed. We would then use chalk and paper to get images from headstones — what a blast. For the National History Day competition, I wrote a paper on Henry Ford and the Ford Motor Company. My mom would edit, and it felt like I had to rewrite the whole paper. I remember conducting interviews from different people from around the state who either worked for Ford in the early days, drove a Model T, or in some other way was associated with Henry Ford or the Ford Motor Company. It was very time consuming, but the work paid off, winning the state competition for a paper. I, along with several classmates who won their respective categories, earned the chance to go to Washington, D.C. for the National History Day Competition. That was a very memorable trip where I met many people from around the United States, some of whom I still keep in contact with to this day. As I stated earlier, if you set a goal and work hard, you can accomplish much in life. Miss Anthrop set the bar high and expected much from her students. I am grateful to her, and our other teachers, for pushing us to be our best.