Recently, Mary Cait Rolph won the prestigious Emerging Leader Step Award through The Manufacturing Institute. This recognition is awarded to 30 women in manufacturing under the age of 30. Rolph is currently a Business Development Manager for LLFlex, a company specializing in packaging. She is also a 2012 graduate of Danville Independent Schools (DISD) and now lives in Louisville. Rolph attended the University of Louisville, where she earned a degree in chemical engineering. Post-graduation, she began working for LLFlex. She shared her Danville Schools journey and how it helped get her to where she is now.
Q: Tell us about your Danville Schools journey. What school(s) did you attend, and what’s a highlight that stands out to you?
I started my journey with Danville Schools in the fourth grade at Jennie Rogers Elementary. I continued my journey at DISD through Bate Middle School, as it was called then, and Danville High School. One of the most memorable moments for me was my freshman year of high school when for the first time in school history the cheer squad was able to not only compete at the state tournament, but we placed in the top five schools in the state — what a great way to begin my high school cheer career!
Q: What aspects of your Danville Schools education helped mold you into the person you are today?
The administration and teachers constantly propelling me to do my best and holding students to standards, which at the time seemed impossible, to ensure success in the next phase of life. The work ethic that was furthered by DISD has propelled me professionally to advance my career by not only furthering my education but continually challenging myself.
Q: When you think back on your Danville Schools experience, are there specific instances or relationships that stand out to you as having had a significant impact on your success since graduating?
There were many relationships at DISD that had a significant impact on not only my educational journey, but my professional journey. Coach Jennifer Shearer, Coach Kitty Hawkins, Mr. Rob Kremer, Mrs. Pat Calvert, Mr. Danny Goodwin, Mr. Ed McKinney, and Mrs. Lisa Fisher to just name a few. In fourth grade, Mrs. Veronica Crall helped initiate my love of math and science. Then at DHS, Mr. Kremer, Mrs. Calvert, and Mr. Goodwin were instrumental in helping enhance my love of math and science and ultimately my career choice as a chemical engineer. All the aforementioned people pushed me in different regards to be not only the best student I could be, but the best version of myself. I credit much of my engineering success to the problem solving and critical thinking skills instilled in me by all at DISD. Many of these relationships have continued post-graduation as mentorships and friendships. DISD teachers care about the student’s success throughout their life, not just while a student.
Q: As a product of Danville Schools, what advice would you give to a parent who was choosing an education path for their child?
Choose the school that is going to continually challenge your child, push them outside of their comfort zone and instill qualities necessary for being successful in life. I can’t speak for Danville Schools now, but my experience there was one that I will cherish forever. Without Danville Schools, I wouldn’t be the employee, the engineer or the person I am today. Danville Schools is a small, tight-knit community that affords all students opportunities to success.
This piece is part of an ongoing series telling the stories of our Danville Alumni! We share a new alumni story once a month, and we want YOUR story. If you or someone you know is a Danville graduate and an excellent representative of the Danville community and the idea of #SuccessForALL, whether they live in Danville or not, please fill out the form linked below. You can also show your Danville Alumni pride on social media with the hashtag #DanvilleAlumniStories
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