Ms. Decker graduated from Connersville High School in Connersville, IN in 1975. After graduation she attended the University of Evansville completing a Bachelor of Arts degree in special education in 1979 and a Master of Arts degree in secondary education in 1984.
She worked as a teacher for the Evansville-Vanderburgh School Corporation and completed 24 years of service to Glenwood Elementary School, Cedar Hall Elementary School, and Lincoln Elementary School as a special education teacher. During the inaugural year of the Reading First program, she served as a reading coach at Culver Elementary School.
In 2004, Ms.Decker joined the staff of the public K-5 Joshua Academy Charter School as the Director of Education and in 2005 was appointed the Executive Director
Over the course of her teaching career, she served on the Board of Directors of the Evansville Teachers Association for nine years, and the Indiana State Teachers Association for three years. She was also the ISTA’s state chairperson for the Minority Affairs Committee (MAC).
In 2003, she founded the Minority Student Achievement Initiative-Evansville which is a grassroots group committed to helping the local school corporation find viable solutions to close the achievement gap in the Evansville community. Her quest to escape the “paralysis of analysis” and wanting to “Just Do It” lead her to her current tenure at Joshua Academy where the benefits of being a charter school allows out of the box thinking and quicker problem solving and action.
She currently serves on the Evansville Education Roundtable convened by Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel, the Early Childhood Development Coalition, and the Minority Affairs Committee of the Evansville- Vanderburgh School Corporation.
She has two children and two grandchildren. Her father was a United Methodist minister and her mother a homemaker. In her own words Ms. Decker states, “I have 7 brothers and sisters, five of us are college graduates. My parents held us to high standards in education and behavior. I believe that is what is missing in the lives of many young people today. My father taught us that we were created to make a difference in the world. I strive to make a difference in the lives of children.”