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April ICON of the Month: Matt Goodpaster

April ICON of the Month: Matt Goodpaster

Center Grove Education Foundation president and MPCC administrator gives back to his hometown community

It’s important that people understand the value of community and how the different aspects of community work together, said Matt Goodpaster.

Working as a church administrator and Community Life Center director for Mount Pleasant Christian Church (MPCC), a parent with children in the school corporation, president of the Center Grove Education Foundation, and having served as an athletic coach in the past has provided him with a “neat perspective of how all those elements come together to shape the bigger picture.”

“It’s a privilege to me to be able to serve in multiple leadership capacities in multiple areas of that community,” he said. “The school corporation has done a lot for me. To give back to the community, in a small way, is gratifying.”

Goodpaster grew up in the Center Grove area, graduating from Center Grove High School in 2001. He graduated from Franklin College in 2005 and Stetson University College of Law in 2009. He will have been married 11 years in June to his wife, Ashley. The couple, Center Grove residents, have three sons, Braden, Dane and Caleb.

Goodpastor came to work at MPCC in 2011.

“I was studying for the bar, looking for some part-time work,” he said. “I didn’t pass, and in between the time I took it and wanted to try again, the church offered me a full-time job here. I took that while working part-time for the NCAA, where I ultimately wanted to go. The church approached me about (becoming) the Community Life Center director… I spent a lot of time, energy and money pursuing what I thought I wanted to do. It became painfully obvious that God was opening all these other doors for a reason. I really enjoy what I’m doing now.”

Goodpastor was first introduced to the Center Grove Education Foundation when he was invited to its Gala for the Grove fundraiser. He was invited to serve on the board three years ago, and has served as president for two years. He said it’s been an exciting time as the foundation continues to grow, increases revenue each year, and hired a new executive director last year. The foundation gave more than $60,000 in teacher development grants last school year, the most it’s ever given.

“Now that people are getting to know what we do, our next big goal is to increase our fundraising efforts so we can have a bigger impact in the classroom for our students,” he said. “Primarily we want to tell the stories and celebrate the stories of the grants we’ve given. Here at the church we go by the phrase, ‘what’s celebrated gets repeated.’ As the foundation, that’s what we’re trying to do, too. We want to celebrate the money that’s given and the impact it’s having.”

This year’s gala is April 21, 6 p.m. at The Crane Bay Event Center, Indianapolis.

“Working through the foundation, we are directly involved in trying to raise the bar from and an educational opportunity standpoint for our students and our teachers,” Goodpastor said. “To know you’re directly impacting the future of students and the ability of teachers to positively impact that future is the most gratifying part of that.”

Here, learn more about our May Center Grove ICON of the Month, Matt Goodpaster.


What do you consider your greatest virtue? My honesty.

What do you most deplore in others? Greed.

What do you like most about living in Center Grove?  The community feel and people.

If you had to live anywhere else in the Metro Indianapolis area, where would it be? Franklin, if that counts as the Metro area.

If you could begin life over, what would you change?  To be more appreciative of the people who have helped me along the way.

If money were no issue, how would you spend it?  Paying off debt and then giving it away to help improve the lives of others.

What makes you happiest?  My family.

What is your favorite vacation spot? St. Pete Beach, but really anywhere there is a beach.

What do you do with idle time?  Usually spend it with my family or reading a good book.

What is it that makes you angry? Narrow-mindedness and a lack of awareness of what’s going on around you.

What do you do to escape from reality?  Read or listen to music.

What or who is the greatest love of your life? My wife and kids.

Which living person in Center Grove do you most admire?  It would probably be everyone involved in our school corporation, from Dr. Arkanoff all the way down. They devote so much time and effort to giving our kids the best possible educational opportunities. It is our schools that help attract families, business, and development. Without our teachers and administrators, none of that would be possible, and as a Center Grove alumni, I cannot count the number of them that positively impacted my life.

What is the quality you like most in a man?  Integrity. Simply doing what you say you are going to do.

What is the quality you like most in a woman?  The same as above.

What is your greatest extravagance?  Honestly, I’m not sure I have one. I’m a pretty simple guy, but I do love shoes!

What are your fears/phobias?  My greatest fear is failure, but I could go my whole life without seeing a snake and be ok with it!

What has been the happiest time of your life? Probably right now. We just had our third boy at the end of January and watching how good our two oldest are with him is an incredible experience.

Which talent would you most like to possess?  To play an instrument.

What do you most value in your friends?  Honesty and dependability.

Which historical figure do you most admire?  Martin Luther King, Jr.

What is your greatest regret?  Not enjoying the little things along the way enough.

What tenet do you live by?  Philippians 4:13, “I can do all through things, through Christ who strengthens me.  And, you miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.

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