CHILLICOTHE, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — It was another cold, rainy day that sent softball practice indoors, but Katie Petran had a smile on her face.

His positive and dynamic attitude is part of the reason IVC is having a successful start to the season.

“If one of us is having a bad day, we try to pull ourselves together. I think that’s the key to our success because we’re so positive,” Petran said.

IVC started the season 9-2 but Petran would probably be smiling with the winless team.

“Katie is full of energy. It shows here. It shows in everything she does. It captures everyone,” said IVC softball coach Max Bundy, “It’s how she’s wired to make sure everyone feels important.

But the softball field isn’t the only place where Petran spreads some joy. She is part of the school’s JOI club, which encourages student volunteerism throughout central Illinois.

And she did a lot.

“The club is designed to help the Chillicothe community,” said Petran. “Around Christmas, we volunteered making gnomes for (residents of) nursing homes. It was craftsmanship. We made two, so we kept one and gave one away.

As a top student, Petran is a member of the National Honor Society and a professor of mathematics. She modeled prom dresses to raise money for an agency that provides college scholarships to IVC students.

And was part of the school’s Girls Investing in Girls leadership conference.

“It brings me real joy to help people, to make them smile,” Petran said. “It makes my day 100% better.”>>