About Kathleen Petitjean



Kathleen Petitjean

Kathleen Petitjean was born in South Bend and graduated from LaSalle High School in 1980 (as Kathleen Spitz). She received a degree in Occupational Therapy from Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis and worked as an Occupational Therapist in hospitals, extended care facilities and rehabilitation centers in Indianapolis and Northwestern Indiana. In 1988, Kathleen accepted a job with the Department of Defense to provide Occupational Therapy to children with special needs whose parents were serving in the US military in Germany. After living and working near Stuttgart, Germany for 4 years, Kathleen moved to Bucks County, Pennsylvania and set herself up as a private therapy consultant for the local public schools and state infant and preschool programs.

Kathleen returned to South Bend in 1994, working as an Occupational Therapist for the South Bend Community School Corporation, which she continues today. She provides therapy for preschool and school-aged children with special needs in order to help them integrate as fully as possible with their typically developing peers. Kathleen brought her certified therapy dog, a beautiful Newfoundland named Bismarck, to school twice a week to work with the children until he retired this past May after 7 years of service. She is currently training Bismarck’s successor, a young Newf named Galileo, to work with the children once again. Kathleen recently published an article about her work with her therapy dog in “Interactions,” an internationally recognized pet therapy journal. She is currently working on her Master’s Degree in Liberal Studies in the Public Intellectual track.

Kathleen has been active with the St Joe Valley Greens for several years, attending Common Council meetings on many occasions in order to provide input for the values of the Greens on decisions before the council. She belongs to the Paint-the-Town with Bike Lanes committee of citizens seeking accommodations for cyclists in St Joseph County. Kathleen has assisted with GreenTV productions aired on local public access television. Kathleen
worked non-stop to gain ballot access for the Indiana Green Party’s recent candidate for Secretary of State and challenged the St Joe County Election Board when it failed to properly submit to the state all of the votes cast
in St Joe County.

Kathleen enjoys painting, reading, cycling, canoeing and playing in her garden. She attempts to live the key values of the Green Party (Social Justice, Grassroots Democracy, Ecological Wisdom and Non-Violence) every

To find out more about Kathleen’s platform, please go here.

To read Kathleen’s statement regarding the incumbent’s lack of responsiveness to citizen input and failure to enforce compliance with the city’s tax abatement ordinance, please go here.

To read Kathleen’s statement regarding her support of amending the city’s Human Rights Ordinance to including sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as her rebuke of the incumbent’s “no” vote on this issue, please go here. 

*Kathleen’s photo by Gary Mester, Master Photographer