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Inaugural class of Woodrow Wilson MBA fellows named

Scott Elliott

Sixty aspiring school leaders and STEM educators in Indiana who hope to make an impact on high-need schools were given a boost today in the form of a Woodrow Wilson fellowship.

The Princeton, N.J.-based Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation named 15 members of the inaugural class of the Woodrow Wilson MBA fellows, who each will receive support and a $50,000 stipend on their path to becoming school principals, district superintendents or charter leaders.

The fellowship program, which launched in Indiana in 2007 before expanding to four other states, also named Indiana’s sixth class of Woodrow Wilson teaching fellows.

They are 45 recent graduates or career-changing professionals from Indiana school districts who each will receive $30,000 to earn their master’s degrees at specially-designed programs in Indiana.

Gov. Mike Pence cheered the teaching fellows, who will study at either Ball State, IUPUI, Purdue, or University of Indianapolis to earn their master’s degrees, and the beginning of the MBA fellowship program, whose fellows will work with the University of Indianapolis, in a ceremony at the statehouse today.

“Attracting talent in science, technology, engineering and math to the teaching field will help our students better understand and be successful in these fields, which are so important our state’s future success,” Pence said in a statement. “Additionally, the new MBA program can prepare our future school administrators with more tools for making sound business and operational decisions.”

MBA fellows

Once its teaching fellowship program was well-established, Woodrow Wilson became interested in starting up an MBA fellowship program for aspiring school leaders.

Announced last year, Woodrow Wilson partnered with the University of Indianapolis as an initial host site, with the hope of expanding to other states in the future. Wisconsin’s Milwaukee School of Engineering is another pilot site.

The 15 Woodrow Wilson MBA fellows, who all are experienced educators and nominated by a boss or colleague, will work with Indiana districts and charter schools during their fellowship on field-based projects and coaching opportunities.

They are required to serve in a leadership role in an Indiana district or charter school for at least three years after the completion of the fellowship, which will aim to arm students will knowledge in areas including leadership, finance, human resources and organizational change.

The Woodrow Wilson MBA fellows are:

  • Allison Chance, special education teacher at Center Grove Schools, Greenwood
  • Dominic Day, social studies teacher/team leader at Lynhurst 7th and 8th Grade Center, Wayne Township
  • Dana Dietz, instructional coach at Avon Community School Corporation, Avon
  • Thomas Hakim, math department chair at Washington Township Schools, Northview Middle School, Indianapolis
  • Mike Hall, principal at Monon Trail ES, Westfield
  • David Harker, teacher Leader/language arts teacher at Greenwood Middle School, Greenwood
  • David Hobaugh, science department chair and chemistry teacher at Tri-West High School, Lizton
  • Tracy Hood, instructional coach at Plainfield Community School Corp., Plainfield
  • Sara Hunter, STEM coach and teacher at Zionsville Community Schools, Zionsville
  • Adrienne Kuchik, academic support manager of Mathematics at Gary Lighthouse Charter School
  • Adam Love, AP history, government, social studies teacher and Department Chair at Tri-West HS, Brownsburg
  • Jacob Pactor, English teacher/intervention team leader at Speedway High School, Speedway
  • Kari Serak, English teacher at Brownsburg West MS in Brownsburg, IN
  • Wes Upton, teacher Leader/geography/history Teacher at MSD of Wayne Township
  • Kelly Zibton, fifth-grade teacher/team leader at Delaware Trail Elementary School in Brownsburg

To learn more about the inaugural MBA fellows, click here.

Teaching fellows

A $9.7 million STEM grant program approved by Indiana’s General Assembly in 2013 will assist the foundation’s funding of the 45 teaching fellow positions. The teaching fellowship is also funded by Lilly Endowment Inc.

The Woodrow Wilson teaching fellows include 18 Hoosiers:

  • Amanda Aitken of Indianapolis will attend the University of Indianapolis
  • Jonathan Bernardi of Indianapolis will attend IUPUI
  • Lindsey Brooks of Anderson will attend Ball State University
  • Justin Bush of Greenfield will attend IUPUI
  • Jessica Carlson of Indianapolis will attend The University of Indianapolis
  • Jordan Gibson of Greenwood will attend The University of Indianapolis
  • Heather Harmeyer of Indianapolis will attend The University of Indianapolis
  • Jahuan Jarrett of Indianapolis will attend The University of Indianapolis
  • Mark Jedele of Indianapolis will attend The University of Indianapolis
  • Danielle Lord of Indianapolis will attend IUPUI
  • Tamara Markey of Indianapolis will attend IUPUI
  • Lizzette Menendez of Indianapolis will attend Purdue University
  • Kelly Nickson of Greenwood will attend The University of Indianapolis
  • Leah Perry of Anderson will attend Ball State University
  • Deonna Puckett of Fishers will attend Ball State University
  • Katherine Russo of Indianapolis will attend IUPUI
  • Daryl Traylor of Greenwood will attend IUPUI
  • Russell Wiggins of Greenfield will attend Purdue University

To see a full list, click here.

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