Keeanna Warren and Scott Bess
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Keeanna Warren and Scott Bess

Innovation School Fellows: 2017

Keeanna Warren and Scott Bess will launch the second location of Purdue Polytechnic High School, a new Indianapolis innovation charter high school being developed by Purdue University in partnership with Indianapolis Public Schools.   

The high schools will serve as a bridge for center-city Indianapolis students to learn in a transformative environment with project-based, hands-on learning.  Successful graduates who meet Purdue University admission criteria will have direct admittance to the Purdue Polytechnic Institute in West Lafayette.  The first high school will open in Fall 2017, while the second proposed high school is scheduled to open in Fall 2019.  At full capacity, it will serve approximately 600 students in grades 9-12.

Keeanna and Scott bring to the fellowship their experience working with Goodwill Education Initiatives (GEI), Goodwill’s arm that launches new educational opportunities throughout the Indianapolis region, and its Excel Center, a network of high schools for adults who had previously dropped out.

Keeanna, whom Purdue selected as founding principal for the second location of Purdue Polytechnic High School, has worked with the Excel Center in the Meadows neighborhood since 2013.  She served in numerous positions, including night instructor, graduate counselor and lead instructor, until she was promoted to school director.  Keeanna began her career teaching fifth grade at the Andrew J. Brown Academy charter school and Washington Township’s Nora Elementary School.

She earned her bachelor’s degree from Purdue University and a master’s degree in teaching from Marian University, where she was a part of the Turnaround School Leadership program.  She is scheduled to complete her doctorate in school administration this spring at Indiana State University.

Scott is the head of schools of Purdue Polytechnic High Schools.  Before joining Purdue, he was the president and COO of GEI.  He previously was chief information officer for Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana and served in similar technology roles in the private sector.

He began his career as a teacher and coach in the Beech Grove school system.  He also served four terms as a member of the Danville Community Schools board.  Scott received a bachelor’s degree in math education from Purdue and a master’s degree in teaching from Marian University, where he was a part of the Turnaround School Leadership program.