Kelly Herron and Chrystal Westerhaus-Whorton
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Kelly Herron and Chrystal Westerhaus-Whorton

Innovation School Fellows: 2016

Kelly Herron and Chrystal Westerhaus-Whorton are two seasoned educators who are proposing the new Avondale Meadows Middle School (AMMS), which will provide students, grades five through eight, and their families a high-quality education focused on college preparation.

This new school would be an extension of the highly successful elementary school model in place since 2006 at Avondale Meadows Academy on the city’s near northeastside.  The new middle school will emphasize college preparation and will require students to complete middle school at or above grade level.  Through well-coordinated support, strong family and community partnerships and close attention to results, this school will provide students the instruction, support and motivation they need to succeed as future college graduates and life-long learners.

AMMS will embrace research-based instructional practices and high academic standards. It also will maintain close alignment between curricula and assessments, strategically employ technology to enhance instruction, actively cultivate strong work habits and good character and focus intensely on the skills and experiences associated with college preparation.

Kelly has been an integral part of the success of Avondale Meadows since she joined the team as a founding staff member in 2006. She has served as director of curriculum, assistant principal and principal, leading the school to improve its state rating from a “C” to a three consecutive “A’s.”  Her extensive knowledge of the school model and deep relationships with students, families and the community prepare her to build upon the success of the original school.  She holds a degree in elementary education from Xavier University.

Chrystal has served as a teacher and assistant principal with the Tindley Schools network in Indianapolis for the past several years.  During her four years as a sixth grade teacher at Tindley Accelerated, more than 90% of her students achieved proficiency on the state’s standardized tests, featuring a 100% pass rate in spring 2013.

During her two years as assistant principal of culture at Tindley Preparatory Academy, she utilized data-driven decision making by analyzing student discipline data to create a positive culture for student motivation. Under her leadership, the school earned an “A” rating and was one of the highest performing charters in Indianapolis.  She holds a degree in elementary education from Purdue University and a master’s degree in urban and educational leadership from Indiana University.