Press Releases | June 17, 2014

The Mind Trust announces Selection Committee for Innovation School Fellowship

INDIANAPOLIS – The Mind Trust has selected a group of diverse education and community leaders to serve on the Selection Committee tasked with choosing its first round of Innovation School Fellowship winners.

Selection Committee members include representatives from Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS), the City of Indianapolis and The Mind Trust, as well as a mix of local and national education leaders. The full committee includes:

• Sekou Biddle, Vice President, Advocacy, United Negro College Fund
• Chris Collier, Principal of Center for Inquiry at School #84, IPS
• Gayle Cosby, IPS Board of School Commissioners Member
• Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee, Superintendent, IPS
• Dr. Gerardo Gonzalez, Dean, Indiana University School of Education
• Dr. David Hampton, Senior Pastor, Light of the World Christian Church
• David Harris, Founder & CEO, The Mind Trust
• Jason Kloth, Deputy Mayor of Education, City of Indianapolis
• Dr. Wanda H. Legrand, Deputy Superintendent for Academics, IPS
• Elizabeth Odle, Director of Bridges To Success, United Way of Central Indiana & former IPS teacher and principal
• Annie Roof, IPS Board of School Commissioners President
• Ariela Rozman, CEO, TNTP (formerly The New Teacher Project)
• Kameelah Shaheed-Diallo, Vice President of Development and Engagement, The Mind Trust

The Mind Trust launched the Innovation School Fellowship this year in partnership with the IPS Board of School Commissioners, IPS Superintendent Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee and the Indianapolis Mayor’s Office. The fellowship will equip talented leaders with the time and support needed to launch high quality, autonomous schools, called Innovation Network Schools, within IPS under Public Law 1321.

That law, which passed during the 2014 legislative session, allows IPS to replace underused or chronically low-performing schools with schools that have contractually guaranteed autonomy from district regulations while having access to district resources.
The selection committee will choose one to three fellows for this year’s award. Fellows will receive a full salary and benefits ($129,000) so they have the time needed to successfully launch their Innovation Network Schools. They also will receive significant support during their planning year, including feedback on their school-design plans from national and local experts; opportunities to visit best-in-class schools across the country; access to a national network of school-incubation leaders; and sessions with IPS officials to learn district operations. After their fellowship, Innovation School Fellows will become the leaders of their Innovation Network Schools.

The Mind Trust’s Board of Directors will make the final selection of Innovation School Fellows based on the Selection Committee’s recommendations. Fellows will seek approval to launch their Innovation Network Schools from the IPS Board later this year or early in 2015.

"We’re excited to have a Selection Committee for this important fellowship that includes IPS leaders, seasoned educators, and other impressive education leaders," said IPS Superintendent Ferebee. "We are eager to learn more about the finalists’ backgrounds and their ideas for launching high-quality, autonomous schools within the district."

The Mind Trust received 63 full applications for the fellowship by the June 1 deadline. Finalists were selected from that pool based on variety of criteria, including candidates’ experience and the thoughtfulness and practicality of their proposed school models.

"We were pleased with the strong interest in this first round of Innovation School Fellowship awards," said David Harris, The Mind Trust’s Founder and CEO. "We are grateful to have a Selection Committee full of strong education leaders who can help select fellows whose schools will make the greatest impact for IPS students."

The Mind Trust plans to announce its Innovation School Fellows in the next few weeks.

The Mind Trust is a nonprofit striving to ensure that every student in Indianapolis has the opportunity to receive an excellent education. The Mind Trust helps to launch high quality schools and initiatives that address key education challenges in Indianapolis through its Charter School Incubator, Education Entrepreneur Fellowship and Innovation School Fellowship programs. The Mind Trust also advances bold plans for transforming the city’s education system and works to engage the community in efforts to drive education change. Since its founding in 2006, The Mind Trust has built a network of 17 world-class education organizations in Indianapolis, impacted more than 93,000 students through its work, and raised more than $37 million to advance education reform.

Indianapolis Public Schools strives to be the flagship in innovative urban education, preparing all students to be successful in the global economy. IPS, one of Indiana’s largest school districts, offers the broadest range of magnet and option programs in the state. Among other exciting learning opportunities, international baccalaureate, performing arts, and various career-specific and college readiness programs are available to all students. IPS operates 60 schools, serves over 30,000 students and employs over 6,000 employees. The evolution of the district continues; and a new direction is being charted. Learn more about the new IPS by visiting