Press Releases | August 10, 2015

The Mind Trust awards fellowship to Caitlin Hannon to promote unified information & enrollment system for Indianapolis schools

Indianapolis – The Mind Trust today announced that Caitlin Hannon of Indianapolis was awarded its Education Entrepreneur Fellowship, through which she will develop and launch Enroll Indy, a new nonprofit that will create a unified enrollment system in Indianapolis to provide parents with a central hub for information about various public school options and how to enroll their child in one of those schools.

Hannon – currently executive director of Teach Plus-Indianapolis, a national nonprofit that develops and retains great teachers in urban schools – becomes only the ninth Education Entrepreneur Fellow selected by The Mind Trust out of thousands of applicants via a rigorous selection process involving a panel of local and national education experts.

Hannon and The Mind Trust founder & CEO David Harris will be available to the media to discuss the fellowship today: Monday, August 10, 1:30 p.m. at The Mind Trust, 1630 N. Meridian St.

A unified enrollment system would streamline the school choice process for families, provide more equitable access to quality schools and increase the information available to families as they make choices about schools. Enroll Indy would include a comprehensive school chooser guide and parent engagement program, a one-stop application for families to select their school preferences and a research and advocacy effort meant to harness the data about what schools parents want and how those schools perform.

Through the fellowship, she will spend up to two years creating this system and will begin by working with the Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) and many of the city’s charter schools build partnerships for the effort. The Mind Trust provides fellows with salary, benefits and numerous supports while they launch their new ventures.

"By talking to parents and stakeholders throughout the city, it became clear that the challenges of accessing school choices are felt deeply by parents,” Hannon said. “Many parents don’t know what their choices are or how to find information. This effort will solve that problem and empower parents to find schools that best fit their families’ needs."

Before joining Teach Plus, Hannon was a member of Teach For America and taught English in IPS. Before teaching, she was the education policy coordinator for a New York state legislator, where she fought for equitable admission policies in high-performing schools on New York City’s Lower East Side. She holds a performing arts degree from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, a bachelor’s degree in public affairs from Baruch College, where she focused on school governance, and a master’s degree in teaching from Marian University.

Hannon has served on the IPS School Board since 2013, but resigned her seat earlier today to accept the fellowship to work on the unified enrollment system full-time. She also will resign her post with Teach Plus and begin her fellowship with The Mind Trust this week.

“Commissioner Hannon’s leadership on the Board will be missed; however, her commitment to working with IPS and other schools in the city on this important concept is admirable,” said IPS superintendent Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee. “A unified enrollment system would make it easier for families to obtain information and enroll their children in the schools that best match their needs. I am pleased that Caitlin will move this initiative forward.”

“Caitlin Hannon is one of our city’s most passionate and talented educators and has served the people of our city with distinction,” said David Harris, founder & CEO of The Mind Trust. “She has been a great asset to IPS, and we are thrilled this fellowship will allow her to continue working with IPS to tackle a longstanding challenge in public education.”