Press Releases | December 19, 2017

Expanded Support to Double Number of Local Principals Receiving High-Impact Training

Indianapolis – (December 19, 2017) Today, The Mind Trust, an Indianapolis-based non-profit, announced that it has received a $400,000 grant from the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation. The funding will double the number of Indianapolis principals and school leaders who will receive next-level training and leadership development from the Relay Graduate School of Education (Relay), a nationally-recognized, nonprofit graduate school of education.

With the prior support of multiple funders, including the Fairbanks Foundation, The Mind Trust established a partnership with Relay in 2016 to send 12 school leaders per year to Relay’s National Principals Academy (NPA) and National Principal Supervisors Academy (NPSA). More than 40 school leaders applied to participate in this first cohort of Fellows. With this high demand and stellar feedback from the first cohort, expanded support from the Fairbanks Foundation will allow The Mind Trust to increase the number of Fellows able to attend Relay’s NPA and NPSA each year to 25.

“Not only was initial interest in Relay’s National Principals Academy higher than anticipated, but demand has continued to increase as school leaders from our first cohort of Fellows see the results of Relay’s best practices,” said Joe White, The Mind Trust’s Senior Director of School Supports. “We’re grateful to the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation for support that will allow even more talented leaders in Indianapolis to benefit from this next-level training and leadership development.”

“Research indicates that highly effective principals raise the achievement of a typical student in their schools by two to seven months of learning in a single school year,” said Claire Fiddian-Green, president and CEO of the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation.  “Strong talent at the leadership level is an important component of a successful school. That is why we are pleased to support The Mind Trust and a growing cohort of principal Fellows attending Relay.”

The NPA and NPSA are intensive, one-year programs focused on instructional school leadership. All participants attend one 12-day summer session and four additional weekend “intersessions,” during which they focus on Relay’s key instructional pillars: observation and feedback, data-driven instruction, positive student culture of high expectations, adult professional development, instructional planning, an aligned staff culture, and strategic leadership. Additional funding from the Fairbanks Foundation allows The Mind Trust to admit more than one leader per school to the program, which will help accelerate each school’s ability to thoroughly implement Relay’s best practices in these key areas.

The Mind Trust is currently accepting applications for the second cohort of NPA and NPSA Fellows, which begins in Summer 2018.

Application & selection. To apply for the program, participants must hold full-time leadership positions within a school or school system – such as principal, assistant principal, department head or lead teacher. The Mind Trust is seeking applicants who have the motivation and work ethic to continue refining their craft as a leader and who have a strong sense of personal responsibility and belief as it pertains to student learning. Where applicable, The Mind Trust encourages applications from cohorts of leaders from the same school or network, and especially from application teams that include a strong principal manager with the ability to influence leaders across multiple locations (e.g., CEO or Chief Academic Officer).

Application materials may be found online on The Mind Trust’s website or by contacting Joe White at The application deadline is January 31, 2018, and final participants will be announced in late Spring.

About The Mind Trust

The Mind Trust is a nonprofit striving to give every Indianapolis student access to an excellent, high-quality public school. The Mind Trust does this by recruiting and empowering top talent, launching and supporting new, innovative and high-quality public schools in Indianapolis, and engaging community stakeholders in conversations about innovation in public education. Since 2006, The Mind Trust has supported or incubated 17 schools, attracted and placed more than 1000 teachers and school leaders, and raised more than $73 million to bring innovative ideas into Indianapolis classrooms. More information can be found at

About The Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation

The Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation strives to advance the vitality of Indianapolis and the well-being of its people by addressing the city’s most significant challenges and opportunities. The Foundation is focused on three issue-areas: education, tobacco and opioid addiction, and the life-sciences. To advance its work, the Foundation implements a three-pronged approach: strategic grantmaking, evidence-based advocacy, and cross-sector collaborations and convenings. Learn more at

About Relay Graduate School of Education

The Relay Graduate School of Education is a national, accredited, nonprofit institution of higher education whose mission is to teach teachers and school leaders to develop in all students the academic skills and strength of character needed to succeed in college and life. Now serving nearly 3,000 teachers in 15 cities and more than 430 leaders nationwide, Relay is eager to bring about transformational change in educator preparation. Relay is committed to using practice and feedback to become the place where a new generation of continuously improving, results-focused individuals can fulfill their destiny in the world’s greatest profession. For more information, please visit the Relay website ( or follow Relay on Twitter (@RelayGSE).