Press Releases | November 8, 2019

The Mind Trust accepting applications for Relay National Principals Academy Fellowships

The Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation has awarded funding to The Mind Trust to help sponsor the next three years of Indianapolis education leaders’ participation.

Indianapolis – (November 8, 2019) – The Mind Trust, an Indianapolis-based education nonprofit, is now accepting applications for the fourth cohort of Indianapolis school leaders to participate in Relay Graduate School of Education’s National Principals Academy Fellowship (NPAF), a nationally-recognized fellowship that provides school and school systems leaders with powerful instructional and cultural professional development.

The Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation has awarded The Mind Trust a $990,000 grant to help sponsor Indianapolis school leader participation for the next three years, bringing the Foundation’s total investment in the program to $1,756,000.

“Indianapolis teachers and students benefit when they have high-quality school leaders,” said Claire Fiddian-Green, President and CEO of the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation. “Relay’s exceptional training program has helped past participants make immediate improvements in instruction and culture in their schools. The Fairbanks Foundation is proud to continue to support a program that produces positive, impactful change for students across our city.”

Over the past three years, 71 school leaders have participated in Relay school leader fellowships.  Over the course of the next three years, The Mind Trust expects to select at least 60 additional school leaders, bringing the total number of Indianapolis leaders who have received this world-class training to at least 131. In partnership with the Relay Graduate School of Education, The Mind Trust will sponsor at least 19 Indianapolis school leaders’ participation in the upcoming cohort.

“Exceptional school leaders are the cornerstone of great schools,” said Brandon Brown, CEO of The Mind Trust. “We are thrilled to continue offering this game-changing professional development opportunity to Indianapolis school leaders, and we could not be more grateful for the support of the Fairbanks Foundation.”

The Fellowship is an intensive, one-year program focused on transformational school leadership. All NPAF participants will attend a 10-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.

Application & selection. To apply for the program, participants must hold full-time leadership positions within a school or school network – such as principal supervisor, principal, assistant principal, department head, instructional coach, 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.

The Mind Trust also strongly encourages cohorts of leaders from the same school or network to apply as a ‘team’ to increase the impact on their students. Where applicable, application teams that include a strong principal manager who has the ability to influence leaders across multiple locations may strengthen the overall application.

The application opens today, Friday, November 8, 2019. The deadline to submit applications is Tuesday, January 7, 2020, and final participants will be announced in March 2020. Interested applicants can complete their application at the online portal. For more information about the application, contact Sara Marshall at or view this recorded webinar.

About The Mind Trust

The Mind Trust is an Indianapolis-based education nonprofit that works to build a system of schools that gives every student in Indianapolis, no exceptions, access to a high-quality education. The Mind Trust does this by building a supportive environment for schools through policy and community engagement, empowering talented educators to launch new schools, and providing existing schools with the supports they need to hire world-class talent and achieve excellence. Since 2006, The Mind Trust has supported the launch of 29 schools and helped place more than 1,500 teachers and school leaders in Indianapolis classrooms. More information can be found 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 over 3,500 teachers in 18 cities and more than 1,200 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 Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (@RelayGSE).

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