Press Releases | May 26, 2020

The Mind Trust awards total of $109,000 to five Talent Innovation Fund recipients

Indianapolis – (May 26, 2020) – The Mind Trust today announced five recipients of Talent Innovation Fund awards, investing $109,000 into projects that will implement locally-driven, creative approaches to help solve an education talent challenge in Indianapolis.

The Talent Innovation Fund award recipients are Indianapolis Public Schools, the Educate ME Foundation, Inc., Promise Prep, and Tindley Summit Academy. Matchbook Learning at Wendell Phillips School 63 will receive a planning award. Project implementation will occur during the 2020-2021 school year.

“The Talent Innovation Fund was created to support local ideas to attract and retain great educators to fit the unique models across the district, networks, and schools,” said Sara Marshall, Senior Director of Talent at The Mind Trust. “These awards leverage the knowledge of local leaders to implement ideas that were created with their school community in mind. We are excited to see the impact of these projects on Indianapolis students, teachers, and schools.”

Projects were selected based on their ability to increase the number and quality of instructional staff in Indianapolis classrooms, retain a higher percentage of high-quality instructional staff, and increase the racial and ethnic diversity of instructional staff to better reflect student demographics.

“These initiatives have the power to improve the recruitment, development, and retention of high-quality, diverse educators in our city,” said Brandon Brown, CEO of The Mind Trust. “We are incredibly proud of the people and organizations who are taking the lead to think and act creatively to develop strong teachers for every Indianapolis student.”

Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) has been awarded $29,000 to support the district’s transition from traditional compliance-driven talent work to a more strategic partnership model. The award will support IPS Talent Team attendance at a high-quality training facilitated by the Urban Schools Human Capital Academy, a dynamic, cross-district learning experience that engages district leadership teams in new learning and problem solving for some of their biggest talent challenges.

The Educate ME Foundation, Inc. has been awarded $25,000 to recruit and support licensure of 10 aspiring educators of color for placement in public schools in Indianapolis for the 2021-2022 school year. Additionally, the Educate ME Foundation will help address development and retention by providing culturally-competent training to current Indianapolis school leaders and teachers.

Promise Prep has been awarded $25,000 to implement talent development and recruitment strategies during its pre-launch phase to ensure a strong, engaged talent pipeline is in place for its launch year. The award will help fund attendance for Promise Prep leadership team members to attend high-quality training to help leaders deliver equitable instruction in ELA and math. It will also support hiring events, stipends to compensate the engagement of pre-launch teacher candidates, and the recording of demonstration lessons to use as exemplars of instruction during staff onboarding.

Tindley Summit Academy has been awarded $25,000 to fund the Summit Educator Ambassador Program (SEAP), a yearlong teacher fellowship designed to enhance the leadership skills of Tindley Summit’s most talented teachers to have a larger impact on students, the school, and the Tindley Accelerated Schools network. The 8-month program will provide training in racial equity, education policy, community and family engagement, data-driven leadership, strategic planning, and more. SEAP ambassadors will receive a stipend and will be equipped and encouraged to step into teacher leadership roles within the school.

Matchbook Learning at Wendell Phillips School 63 will receive a $5,000 planning award to explore project partnerships and outline an initiative to develop an educator pipeline that begins in elementary grades. The award will also support equity training with current staff.

To learn more about the Talent Innovation Fund, visit


About The Mind Trust

The Mind Trust is an Indianapolis-based education nonprofit organization 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 support 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