Katie Dorsey & Janet McNeal

Charter School Fellows: 2016

Riverside High School

katie and janet side by side

Katie Dorsey and Janet McNeal will launch Riverside High School, a replication of Herron High School’s enormously successful classical liberal arts school model, which has been ranked among the top academic programs in the nation. 

Herron High School’s (HHS) founders were inspired to create an educational experience rich in the liberal arts and sciences, rigorous in content and rooted in Classical methodology. With the intent to serve a diverse student body, a specialized curriculum was developed that would focus on timeless ideas that move through all subjects and transcend cultures.

Currently in its 10th year, HHS is a catalyst for renewal for students, their families and the community by serving as a successful model of urban, secondary education while strengthening and contributing to the vibrancy of Indianapolis.  As a classical, liberal arts high school, HHS is committed to creating well-rounded, world-class citizens capable of critical reasoning. The school’s academic model and diverse student population have earned HHS recognition as one of the best high schools in the nation, with a waiting list in the hundreds.

The new Riverside High School will be of equal quality in an area where educational opportunity is lacking and will utilize a replicated curriculum founded on the same principles and core values that has made HHS a proven model of success.  The new school is scheduled to open in 2017 and is planning to occupy the old Heslar Naval Armory building on the city’s near northwest side.

Katie, who will be Riverside’s new principal, has been a classroom teacher in the Decatur, Franklin and Pike school districts and most recently was a teacher, counselor and administrator at HHS.  She earned a degree in English and secondary education and her master’s degree in school counseling, both from Butler University.

Janet has served as head of school at HHS since its founding in 2006.  Before joining HHS, she was the academic dean at Cathedral High School.  She spent the previous 20 years as a classroom teacher at Cathedral and in French Lick, Indiana.  Janet received her bachelor’s degree in English and theatre from Indiana University Southeast, a master’s degree in secondary language education from Indiana University and certificate in school administration from IUPUI.  She will oversee both Riverside and the original HHS campuses.