Shanae Staples & Kevin Kubacki

Innovation School Fellows: 2015

Kindezi Academy

Shanae and kevin side by side

Shanae Staples and Kevin Kubacki bring to the fellowship a proven track record of innovation and school success from their experience founding Enlace Academy on the city’s westside.

Their proposed K-8 school will be rooted in the belief that every child can and will learn. This credo will be manifested in a “blended learning” model predicated upon small group instruction and innovative uses of technology in order to meet the specific needs of each student.

Shanae and Kevin first collaborated in creating Enlace Academy, where Kevin is the founding school leader and Shanae is the founding academic dean of the K-8 charter school.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in English from Indiana University, Kevin moved overseas and pursued a career in advertising and marketing. He returned to the United States and transitioned into teaching, becoming a Spanish and language arts teacher at St. Matthew School in Indianapolis.

He then spent 10 years at Cathedral High School, where he taught English and oversaw the school’s highly successful International Baccalaureate program. He also completed the Transition to Teaching program at Indiana Wesleyan University. In addition to his teaching duties, he coached Cathedral’s girls’ soccer team to two Indiana state championships in 2007 and 2009.

While at Cathedral, he was selected for a fellowship with Cathedral and Seton Education Partners, an Indianapolis-based nonprofit that launches high-quality parochial schools. The fellowship, which included time as part of KIPP’s prestigious Fisher Fellows program, led him to design and launch Enlace, where he oversees all operations, curriculum development, personnel and other functions of the school. He will earn his master’s degree in education leadership from Marian University later this year.

One of the first school leaders Kevin recruited was Shanae Staples. As academic dean, Shanae is Enlace’s primary instructional leader and oversees its curriculum, coaches instructional staff and assists in management of day-to-day school operations.

Shanae came to Enlace from Teach For America (TFA), where she spent nearly five years in various capacities in Atlanta and Chicago. After three years as a teacher at an Atlanta elementary school, she took on leadership roles for TFA Atlanta, including manager of teacher leadership development, director of lodging and transportation and director of school operations for TFA’s Atlanta Summer Institute. She also served as school operations director for TFA Chicago.

Shanae earned a bachelor’s degree in communications sciences and disorders from the University of Florida, where she was a Presidential Scholar. She then earned her master’s degree in education leadership from Columbia University in New York as part of TFA’s Indianapolis Principal Fellowship.