In 2014, The Mind Trust awarded its eighth Education Entrepreneur Fellowship to Mariama Shaheed of Indianapolis, a 17-year district educator and national award-winning teacher who is starting a Spanish language immersion charter school in 2016.
Mariama’s charter school, Global Prep Academy, will serve primarily economically disadvantaged students in pre-K through eighth grades. Students will receive instruction in both Spanish and English throughout the day and will develop strong critical thinking skills through a curriculum that engages their creativity. Teachers will closely monitor student performance to ensure those who need help receive academic support and those who excel are engaged and challenged.
Mariama is nationally recognized for her abilities as an educator. She won the Milken National Educator Award in 2004 and was later brought into school leadership in the MSD Pike Township in Indianapolis. When she was hired in 2009 as the principal of Snacks Crossing Elementary School, the school was rated as a “D” by the Indiana Department of Education and was on probation for consistent under performance. In just four years under Mariama’s leadership, the school, at which 75 percent of students qualify for free or reduced price lunch, received a “B” rating, and ISTEP+ scores rose 14 points in reading and 22 points in math. To achieve this, she implemented a data-based behavior program that decreased office referrals by 60 percent. She also sought external grant funding to hire an external consultant to create an instructional culture centered on data-based decisions and student outcomes.
Before leading Snacks Crossing as a principal and assistant principal, Mariama was a classroom teacher at Eagle Creek Elementary School and New Augusta Public Academy South, both in the Pike Township school system.
Mariama holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Butler University, a master’s degree in business management from Indiana Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in education leadership form Indiana University. She also studied Spanish at Chac-Mool Institute in Cuernavaca Mexico.