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Indiana State announces Woodrow Wilson Foundation MBA Fellows in Education Leadership

June 2, 2016

Indiana State University continues its efforts to improve student success in classrooms across the state by welcoming its inaugural cohort of Woodrow Wilson MBA Fellows in Education Leadership.

The MBA in Education Leadership is a unique program designed in partnership with Indiana State’s Scott College of Business and the Bayh College of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership along with support and leadership from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.

The goal of this exciting MBA program is to recruit and prepare a new generation of educational leaders who have the knowledge, skills and tools to significantly improve learning in Indiana’s schools.

“The collaboration of the faculty in business and education to develop this outstanding program is very exciting; I am confident this program will provide quality leaders for Indiana’s public schools,” said Brien Smith, dean of the Scott College of Business.

Kandi Hill-Clarke, dean of the Bayh College of Education, added, “Preparing quality teachers and educational leaders has always been at the center of ISU’s mission, a fact made more meaningful as the University celebrates its Sesquicentennial anniversary. This exciting program provides a unique opportunity for us to continue that effort by building on the strength of the faculty of our two colleges to prepare the next generation of school leaders.”

Blending clinical practice in schools with innovative business school coursework, the MBA in Education Leadership is designed to ensures graduates have the knowledge and skills not only to guide schools and districts in a changing education environment, but also close achievement gaps between America’s lowest- and highest-performing schools and between the country’s top-performing schools and those around the world.

In addition to Indiana State, Indiana University and the University of Indianapolis are also participating in the Woodrow Wilson Fellow Program. New Mexico and Wisconsin also have selected universities in the WW MBA Fellowships program. The Woodrow Wilson Foundation administers the programs in Indiana through the generous financial support of Lilly Endowment Inc.

“After the classroom teacher, the most important factor in a child’s school success is a school principal,” said Arthur Levine, president of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation and author of an influential national study that called for dramatically changing how the United States prepares school leaders. “Through the Woodrow Wilson MBA Fellowship, we are ensuring Indiana’s schools have a pipeline of exemplary principals focused on both teacher and student success. Indiana is a part of an important new national movement to dramatically improve how we prepare educators.”

The fellowship is designed to prepare leaders who will create school cultures to drive innovation, expand the use of analytics and evidence-based practices, raise student performance to international levels and improve the quality of school systems and teaching over time.

Each fellow is selected from a highly competitive pool of nominees. The WW MBA Fellowship requires that candidates be current educators who are nominated by Indiana school districts or charter schools. In this model, districts must nominate candidates before they can apply and must agree to participate in certain aspects of the program if their nominee is selected.

Fellows are selected based on, among other things, key competencies of effective leaders. Each receives a fellowship stipend that covers tuition and materials for the MBA program, along with executive coaching. In exchange, fellows commit to serve in leadership roles in identified districts/schools for at least three years.

Indiana State will work with school district partners to develop partnerships that will sustain in-school learning arrangements and mentoring opportunities for WW MBA Fellows.

The Indiana State cohort is as follows:

Tracy Carrillo is a K/1 teacher at Heth Washington Elementary School in Central, Ind. She is a 2003 graduate from Western Kentucky University with a B.S. degree and a 2009 graduate from Indiana Wesleyan University with a M.S. degree. Some of her accomplishments include: supporting the needs of high-risk students with emotional disabilities and helping them to succeed in the classroom, working with high-ability kindergarten students to help them excel, mentoring first-year teachers, serving on the Technology and Textbook Adoption committees and serving as a member on the School Improvement Team.

Andy Chinn is a sixth-grade science and social studies teacher at Northeast Dubois Middle School in Dubois, Ind. He is the head varsity girls’ basketball coach and the assistant boy’s high school tennis coach. He earned his bachelor’s from the University of Evansville. He comes from a family full of educators.

Jeff Clutter is the college and career preparation manager for the Vigo County School Corp., where he works with both the Career and Technical Education and Adult Education Programs. Clutter has a bachelor’s degree from Purdue University in engineering/technology education and a master’s from Indiana State in education leadership. He is getting ready to serve a term as President of the Indiana Association for Adult and Continuing Education

Jeff Dierlam graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a bachelor’s degree in education in 2005 and a master’s degree in education leadership in 2009. He taught at Bosse High School in Evansville, Ind., for six years before having the opportunity to become an assistant principal at Harrison High School in 2011. In the same year, he was selected to participate in a partnership with Brown University called the Learning Leadership Cadre.

William E. Durham Jr. is a native of Indianapolis and a 1992 graduate of Morehouse College. He is a 2010 graduate of DeVry University, Keller Graduate School of Management where he received a master’s in public administration, with a concentration in not-for-profit management. He worked in the banking/finance industry for approximately nine years and in youth development for five years. In 2006 he transitioned into the field of education. He is currently employed at The Excel Center, where he teaches algebra and serves as the school’s safety captain.

Christian Frye is a graduate of Indiana State with a Bachelor of Science in education. He is an educator in the Cloverdale Community School Corp., teaching fifth grade.  He has also served as a special education and Spanish Teacher in the Cloverdale School Corp.  He serves as head wrestling coach for the Cloverdale Middle School and Director of the Cloverdale Elementary Wrestling Program.   

Matthew Irwin is originally from Decatur, Ind., and now lives in Indianapolis. He was a standout athlete in high school and college while earning his bachelor's degree in elementary education from the University of Indianapolis. He has spent the last five years teaching fifth grade for Beech Grove City Schools and has served as the head wrestling coach as well.

Katie Jenner is senior director of Learning and Title Programs for the Madison Consolidated Schools. Her commitment to improve Preschool to grade 14 education is apparent through the strategic, innovative development of several major initiatives moving forward in Madison Consolidated Schools, including development of an in-district early learning education opportunity, K-14 alignment of curriculum to high need career pathways (“workforce development pipeline”) and the numerous partnerships developed with business, industry, post-secondary education, nonprofits and government entities.

Erin Kaiser has been a special education teacher at Grant Line Elementary in New Albany, Ind., since 2012. She has been a teacher with New Albany-Floyd County School Corporation for 14 years and her experience includes special education pre-school teacher, autism coordinator and team member, K-6 special education teacher and general education teacher. Kaiser completed a master’s degree in education at Indiana University Southeast in 2005 and completed her bachelor’s degree at Ball State University in 1998.

Cheryl McIlrath, a 30-year teaching veteran currently teaching at Rossville Middle Schools. She has a Master of Science in education from Indiana University. She has been involved with student council in her school as well as at the state and national levels. She was the middle level director for the Indiana Association of Student Councils from 2004 to 2015. In 2011, she received the National Warren E. Shull Award from the National Association of Student Councils. Additionally, she has been president of the Rossville Classroom Teachers Association, where she focused on building and maintaining positive relationships.

Ronni Moore is a third-year instructor from Indianapolis, teaching science, math, English and advanced manufacturing at The Excel Center-Meadows. She was a member of the 2013 cohort of the Indianapolis Teaching Fellows. Before teaching, Moore, an IU alumna, was a staff photojournalist for Times-Shamrock Communications in Scranton, Penn.

Jason Vandewalle is a fifth Grade STEM Teacher at Lafayette Sunnyside Intermediate School Lafayette School Corporation. He has been a pilot teacher and leader in school wide 1:1 iPad initiative. He is a presenter and consultant at various eLearning conferences and digital instruction trainings state wide. He is a chair of school’s STEM Night, member of the school’s Curriculum Development Committee and a member of the Technology Committee. He developed and implemented engineering design task through Purdue University’s SLED partnership.

James Welter is a math and physics teacher from Lafayette, Ind. When he is not involved in teaching or coaching, he enjoys golfing. He and his wife enjoy the outdoors and visiting family vacation spots on Lake Michigan and Morrison Lake.

Go to woodrow.org/fellowships/ww-ed-mba/indiana to learn more about the foundation’s work in school leadership preparation in Indiana.

Go to www2.indstate.edu/mbaed/ to learn more about Indiana State University’s MBA in Education Leadership program or contact Jack Maynard, program director, 812-237-2003 or jack.maynard@indstate.edu.

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Media Contact: Libby Roerig, director of communications, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3790 or libby.roerig@indstate.edu 

Story Highlights

The MBA in Education Leadership is a unique program designed in partnership with Indiana State’s Scott College of Business and the Bayh College of Education with support and leadership from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.

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