Teach For America–Indianapolis Names Four Principal Fellows

Monday, February 27, 2017

Since 2010, Teach For America–Indianapolis has partnered with Mind Trust and Lilly Endowment, Inc. for the Indianapolis Principal Fellowship. This competitive program selects TFA alumni from all over the country to commit to becoming school leaders in Indianapolis.

The addition of our 2017 cohort brings four leaders into this diverse group.  In just seven years, this program has produced 13 principals, nine assistant principals, and nine other mid-level school leaders. Two of the program fellows opened their own schools – Ian Yearwood at Vision Academy and Shanae Staples at Kindezi Academy.  Many of these leaders, more than 60 percent, have moved to Indy for the fellowship opportunity.  

“Our mission to enlist, develop, and mobilize leaders to grow and strengthen the movement for educational equity and excellence continues beyond a corps member’s two years within the classroom,” said Ingrid Warner, Teach For America–Indianapolis Managing Director of Alumni Affairs. “We know that a strong education ecosystem requires talent at all levels and in all of the fields that impact public education. Among the critical leadership roles we need individuals committed to education equity to take on, strong school leaders have a powerful influence – they are positioned to drive strong student achievement and culture, staff retention and culture, and community impact. This is why we choose to invest in our most promising future school leaders here in Indy.”

The Indianapolis Principal Fellows attend Columbia University in New York, where they complete coursework on campus during the summer months of their fellowship to work towards a master’s degree. During the school year, fellows work in a leadership position at a high-need school in the city of Indianapolis.

If you’re an alum that is interested in applying for the 2018 cohort, please reach out to Ingrid Warner.

Meet the 2017 Fellows

Ashely Floreancing

Ashley Floreancig

Ashley Floreancig grew up in northern Indiana and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Purdue University. As a 2013 TFA corps member, she was a founding teacher at Tindley Renaissance Academy on Indy’s east side. There she taught second and third grade. Two years later, Ashley transitioned to teach at Phalen Leadership Academy at 103, the first innovation school in the state. While at Phalen, she has taught third grade for two years and served on the school’s administration team.  During the summer of 2016, Ashley worked as the Program Manager for Summer Advantage USA at PLA@103, overseeing the summer learning camp for 120 students and 20 staff members. She is thrilled to be a part of the 2017 cohort and to continue her mission to improve the lives of students, parents, and families in her community.

Jordan Habayeb

Jordan Habayeb

Jordan is a born Hoosier, from Fort Wayne, Indiana. He was a 2013 Detroit corps member where he taught 4th and 5th grade and worked alongside his students to see tremendous gains.  Jordan’s strong passion for educational equity led him to move to Indianapolis, where he became a Manager of Teacher Leadership Development & Communications for TFA-Indy. During his time as an MTLD, Jordan coached over 35 teachers in grades K-12 at 10 schools in the city. His coaching focuses on instructional support and leadership development for corps members, ensuring that students and communities are at the center of classrooms. He also manages the region’s internal and external communications presence. Jordan’s passion for ensuring that all students receive the best education is what drives him to work in a school-based leadership position. Jordan holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Ball State University and a Masters of Arts in Teaching with a focus on Elementary Education from Oakland University.

Darius Sawyers

Darius Sawyers

Darius was born and raised in the Hoosier State. He attended Indiana University Bloomington with a major in Exercise Science. Feeling drawn to his hometown, Darius returned to Indianapolis to join the 2013 Teach For America–Indianapolis Corps. As a corps member, he worked at a charter school, teaching a variety of high school science courses. For the past 2 years, Darius has worked at Phalen Leadership Academy @ IPS 103. At 103, he teaches middle school math and serves as the Middle School Team Lead. This role allowed him to provide instructional feedback to other teachers, while organizing all middle school events. Darius is excited to continue his educational journey as a member of the Indianapolis Principal Fellowship. This opportunity will allow him to continue working in his neighborhood. Darius looks forward to doing his part to ensure “One Day” comes to pass. 

Cody Whitesell

Cody Whitesell

A homegrown Hoosier, Cody began his career with Teach for America in 2008 as a math teacher at IPS’s Arsenal Technical High School and a TFA–Indy charter corps member. After his TFA commitment, he moved to New York City and served as a middle school math teacher and secondary leader at Brownsville Collegiate Middle School, an Uncommon Schools charter school in Brooklyn. In 2013, Cody began coaching school leaders with the New Tech Network, a national network of schools aimed at designing schools that provide quality inquiry-based instruction. In 2015, Cody and his wife, Emi, moved to Boston. He continued coaching leaders as a director of school support with the Achievement Network. He partnered with districts and schools in the greater Boston area to build capacity around Common Core-aligned instruction. Cody is thrilled to return to Indy to serve students more directly in school-based leadership. He is proud to hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Indiana University, Fort Wayne and a Master of Arts in teaching from Marian University.