The Mind Trust awarded one of its first three Innovation School Fellowships to Marlon Llewellyn, a graduate of the Marian University Academy for Teaching and Learning Leadership’s inaugural cohort. Llewellyn is dean of scholars at Arlington High School in Indianapolis and has nearly a decade of experience working in a variety of school districts.
Llewellyn will collaborate with Earl Martin Phalen to launch Indianapolis Public Schools’ (IPS) first "blended learning" school, combining cutting-edge technology with excellent classroom instruction to tailor to kindergarten through sixth grade students' individual needs. This proposed traditional neighborhood school will be based on the same model as the George and Veronica Phalen Leadership Academy, a public charter school Phalen launched in 2013. In just a year, this Indianapolis school has increased the percentage of students on track in math by six-fold and nearly doubled the percentage of students who are on track in reading.
The team will begin work in July and will receive a one-year fellowship to launch their school in 2015.
Through the fellowship, The Mind Trust selects education leaders to start Innovation Network Schools, awards them a full salary and benefits, and provides expert support, empowering them to design and launch excellent schools. The Mind Trust announced the fellowship in April in partnership with the IPS Board of School Commissioners, IPS Superintendent Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee and the Indianapolis Mayor's Office. Lilly Endowment Inc. recently awarded a grant of $1.5 million to The Mind Trust to fund the fellowships, as well as expenses The Mind Trust will incur supporting fellows' work. The Mind Trust will award up to nine fellowships over the next three years.
"The Innovation School Fellowship is another great tool to improve schools in our neighborhoods and further cement Indianapolis' position as a national leader in education reform and improvement," Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard said. "These innovative new school concepts, when implemented, will help prepare our children for future success in life and make Indianapolis an even more attractive place to live."