IPS partners with Marian University to train future principals

by Mark Apple | Aug 04, 2015

Teachers from state’s largest school system to receive grants toward certification

summer learningRepresentatives from Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) and Marian University announced today at a press conference that the state’s largest K-12 school district is partnering with the university on Indianapolis’ west side to train current teachers to become successful principals and school administrators. IPS superintendent Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee and Marian University president Daniel J. Elsener were joined by Ken Zagzebski, president, AES U.S., parent company of Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL), in making the announcement.

According to Dr. Ferebee, IPS is committing $50,000 per year for the next five years to enroll as many as 30 current teachers per year in Marian University’s Academy for Teaching and Learning Leadership, a graduate degree program that prepares its students to become licensed administrators in K-12 schools. The partnership is effective with the Fall 2015 semester, with 16 IPS teachers already enrolled in the program. Under the terms of the agreement, each student will pay one-third of the tuition costs, with the balance covered by the IPS grant and Marian University.

“Indianapolis Public Schools and Marian University’s Academy for Teaching and Learning Leadership partnership is a great example of how public school districts and higher education institutions can collaborate to advance K-12 education,” said Dr. Ferebee. “School leaders play a critical role in school and district performance, culture, and student academic outcomes. This is an exciting opportunity to grow our own school leaders with an IPS footprint, bolstering district capacity and student achievement.”

Several current and former IPS teachers have earned their Master of Arts Degree (M.A.T.) in Educational Leadership and Building Level Administrator (B.L.A.) certification through Marian University in recent years. Currently, there are nine graduates of Marian University’s Academy for Teaching and Learning Leadership employed as administrators in the IPS district.

“Marian University is committed to ensuring that every individual in our community has the opportunity to grow to his or her fullest potential, regardless of their circumstances,” Elsener said. "To accomplish that lofty goal, we need strong schools with transformational leaders who empower teachers to do their jobs. Dr. Ferebee shares that vision, which we believe will ensure the success of this very unique partnership.”

The Marian University Academy for Teaching and Learning Leadership was founded in 2010 on the belief that transforming schools requires fundamentally rethinking school leadership. Their goal is to train innovators and provide leaders with the tools required to implement the reforms necessary for children to achieve at high levels. In its first five years, the program has produced 104 graduates, many of whom are already serving as transformative leaders in schools across Indiana.

A study completed by the Center for Research and Reform in Education at Johns Hopkins University in 2013 found that graduates of Marian University’s Academy for Teaching and Learning Leadership overwhelmingly believed that the program emphasized leadership skills for building a strong school climate and improving school achievement. An internal program evaluation completed in Spring 2015 that expanded on the Johns Hopkins report confirmed these findings. After graduates assumed leadership roles at their schools, algebra ECA scores increased from 53.2% to 67.4%, and math/reading combined ISTEP scores increased from 57.9% to 65.2%.

Zagzebski pledged the business community’s support for Marian University, IPS and Dr. Ferebee. To date, IPL has committed $250,000 to Marian University’s Academy for Teaching and Learning Leadership, and secured significant additional funding for the program from several leaders of Indianapolis’ business community, including BKD and Eli Lilly and Company.

“IPL is committed to this partnership because quality education in Central Indiana will strengthen our communities and make it a more desirable place for people to live, work and visit,” stated Ken Zagzebski, President of AES U.S.  “The key to maintaining a successful school system is providing a pipeline of exceptional leaders that will attract talented teachers and inspire students to excel.”

The Marian University Academy for Teaching and Learning Leadership has received several $250,000 donations, including the commitment from IPL. Additionally, a prominent Indianapolis family which wishes to remain anonymous donated $1 million to the institution, stating that they, “passionately care about improving the educational opportunities of our youth.”

About Marian University Indianapolis

Marian University, founded in Indianapolis in 1937, is the only Catholic liberal arts university in central Indiana. It serves a student body of nearly 3,000 through dedication to excellent teaching and learning in the Franciscan and liberal arts traditions. Marian University is one of Indiana’s 31 independent colleges and one of 244 Catholic colleges and universities nationwide.

Since 2001, Marian University has been led by President Daniel J. Elsener, whose vision and leadership are transforming the university. In 2013, Marian University opened the Michael A. Evans Center for Health Sciences, home to its College of Osteopathic Medicine. Marian University has amassed 30 national championships in cycling, in 2012 won the NAIA national championship in football, and was a national finalist in football in 2014.

About Indianapolis Public Schools

Indianapolis Public Schools strives to be the flagship in innovative urban education, preparing all students to be successful in the global economy. IPS is committed to creating individualized, relationship-based learning opportunities for more than 30,000 students. As the educational landscape evolves to include more school choice, IPS continues to expand the scope of options available to families. From community schools to magnets including International Baccalaureate, performing arts, STEM, Montessori, career prep and more, there’s a school to fit every family at IPS. In addition to the broadest range of magnet programs in the state, IPS is the pilot district for Indiana’s Innovation Network Schools. These autonomous programs operate in partnership with the district to provide a variety of unique educational opportunities for IPS students and families. IPS is proud to provide personalized opportunities for students, and proud to be public! Learn more about IPS by visiting

About Indianapolis Power & Light Company and AES

Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL), an AES Company, provides retail electric service to more than 480,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Indianapolis, as well as portions of other Central Indiana communities surrounding Marion County. During its long history, IPL has supplied its customers with some of the lowest-cost, most reliable power in the country. For more information about the company, please visit or connect with us at, or

The AES Corporation (NYSE: AES) is a Fortune 200 global power company. We provide affordable, sustainable energy to 18 countries through a diverse portfolio of distribution businesses as well as thermal and renewable generation facilities. Our workforce of 18,500 people is committed to operational excellence and meeting the world’s changing power needs. AES’ 2014 revenues were $17 billion, and we own and manage $39 billion in total assets. To learn more, please visit Follow AES on Twitter @TheAESCorp.

News Media Contact

Mark Apple
Vice President of Marketing Communications
(317) 955-6775

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