Teach Plus Launches Indianapolis Equity Change Agent Network with 22 Teachers From Across the City’s School Districts

Teach Plus Launches Indianapolis Equity Change Agent Network with 22 Teachers From Across the City’s School Districts

Indianapolis, December 15, 2022—Teach Plus Indiana kicked off its Indianapolis Equity Change Agent Network (IECAN), a two-year program which brings together 22 teachers from across the city’s school districts to focus on improving the culture and climate of schools and, ultimately, the educational experience of Indianapolis’s students. Funded by the Indianapolis African American Quality of Life Initiative and the Urban League, the IECAN will equip educators of color to lead the way in creating more equitable classrooms.

“The goal of the Indianapolis Equity Change Agent Network is to bring together teacher leaders to work on problems of practice using a continuous improvement process rooted in equity,” said Rachel Hathaway, Teach Plus Indiana Executive Director. “We believe teachers, in the daily work they do, are best positioned to lead change and reinvent schools to meet the needs of their students for an equitable education now and in the future.”

In 2019, across all of the 11 school districts in Indianapolis, an average of 17.7% of Black and African American students in grades 3-8 passed both the Math and English Language Arts (ELA) ILEARN test compared to an average of 43% for their White counterparts. The IECAN gives teachers of color agency to impact our city’s students of color in order to help address these wide achievement gaps. The program is specifically designed to build equity-minded educators’ skills and grow their leadership to facilitate school-based change.

During the program, the 22 Change Agents in the Network will each lead a school-based change project in collaboration with their principals and school-based peers. In these projects the Change Agents, all teachers of color, are addressing the need for rigorous academic intervention, whole-child student learning, culturally responsive practices and pedagogy, and racially affirming practices in their schools to improve opportunities and outcomes for their students.

“I am deeply honored to have been chosen for this project and seek to grow as an educator from this experience. When teachers have a seat at the table, to be able to inform teaching practice and building-level decisions, magic can truly happen,” said Keisha Nickolson, a teacher at Guion Elementary in Pike Township.

At the December 6 kick-off event the Change Agents came together for the first time to learn, build community, and begin refining their change project idea. Following the kick-off, Teach Plus staff will support the Change Agents with monthly individual coaching and the teachers will participate in monthly cohort meetings focused on professional growth, reflection, and dialogue.

“I’m looking forward to collaborating with other Change Agents and receiving coaching in order to better facilitate professional development that is student-centered,” said Juanita Price, who teaches at Arsenal Tech in Indianapolis Public Schools. “Focusing on the whole student while working at the high school level is a game changer.”

“I have the amazing opportunity to support the development of a learning network of teachers of color through the IECAN cohort. If the energy, excitement, knowledge, and commitment at the December 6 kickoff are any indication of what the group can accomplish, they will make a major impact in their classrooms, schools, and districts,” said Dr. Jamyce Banks, Teach Plus Indiana Education Leadership Coach.

“I am excited about the Indianapolis Equity Change Project because of all the wonderful educators and resources to which I have already been introduced. As an educator, there are always opportunities to excel and lead and I feel that this program will give me the necessary tools in order to do just that,” said Britny Smith, who teaches at Oaklandon Elementary in Lawrence Township.

The Indianapolis Equity Change Agents are:

  • Wanda Alamo – Forest Glen Elementary – Lawrence Township
  • Pamela Ames – Thompson Crossing Elementary School – Franklin Township
  • Karina Calvillo – Vision Academy at Riverside – Independent Charter (IPS)
  • Shana Cooper – Brook Park Elementary – Lawrence Township
  • Tangelica Duplessis – Lawrence Advance Academy – Lawrence Township
  • Sherman Flucas – North Central High School – MSD Washington Township
  • LaCari Gant – Circle City Preparatory – Independent Charter (IPS)
  • Theresa Harmon – The Renaissance School – MSD Warren Township
  • Yvette Harvey – Chapelwood Elementary – MSD Wayne Township
  • Stanley Keets Jr. – Creston Intermediate & Middle School – MSD Warren Township
  • Shanea Kelley – Westlake Elementary School – MSD Wayne Township
  • DeShawna Lacy – Winding Ridge Elementary – Lawrence Township
  • Olivia McGlan – Brookview Elementary School – MSD Warren Township
  • Julie Mitchell – Sunny Heights Elementary – MSD Warren Township
  • Brittany Mooney – Oaklandon Elementary – Lawrence Township
  • Keisha Nickolson – Guion Creek Elementary – MSD Pike Township
  • Juanita Price – Arsenal Technical High School – Indianapolis Public Schools
  • Alison Shaw – Franklin Central High School – Franklin Township
  • Brittny Smith – Oaklandon Elementary – Lawrence Township
  • Margaret Stanley – Hornet Park Elementary & EC Center – Beech Grove City Schools
  • Hwa Tsu – North Central High School, MSD Washington Township
  • Nickesha Williams – Winding Ridge Elementary – Lawrence Township

About Teach Plus
The mission of Teach Plus is to empower excellent, experienced, and diverse teachers to take leadership over key policy and practice issues that affect their students’ success. Since 2009, Teach Plus has developed thousands of teacher leaders across the country to exercise their leadership in shaping education policy and improving teaching and learning, to create an education system driven by access and excellence for all. Teachplus.org


Contact: Anya Grottel-Brown, agrottelbrown@teachplus.org, 917-902-5902