2015-08-27 / Front Page

OVHS Alumni Gardner And Adair-Cochran Named 2015 Woodrow Wilson MBA Fellows

Staff Report


Indiana Governor Mike Pence and Woodrow Wilson Foundation President Arthur Levine pose at Stierwalt Alumni House with UIndy’s new class of Woodrow Wilson MBA Fellows in Education Leadership. (Photo Courtesy of the University of Indianapolis) Indiana Governor Mike Pence and Woodrow Wilson Foundation President Arthur Levine pose at Stierwalt Alumni House with UIndy’s new class of Woodrow Wilson MBA Fellows in Education Leadership. (Photo Courtesy of the University of Indianapolis) Two alumni of Owen Valley High School (OVHS) were recently honored as prestigious 2015 Woodrow Wilson MBA Fellows in Education Leadership.

A 1999 graduate of OVHS, Stephen Gardner obtained his bachelor’s degree in education from Ball State University in 2003. He completed his student teaching at Rhoades Elementary in the metropolitan school district of Wayne Township (Indianapolis), and in Baumholder, Germany for the U.S. Department of Defense.

He has taught first, fifth and sixth grades for Louisiana Public Schools in New Orleans, and Stout Field Elementary in MSD of Wayne Township. He is currently beginning his 12th year in a classroom. He is married to Liza Crescentini and the couple have three children; Simon, Evelyn and Oliver.

Emily Adair-Cochran is a 2007 graduate of Owen Valley High School. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in education from Indiana State University in 2011 and has taught seventh grade English at Brownsburg West Middle School since 2012. She is married to Cullen Cochran, also of Spencer.

Gardner and Adair-Cochran were recently among 20-plus fellows who met with Indiana Governor

Mike Pence and Woodrow Wilson Foundation President Arthur Levine at Stierwalt Alumni House on the campus of the University of Indianapolis.

As Indiana continues its efforts to improve student performance and boost its public schools, particularly high-need urban and rural schools, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation recently announced the 2015 classes of Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellows and WW Indiana MBA Fellows in Education Leadership.

Forty-nine individuals will be part of the 2015 cohort of the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship program in the state, offered at Ball State University, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Purdue University, University of Indianapolis, and Valparaiso University. The highly competitive program recruits both recent graduates and career changers with strong backgrounds in science, technology, engineering, and math – the STEM fields – and prepares them specifically to teach in high-need secondary schools.

Thirty-five individuals will be 2015 Woodrow Wilson MBA Fellows in Education Leadership, This cutting-edge program, designed to prepare aspiring school principals and district administrators with the knowledge and skills needed to successfully lead Indiana schools, is currently offered at the University of Indianapolis. Indiana University and Indiana State University were recently selected to join Indiana’s WW MBA Fellowship next year.

“Everyone knows good teachers make the difference,” Pence said. “The Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellows and Woodrow Wilson MBA Fellows in Education Leadership exemplify Hoosiers working to make positive changes in the lives of our students. Their leadership will help ensure that Indiana students have the opportunity for a high-quality education, and I am honored to recognize the 2015 classes of both outstanding programs as they strive to make education work for all of our children.”

The Teaching Fellowship focuses on preparing top-quality educators for many of Indiana’s most underserved public schools. Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellows commit to teach for three years in the urban and rural Indiana schools that most need strong STEM teachers. Throughout the three-year commitment, Teaching Fellows receive ongoing support and mentoring.

“During the past six years, Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellows have embodied excellence and success here in Indiana,” Woodrow Wilson Foundation President Arthur Levine said. “Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellows are 1.9 times more likely to remain teachers in Indiana’s public high-need schools, compared to non-Fellow teachers. Ninety percent of Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellows have field STEM certification, compared to just 20 percent of non-Fellow peers. And today, after just six years, Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellows are teaching in 40 of the state’s 92 counties. Those Fellows will have a real, positive impact on thousands of Indiana students for years to come.”

The Woodrow Wilson MBA Fellowship prepares leaders who will drive innovation, expand the use of analytics and evidencebased practices, raise student performance to international standards, and improve the quality of school systems and teaching over time. Unlike programs that recruit career changers from other fields to work in schools, the Woodrow Wilson MBA Fellowship is intended for education professionals nominated by their school districts or charter school leaders. Each MBA Fellow also agrees to serve in an approved school or district leadership role within the state for at least three years.

“For all of our schools to truly succeed, we need superb school leaders supporting excellent educators and building an environment that produces high student achievement,” Levine said. “Through the Woodrow Wilson MBA Fellowship, Indiana has blazed a new path toward ensuring tomorrow’s education leaders possess the rigor, relevance, selectivity, and clinical experience school leaders require to thrive. Together, we are helping the state provide a new generation of school leaders, equipped to transform all Hoosier schools into high performers.”

The Woodrow Wilson Foundation administers both programs in Indiana through the generous financial support of the Lilly Endowment Inc.

Indiana is one of five states currently offering the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship, along with Georgia, Michigan, New Jersey, and Ohio. Indiana, New Mexico, and Wisconsin currently offer the Woodrow Wilson MBA Fellowship in Education Leadership.

For more information on the Indiana Teaching Fellowship program, visit http://woodrow.org/fellowships/ww-teaching-fellowships/ indiana/. For more information on the Indiana MBA Fellowship program, visit http:// woodrow.org/fellowships/ww-edmba/ indiana/.

Founded in 1945, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation (www.woodrow.org) identifies and develops the nation’s best minds to meet its most critical challenges. The Foundation supports its Fellows as the next generation of leaders shaping American society.

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