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Educational Leadership (iLEAD) Principal Preparation Program

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New & Emerging Leaders

The UIndy iLEAD program has given many elementary and secondary school teachers an unprecedented opportunity to step into leadership, implementing changes that will impact this generation and future generations.  Their investments have fueled their vision, giving them the vital training and evaluation skills to produce better teachers, building a first-rate education where it begins – in the classroom.  They’ve used research and data to help augment policies and practices, leading to dramatic turnaround in at-risk schools. Read on to learn what these fearless leaders love about the iLEAD program, and how their education has not only prepared them, but has already helped them navigate leadership decisions in their own schools. 


Current position
Director of Exceptional Learners, MSD of Decatur Township

Former special education coordinator at Franklin Township and K-4 resource teacher at Avon Community Schools

Learn more about Linda

Linda was referred to UIndy's iLEAD program by a school principal. Despite the challenges of working full time and going back to school, she found that the 18-month timeline, flexible course format, use of technology and supportive faculty were huge gains for her.

"The faculty members were caring and understanding of all of our individual situations. They had high expectations for us, but they were also reasonable in the timelines and work requirements. I found the program to be the perfect balance because we were encouraged to incorporate the work we were doing within our own schools and districts during projects, which made the content more meaningful and also helped us maintain our sanity! Beyond the program, I have had the opportunity to keep in touch with several faculty members, and the caring doesn't stop when we graduate! They are truly a wonderful, dedicated group of educators committed to providing a first-class education to UIndy students." 

The best thing about UIndy? Linda's answer is simple: The people.

"My classmates were an incredibly bright group of educators, and I loved the experience of collaborating with them and learning about their positions and districts. The faculty facilitated robust classroom discussions and provided ample opportunities for us to learn about current issues facing administrators and also how to network and solve problems, which has been invaluable to me as an administrator."


Current position
Assistant Director of Career and Technical Education, McKenzie Center for Innovation & Technology (MSD Lawrence Township)

Former Project Lead the Way instructor at Belzer and Craig Middle School and McKenzie Center for Innovation & Technology 

Learn more about Dale

Dale, currently serving in an assistant director role, says that the iLEAD program prepared him for school administration in several ways.

"First, many of the professors are local school/district leaders. The information and guidance they shared helped me understand how certain decisions are made at all levels. Second, I gained an understanding of how to cumulate and break down data. Third, I learned how to conduct an efficient research project and interrupt findings (my favorite project)."

Dale found that the faculty served as an invaluable support network, and that it was easy to build relationships with others in the program. 

"The faculty was extremely helpful. They seemed to always be available and responded to questions/concerns promptly. With small class sizes, you naturally build relationships with everyone." 

Steven Pelych, iLEAD graduate and principal of Indianapolis Lighthouse Charter School


Current position
Principal, Indianapolis Lighthouse Charter School-East

Former teacher for Indianapolis Public Schools and Lighthouse Charter School

Learn more about Steven

"The University does an excellent job of taking into account what is best for students. For example, the iLEAD program is constantly evolving and better preparing future leaders through applicable field experiences and outstanding professors.

The most beneficial aspect of my UIndy experience was that the coursework was well aligned to my future profession. Each project required through the iLEAD program required the assistance of a mentor and was directly related to my career. Serving as the principal of a middle school, I can truly appreciate each of the projects that were assigned as I gained invaluable practice and knowledge for my current position."



Current position
Assistant Superintendent, Western Wayne Schools

Former curriculum director for Western Wayne Schools

Learn more about George

"As a proud member of Educational Leadership cohort VI, I was fortunate to accept a position as the assistant principal at Western Wayne Elementary in Cambridge City near the end of my first semester in the program. Being able to work as an administrator as I completed my coursework allowed me the opportunity to experience and apply the content I was learning about at work each day.  During that first semester of the Educational Leadership program, we learned about the 5 Practices of Exemplary Leadership (Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Other to Act, and Encourage the Heart).  I wrote these phrases in the folder I took with me as I interviewed for my first position in administration, and while I am still working on Encouraging the Heart, I have kept them close ever since. I am grateful for my experience with the Educational Leadership program, and I would highly recommend UIndy' s Educational Leadership to anyone who is considering a career in education leadership."