The Indiana University School of Education at IUPUI will celebrate an administrator and an elementary teacher from two Indianapolis schools in a ceremony this week during the first “Celebrating Transformational Leaders in Education” event. The School will honor Brandon Warren, fourth grade teacher at Chapel Glen Elementary School in Wayne Township, and Rocky Valadez, principal of Lawrence Central High School in Lawrence Township. A committee selected the two educators among a pool of nominees within the first 10 years of their careers who have made a significant impact in their schools. The honorees receive a $1,000 award to advance their work.
The Celebrating Transformational Leaders in Education ceremony starts at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26, in Room 450 of the IUPUI Campus Center, 420 University Blvd. The event is an outgrowth of the school’s urban education speaker series and features TV and radio host, author, philanthropist, advocate and documentary filmmaker Tavis Smiley delivering the keynote address. The event is free to IUPUI students and $15 for the general public.
“These are early-career ‘movers and shakers’ who are doing transformative work,” said Executive Associate Dean of the IU School of Education Pat Rogan.
Warren, who earned his bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the IU School of Education at IUPUI in 2009, impressed the Wayne Township administration immediately upon entering the workforce. “When we interviewed Brandon in 2009, we knew we had to have him join our staff right away,” wrote Dr. Jeffrey K. Butts, Superintendent of Wayne Township in recommending Warren’s nomination. “His preparation, experience, and personality were a must have for us in the M.S.D. of Wayne Township.”
“Mr. Warren is one of the most dedicated teachers I have known in my thirty-eight years in education,” wrote Marc Coapstick, Chapel Glen principal. “He has goes beyond the normal day by involving students, parents and community members in the learning process of all his children.”
Valadez became principal at Lawrence Central earlier this year, having made a mark in area schools. He started as an art teacher at Lawrence Central in 2001, advancing to department chair by 2005. He completed the Urban Principals Program at IUPUI in 2008 and began an administrative career, joining Fall Creek Valley Middle School in Lawrence Township as assistant principal. “We moved from a failing to a prosperous middle level institution,” wrote Fall Creek Valley Principal Kathy Luessow. “Rocky has grown from an administrator who was an accomplished and committed task master to a leader who understands quality instruction and curriculum and how to implement it with fidelity in an effort to reach all students.”
After three years at Fall Creek Valley, Valadez became principal of the freshman school at Lawrence North High School. “Mr. Valadez, in one short year, helped us develop a collaborative atmosphere in which teachers found value in the professional learning community process,” said Brett Crousore, principal at Lawrence North.
Advance registration is required to join the public event. To receive free admission, students should contact the School of Education at 317-274-6801 or 317-274-6862. . Online registration is available.