Skip to content

Alumni Spotlight—Five Questions with IPS Alums: Brian Williams Looks Back at How District Made a Difference in His Life

Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS)  is proud of our graduates and their diverse, inspiring journeys. We have created the IPS Alumni Spotlight to celebrate our former students and showcase their experiences, accomplishments, and personal interests. We believe that every graduate has a unique path, and we can all learn from their journeys.

IPS recently asked Brian Williams, a 1991 graduate of Arlington High School about his journey that began in the state’s largest school district. After high school, he worked in finance for 18 years.  Brian then shifted to education. Today, he is an English teacher at Purdue Polytechnic High School. 

He was recently named the PPHS Broad Ripple Teacher of the Year and was lauded for efforts to shape futures with his innovative teaching methods and unwavering commitment to student growth. His creative approaches not only make the classroom engaging but also empower students to excel in a STEM-focused learning environment.

Q—How did your experiences at Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) shape your educational foundation and career aspirations?

A—The teachers at IPS shaped and prepared me for college and life. Nearly 33 years after graduating, I’m still in touch with several of my high school teachers/mentors.

Q—Can you share memorable moments or teachers who had a significant impact on your time at IPS?

A—Mr. Douglas, Dr. Greenwood, Mrs. Peggy Penn, Mr. Mathis, Mr. Urban and Mr. Lamb are some of the great educators that shaped me.

Q—How has your education at IPS influenced your personal and professional development since graduating?

A—If IPS had not given me a strong educational foundation it would have been difficult for me to excel in college and the workplace.

Q—What specific skills or knowledge gained at IPS have proven most valuable in your current life or career?

A—Reading comprehension, writing and critical thinking were amongst the most valuable skills I learned while attending IPs schools.

Q—What challenges did you face during your time at IPS, and how did overcoming them contribute to your personal growth?

A—A challenge I faced during my years at IPS was the stigma that township schools were providing a higher quality of education. It wasn’t until my freshman year in college I understood how valuable the skills I learned at IPS were top notch.