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

Indianapolis Public Schools 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 Cherell Williams, a 2005 graduate of Arsenal Technical High School who now resides in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area, about her journey that began in the state’s largest school district.

After graduating from Arsenal Tech, Williams went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy in 2011 from Xavier University of Louisiana and then earned her MBA from the University of Texas Tyler in 2016. Today, she is the director of Specialty Pharmacy Services at Cencora (formerly AmerisourceBergen). In her role, she supports independent oncology practices through physician offices by helping them set up medically integrated dispensing or independent pharmacies.

Q—How did your experiences at Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) shape your educational foundation and career aspirations?
A—The Healthcare Magnet as Tech allowed me to explore careers in healthcare before graduating from high school. This experience allowed me to graduate and have a very clear and direct path to my future career as a pharmacist. I was able to select a college/university that aligned with my career goals.

Q—Can you share memorable moments or teachers who had a significant impact on your time at IPS?
A—Sara Trombley was a lifesaver. She gave us a space to belong, grow and learn.

Q—How has your education at IPS influenced your personal and professional development since graduating?
A—My education at IPS gave me the tools that I needed to be successful. From student council president to National Honor Society, my time in IPS has not only influenced my personal and professional development but has now shaped how I select educational opportunities for my children.

Q—What specific skills or knowledge gained at IPS have proven most valuable in your current life or career?
A—During my time in IPS from elementary school at Ernie Pyle to my middle school years at Crispus Attucks to my high school career at Tech, I learned to withstand and to rise above. I learned that there are tough seasons in life, but that God has given me what I need to weather the storms and to come out victorious.

Q—What challenges did you face during your time at IPS, and how did overcoming them contribute to your personal growth?
A—With the number of students who attend IPS it’s easy to become just another number. I countered this by surrounding myself with great friends who worked towards the same goals and finding additional opportunities outside the classroom allowed me to grow and excel during my time in IPS.