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Alumni Spotlight—Five Questions with IPS Alums:  Crystal Adams 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. Every graduate has a unique path, and we can all learn from their journeys.

IPS recently asked Crystal Adams, a 2001 graduate of Emmerich Manual High School about her journey that began in the state’s largest school district.

After graduating from high school, Crystal went on to earn her Bachelor of Science in Elementary and Special Education from Grand Canyon University in 2022. She then received a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction at Grand Canyon University. 

Crystal started at IPS in 2012 as a special education paraprofessional at Rousseau McClellan School 91 and is now a special education teacher at Arsenal Technical High School. 

Q—Why did you return to IPS to be an educator?

A—Our children deserve more. I want to be able to show empathy and shape our scholars into the people they want to be. They deserve the best and I cannot help them if I am not leading by example.

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

A—Not all students are the same, and if you do not understand or learn their learning style, you will fail the student!

Q—What advice would you offer current IPS students for a successful future?

A— Do as much professional development as you can.

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

A—I believe it is parental involvement. I have realized that until you do something wrong parents will not stay involved. It is great to have a paper trail for when students are doing good and bad. Parents will blame teachers without accepting accountability, but if we stand our ground and ensure we have plans to keep them informed, then they will have to accept accountability.

Q—Have you been involved in any initiatives or projects to improve education or opportunities for current IPS students? If so, could you share your experiences and insights from those efforts?

A–Outside of professional development and professional learning certificates, I’ve participated in school-wide activities. Also attending athletic and non-athletic events shows my students I support them. Over the summer I am enrolled in a PD session because I want to be more hands-on.