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Alumni Spotlight—Five Questions with IPS Alums: Dr. Angela Jones 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 Dr. Angela Jones, a 1990 graduate of Arsenal Technical High School who resides in Indianapolis, about her journey that began in the state’s largest school district. 

After graduating from Arsenal Tech, she went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in English Education at IUPUI with a BS in English Education.  Angela then earned a master’s degree and doctorate in educational leadership from Walden University in Educational Leadership. 

Today, Angela is celebrating her 25th year at IPS and currently is a career and technical education instructional coach at Tech. Her job is to ensure students have an equitable learning experience by receiving rigorous instruction, appropriate support as needed, and enhancements in learning to prepare for their post-secondary plans.

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

A—As a student in IPS, I learned to love to read and dream. I didn’t know as a kindergartener that my love of reading would one day turn into a career.

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

A—As an IPS learner, I became committed to dreaming and making my dreams a reality. The teachers I encountered as a student in IPS fostered an unfailing desire in me to dream beyond my home life. I was challenged to choose a path that didn’t look like the path of those in my neighborhood or family. I was one of a few members of my family who graduated from high school. I was the first of five grandchildren to attend and graduate from college. A teacher asked me if I liked not having two things that didn’t match and my response was “no.” She said, “then be educated.”  I was supplied with opportunities to learn what it meant to be educated. I was introduced to Upward Bound and IU Groups through my experience as a Tech student. I decided while in high school I would become a teacher. I wanted to give the little me’s a chance to live out their dreams. I became an IPS teacher where I have had the amazing experience of helping young people to dream and develop the skills and the know-how to reach their dreams. A million years later from a sophomore at Tech, who believed I would just graduate from high school and get a “regular job,” I have been blessed to raise my children as IPS graduates, help countless neighbors to graduate from IPS schools, and I have earned my master’s and doctorate all because a teacher from Tech inspired me to dream. Now as an educator, I proudly serve the students and teachers at Arsenal Technical High School.

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

A—Since I had influential teachers, I sought opportunities to influence other teachers and students. I continued my education to earn my master’s and doctorate in education so I could broaden my reach as an educator. I transitioned out of the classroom to support more teachers who inspired students to reach their dreams.

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

A—I learned to preserve as a student in IPS through hard work and commitment to my family, community, and self. I have used the knowledge I gained as an IPS student to pursue a career in education. I am who I am as an educator by the grace and mercy of God because I had great people who believed I was worth the struggle to educate me.

Q–How have you stayed connected with the IPS community, and what advice would you offer current IPS students for a successful future?

A–I have stayed connected to IPS by being a proud employee, parent, and community member. I raised my children in the IPS boundaries because I wanted to ensure my children would be prepared for life. I wanted my children to be surrounded by diversity and the skills to navigate life no matter what came their way. My advice to current students in IPS is to be willing to work hard. Keep your focus on your dreams. Be selfish enough to make sure you take every opportunity available to you and encourage someone else to come up with you. Finally, whatever you become in life remember there is someone else who can benefit from your success story so give back.