School Board Commissioner Sam Odle. When Commissioner Samuel Odle was asked to moderate this year’s Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership Series, he didn’t realize it would directly impact the future of a promising Indianapolis Public Schools student. As a seasoned executive, Odle was invited to lead a class of 25 emerging community leaders through a series of monthly meetings to discuss ways to positively impact the people of Indianapolis. Course topics included education, economic development and quality of life for the members of our community.

Odle says this year’s class really got engaged in conversations on the impact of a lack of education, and how it continues a cycle of poverty. When the course ended in June, the class members decided to thank their moderator with a meaningful gift. Each student donated $100 to a scholarship fund in Sam Odle’s name. The recipient of the $2500 scholarship is recent IPS graduate Landan Palmer – who is headed to IU in the fall. Palmer was salutatorian of Shortridge Magnet High School for Law & Public Policy’s class of 2014. He was awarded the scholarship during a reception at the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library – Vonnegut also graduated from Shortridge!

Commissioner Odle calls the decision of the SKL class to create the scholarship “a neat act of kindness” that was more thoughtful than a plaque or a nice dinner. We’re so glad one of our IPS leaders made such an impact on the future of our community, as well as the college education of one of our own students!