(January 8, 2016) – Through a bold and innovative academic and talent recruitment strategy, Indianapolis Public Schools will be the first district in Indiana to extend the reach of excellent teachers and their teams to more students through creative, effective and competitive staffing models called Opportunity Culture. Stipends range from an additional $6,800 to $18,300 for teacher leader roles with differing levels of responsibility, all of which allow teachers to lead while continuing to teach.

Opportunity Culture

“Indianapolis Public Schools is excited to provide excellent teachers with opportunities to lead teams of teachers and reach more students,” said Superintendent Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee. “The more we can extend the reach of our best teachers, the more students and other teachers benefit.”


IPS will pilot the Opportunity Culture models in six of its Transformation Zone schools on the west side of Indianapolis during the 2016-2017 school year. The applicant pool for Opportunity Culture teacher leader positions will open in February 2016.


“Early applicants will have an advantage in what we expect to be a large, competitive pool,” noted IPS Talent Officer Mindy Schlegel. “We are looking for teachers who feel very driven to have a bigger, positive impact.”

Transformation Zones  

The school design teams are reallocating their schools’ budgets to pay the stipends, which will make the roles more permanent than roles funded with temporary grants. The teams are also changing school schedules so teachers and team leaders can co-plan instruction, co-teach and help each other improve every week during school hours.


“I am excited about the Opportunity Culture initiative at George Washington Community High School and the impact it will have on the quality of instruction students will receive,” said Principal Emily Butler. “Opportunity Culture will enable us to retain outstanding teachers by being able to recognize their strong instruction with additional compensation and teacher leadership through the mentoring of other teachers. I also believe that, should we have any teacher vacancies, it will allow us to recruit a significantly improved pool of experienced candidates which the traditional pay scale does not currently allow.”


“I would be honored to be in one of the teacher leader roles,” said George Washington Math Coach Charonda Woods. “I think it’s the best of both worlds, you step into new leadership role that is empowering and at the same time you also get to keep building upon the connections you have with students.”


For these new positions, IPS is seeking applicants with an outstanding track record of student learning in their own classrooms. Multi-Classroom Leaders also need to demonstrate leadership potential and a commitment to helping their peers achieve professional excellence. Certified teachers with a performance rating of Effective or higher for the last three years are eligible to apply. Applicants do not need to be current employees of the pilot schools or IPS. The district is spreading the word within IPS and encouraging internal candidates to apply. However, we also welcome exciting new addition to our amazing workforce. Now is the time to join teamIPS!


Find more information online at https://myips.org/opportunityculture. Contact IPS Human Resources Director of Special Projects Sena Townsend at 317.226.4567 or townsensds@myips.org with questions.