July 17, 2017
CUTTING THE RIBBON — Brooke Beavers and Shy-Quon Ely (center), co-founders of Ignite Achievement Academy at Elder W. Diggs School 42, hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for IPS’ newst innovation school. Ignite opens in August.
The Ignite Achievement Academy at Elder Watson Diggs School is officially open and hoping to blaze a new trail for tomorrow’s leaders. On Monday morning, the school’s 50 teachers and staff members surrounded their co-founders, Shy-Quon Ely and Brooke Beavers, as they cut the ribbon on IPS’ newest innovation school.
“As we created our charter, we stuck with vision for a long time,” said Shy-Quon Ely, co-founder of Ignite Academy. “There was a commitment to establish a culture that was community responsive and culturally relevant.”
The founders say their mission is to provide the community with an accelerated K-6 school that propels scholars academically by using a holistic curriculum built on community engagement, project-based learning, socio-emotional and neuroscientific research.
“Our school is different from a lot of schools around the country,” said Ely. “We are intentional about creating a foundation of science and holistic learning environments so that we take into account the human being. We have different innovative elements such as martial arts infusion to teach self-discipline, respect, honesty, patience-as well as physical fitness.”
“We’ve taken our entire scope of sequence and aligned it to Afro-centric infusion, so our scholars will see themselves reflected throughout their time in school for all subjects,” said Brooke Beavers, Ignite co-founder.
Ely and Beavers aren’t strangers to working together. Both are The Mind Trust Innovation School Fellows and have worked together for several years — leaving a path of success. The two previously launched the Tindley Summit Academy, where they served as co-principals. In 2015, it was one of the highest performing elementary charters among mayor-sponsored charter schools on the state’s reading exam. They’re excited to start this latest venture together.
“You can’t put it into words,” said Beavers. “It’s been seven years in the making. I’m speechless.”
“I’m overwhelmed with joy, appreciation and humility,” said Ely. This is an historic area of town and school. To be a part of that legacy, I’m in awe. It seems like the stars have aligned for this moment.” Other special guests who spoke at the ribbon-cutting included Ahmed Young, director of Charter Schools, Indianapolis Mayor’s Office of Education Innovation; Dr. Lindan Hill, founding board member of Ignite Achievement Academy; and Greg Newlin, IPS Academic Improvement officer.
Ignite will start classes in early August.