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Principal Surprised with National Educator Award

On Wednesday (Nov. 8), the Indiana Department of Education and the Milken Family Foundation today surprised Kendra Randle, executive principal at Emma Donnan Elementary and Middle School – a member of the Indianapolis Public Schools Innovation Network – with the prestigious Milken Educator Award – which comes with a prize of $25,000 from the foundation.

“An exemplary educator and school leader, Kendra Randle is laser-focused on making data-informed decisions to move the needle for students at Emma Donnan,” said Dr. Katie Jenner, Indiana Secretary of Education. “With a f

ocus on the science of reading to increase growth in foundational literacy and using family engagement to raise the student attendance rate, Ms. Randle is committed to ensuring that her students are in school and receiving instruction that will make a difference for them now and in the future.”

The Milken Educator Awards celebrate, elevate, and activate the American teaching profession and inspire young, capable people to join it. The Milken Educator Award is not a lifetime achievement honor. Recipients are heralded in early to mid-career for what they have achieved — and for the promise of what they will accomplish given the resources and opportunities earned from the award.

“Kendra Randle is a model instructional leader,” said Dr. Jane Foley, senior vice president of the Milken Educator Awards and a 1994 Milken Educator from Indiana. “She holds high expectations for herself, her staff, and her students while creating a warm, nurturing environment for everyone to grow. It is evident that Kendra has made an indelible impact on Adelante Schools, and I look forward to the contributions she will bring to our national Milken Educator Network.”

Randle is a champion for education and for her students. A former classroom teacher, she has served in various administrative positions as a founding elementary dean, principal fellow, and elementary principal. Randle serves as the executive principal at Adelante Schools’ Emma Donnan Campus in Indianapolis, where she raised the attendance rate from 84 percent in 2022 to 92 percent in 2023. 

Working alongside the director of literacy, Randle helped implement a multi-faceted, data-driven adaptive change plan for elementary students to increase growth in foundational literacy. Using student data to target specific focus areas and incorporating the use of a high-quality curriculum for kindergarten through third-grade students, has allowed Randle to provide teachers with opportunities to receive feedback on their instructional strategies. 

Randle also coordinates monthly family council meetings, allowing parents to become active members of the school community. Randle was chosen for the yearlong Relay Graduate School of Education’s National Principal Academy Fellowship and participated in the Leverage Leadership Institute. Randle is also an Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Alpha Mu Omega Chapter member.

Randle earned a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Kentucky State University in 2011 and a Master of Arts in Education from Union University in 2013.