Leadership

Scott Bess

Executive Director

Scott Bess set out nearly 5 years ago to break the one-size-fits-all high school academic mold and launch Purdue Polytechnic High School where students learn in an engaging, hands-on environment and are inspired to seek out what they learn rather than be told what to learn.

As Head of School, Scott created the vision and strategy for the initial Purdue Polytechnic High School in 2017. He will open a second Indianapolis campus in the summer of 2019 and is leading the planning for the expansion of Purdue Polytechnic High School throughout the state of Indiana.

Scott has spent most of his career innovating new ways to teach students and instill in them a love to learn. Prior to joining Purdue Polytechnic High School, Scott was President of Goodwill Education Initiatives and founder of The Excel Center, which offers adults who have dropped out of school an opportunity to earn a diploma. He helped expand The Excel Center’s model across the nation and today, The Excel Center serves more than 6,000 students in multiple states.

A proud graduate of Purdue University (B.S., Mathematics) and Marian University (M.A., Education), Scott has been a teacher, IT executive and business owner. He is a Pahara Fellow, has served on the boards for the Danville Community School District and EmployIndy, and currently serves on the Central Indiana Board of Ivy Tech Community College, the Region 5 Works Council and the Washington, DC, Goodwill Excel Center. Additionally, Scott was appointed to the State Board of Education in September of 2021. 

Scott has four grown children and lives in Danville, Indiana, with his wife, Robin.

Keeanna Warren

Associate Executive Director

Keeanna Warren is a proud Boilermaker and previously served as the founding Principal of the Purdue Polytechnic High School North campus. She is a seasoned classroom teacher, administrator and leader. In her role as Associate Executive Director she provides leadership and guidance to the PPHS Network team, including curriculum, student services and new initiatives.

Keeanna was a The Mind Trust Innovation School Fellow and designed, implemented and led Purdue Polytechnic High School’s second campus in Broad Ripple.

Prior to her role with Purdue Polytechnic High School, Keeanna worked from 2013 through 2019 with the Excel Center in the Meadows neighborhood, which maintained a perennial “A” school rating under her leadership. She served in numerous positions, including night instructor, graduate counselor and lead instructor, until she was promoted to school director. She also is a former high school math, ELA and social studies teacher.

Keeanna began her career teaching fifth grade at the Andrew J. Brown Academy charter school and Washington Township’s Nora Elementary School. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Purdue University and a master’s degree in teaching from Marian University, where she was a part of the Turnaround School Leadership program

Krista Primrose, PhD

Director of Curriculum

As Director of Curriculum, Krista works closely with school leaders and coaches to plan and implement an innovative curriculum that reflects the vision and mission of PPHS, removing educational barriers while ensuring students master academic content while engaged in authentic project-based learning experiences.

Krista has worked in education for 16 years and has served as a high school English teacher, a Teacher Education professor, and a college administrator. She earned her bachelor's degree at Manchester University in 2003, a Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction at Olivet Nazarene University in 2008, and her Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction at Purdue University, West Lafayette in 2015.

Kim Reier

Director of Business Development

Kim Reier is recognized as a trusted, results-oriented, and energetic leader and has spent most of her career working in public policy, development, and cross-functional project management. Kim has previously held positions at the Indiana Department of Education, Indianapolis Mayor’s Office, and most recently helped to lead Goodwill’s national expansion efforts of its adult high school model, The Excel Center. She has proudly been involved in developing new laws, policies, and regulations in 8 states, and has overseen and managed the approval of 23 schools across the country. Kim is passionate about work that leads to positively impacting the lives of others. In her role as Director of Business Development at Purdue Polytechnic High School, Kim enjoys developing relationships within communities and school districts that are anxious to rethink the high school experience and bring new opportunities to the students and future innovators they serve.

 

Sharnell Johnson

Director of Business Development

Sharnell Johnson Headshot

Sharnell Johnson joined the PPHS team as Director of Finance in 2021. She has over 25 years of Finance experience, most recently as Director of Finance at Ivy Tech Community College - Central Indiana campuses where she served for over 21 years.  Sharnell holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Indiana State University and an MBA from Anderson. She is passionate about working in the community and has experience as a board member for several local organizations including the Madame CJ Walker Theater, National Coalition of 100 Black Women as well the Near North Development Corporation. 

Sharnell is a graduate of Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership program and CICF Women’s Fund program.  She currently serves as a Co-Chair of the Women’s Fund Grants Committee. 

Sharnell is excited to join PPHS in her role as Director of Finance and is committed to continuing the high level of excellence within the organization.  She plans to review, refine and update policies where necessary to ensure she meets and exceeds the expectations of all stakeholders. She is committed to learning, growing and glowing in her new role.  

In addition to her professional experience, Sharnell is passionate about working with youth and spends time mentoring. Sharnell is a native of Indy and enjoys spending time with her family and friends, shopping, sewing and relaxing.  

 

 

LaShaun Aldridge

Director of Human Resources

LaShaun HS

LaShaun Aldridge joined the PPHS team as Director of Human Resources in 2021. LaShaun brings over 10 years of Human Resources experience working in industries from manufacturing to utilities. LaShaun holds a Bachelor of Arts in Human Resources from Indiana Tech and is a member of SHRM. She is excited to join the PPHS team and brings a wealth of experience in employee relations, benefits, and staff recruitment. 

 

As Director of Human Resources, LaShuan oversees all aspects of staff recruitment, leave of absence, benefits, employee relations, leadership development, and compliance. LaShaun is eager to lend her professional experience to the team at PPHS. For any Human Resources related questions please contact laldridge@pphs.purdue.edu

 

Eric Stewart

Director of Technology Innovation

Eric Stewart plans and implements technology for Purdue Polytechnic High School as Director of Technology Innovation to ensure technology is integrated into the Purdue Polytechnic High School curriculum to enhance student learning and the STEM experience.

A 20-year education veteran, Eric served as a middle school and high school teacher and as a high school principal before joining Purdue Polytechnic High School. Throughout his academic career, Eric has served as a data specialist and technology director in various capacities, always focused on ensuring technology access for all students.

Eric earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Marquette University and his Master of Education degree in building administration from Ball State University.

Tonya Taylor

Director of Student Services

As Director of Student Services, Tonya Taylor oversees Special Education, 504, Language Minority (ELL), and Social/Emotional (SEL) programming at Purdue Polytechnic High School. She is a 20-year veteran of education and has served in various capacities as a teacher, special education teacher and administrator in public and charter school environments.

Tonya has extensive background and success in implementing comprehensive programs for students with disabilities and demonstrates her passion for supporting students with disabilities and advocating for their rights as a local, state and nationally recognized speaker on the subject.

Tonya earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education, a Master of Arts degree in Special Education Administration and an Administrator License, all from Indiana University.

 

Charli Renckly-DeWhitt

Director of Communications, Marketing & Recruitment

As Director of Recruiting, Marketing, and Communications, Charli is responsible for media relations, external communications strategy, and implementing best practices for engaging new and potential PPHS students & families. 

Charli is a previous high school Spanish teacher with a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish from Ball State University. She attended the University of Nottingham for post-baccalaureate study in Business and Applied Linguistics. Charli previously worked as a content writer and IT and executive recruiter before returning to the world of education. 

Please contact Charli directly with any media inquiries at cdewhitt@pphs.purdue.edu.

Shatoya Ward

Principal: Englewood Campus

Shatoya Ward is Principal of the Schweitzer Center at Purdue Polytechnic High School Englewood and a The Mind Trust Innovation School Fellow. As the founding Principal of Purdue Polytechnic High School, Shatoya helped design and implement the school’s STEM curriculum and hands-on learning experience to more than 250 students.

Shatoya is a long-time educator and administrator who began her career in the classroom before becoming a school administrator responsible for the academic and operational performance of several schools within the Excel Center system.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in physical education, health and safety science and biology from Marian University. Her love for science led her to the classroom, where she taught science to Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) and Indianapolis charter school students.

Shatoya earned her master’s degree in leadership administration, also from Marian University, and in 2010, joined the Excel Center, serving as regional director, school director and lead teacher.

Ronni Moore

Principal: North Campus

Ronni Moore moved into the Principal’s role in the fall of 2021 after originally serving as a Lead Coach and College & Career Manager at Purdue Polytechnic High School North. Principal Moore holds a Master of Arts in Teaching from Marian University and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Education Administration from Indiana State University. 

Principal Moore has over 5 years of experience as a Lead Instructor at the Excel Center and previous career experience in Photography and Journalism.

Lacey Beatty 

Interim Principal: South Bend Campus

Lacey is an exceptional education leader who has 19 years of teaching experience and 2 years of school administration experience in both Indiana and Texas. Lacey joined the PPHS family in 2017 as a founding member of the Schweitzer Center at Purdue Polytechnic High School Englewood where she collaborated with her team to design and implement innovative instructional practices and systems for the students of tomorrow. 

She earned her bachelor’s degree from Ball State University, a master’s degree from Cornerstone Christian Bible College and is currently completing additional coursework at Purdue University Global. Lacey is a published author and motivational speaker. 

Board of Directors

Board of Directors Meeting Schedule 2021-2022 School Year

See the 5/12 Board of Directors Meeting Agenda

See the 6/22 Board of Directors Meeting Agenda

See the 8/26 Board of Directors Meeting & Agenda

Maureen Weber, chair
President & Chief Executive Officer, Early Learning Indiana

Jamal Smith, treasurer
Director of Government Affairs & Strategic Partnerships, Indiana University Health

George Pillow, secretary
President and CEO, Pillow Logistics

Ken Kobe
Business and Financial Consultant, Kenneth Kobe LLC

Nancy Marchand-Martella
Dean, College of Education, Purdue University

Maria Quintana
President, Q2u Strategic Advisory Group

Gary Bertoline
Senior Vice President for Purdue Online & Learning Innovation, Purdue University

Scott Reives
Manager, Contract Manufacturing Operations, Eli Lilly and Company

Robert Wynkoop
Senior Director, Auxiliary Services, Purdue University

Contact the Board of Directors 

pphsboard@pphs.purdue.edu