Leadership

Scott Bess (B.S., M.A.)

Head of School

Scott Bess set out nearly 3 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.

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

Susie Howard

Chief of Staff

Susie Howard is a firm believer that by mastering STEM and life skills, people have greater opportunities to succeed in today’s and tomorrow’s careers. Before joining Purdue Polytechnic High School, she was a senior director at EmployIndy where she led a county-wide effort to identify the skills Marion County residents needed and pathways they should follow to succeed in a technology-driven economy.

Susie joined Purdue University in March 2016, as Director of High School Initiatives and worked with Purdue Polytechnic Institute to develop the framework and industry partnerships that fuel the Purdue Polytechnic High School model. In January 2019, she was named Chief of Staff for Purdue Polytechnic High School in Indianapolis and leads the daily operations of the school network.

Susie has held several high-profile positions with the state and federal government helping to set policy and deliver programs for residents in Indiana and throughout the nation. She served in Governor Mitch Daniels’ administration as Legislative Director and Chief of Staff for the Family & Social Services Administration (FSSA). At the national level, she served as a senior health and legislative policy staff member with the Committee on Government Reform in the U.S. House of Representatives and as a member of the policy staff for the Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina.

In the private sector, Susie worked three years as the manager of federal government relations for Walgreen Co.

An Indianapolis native, Howard holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in international relations from Bucknell University and a Master of Arts degree in political management from George Washington University.

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.

Brad Weinstein

Director of Curriculum

As Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Bradley Weinstein works closely with industry partners to design curriculum that gives students the opportunity to gain real-world knowledge and acquire skills for future success.

Bradley is an accomplished entrepreneur, teacher, principal, coach and author. He is a co-author of Hacking School Discipline: 9 Ways to Create a Culture of Empathy and Responsibility Using Restorative Justice, and is a co-founder of BehaviorFlip, a restorative behavior management system that helps build empathy and responsibility in students. He is the creator of @teachergoals, one of the most popular educational accounts in the world on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Brad served as principal for two years at Irvington Preparatory Academy on the eastside of Indianapolis. Brad taught for 11 years, including roles as a coach and STEM department chair and he won Teacher of the Year in 2016 at Zionsville West Middle School.

Brad holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in education from Purdue University, a Master of Education degree in curriculum and instruction from Indiana Wesleyan University, and completed a Principal Licensure Program from Indiana Wesleyan University.

Shatoya Ward

Principal: Downtown Campus

Shatoya Ward is Principal of the Downtown Purdue Polytechnic High School campus 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.

Keeanna Warren

Principal: North Campus

Keeanna Warren is a proud Boilermaker and founding Principal of the Purdue Polytechnic High School North campus. She is a seasoned classroom teacher, administrator and leader, most recently serving as School Director for the Excel Center in the Meadows neighborhood.

Keeanna is a The Mind Trust Innovation School Fellow and is designing, implementing and leading 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.

Board of Directors

Maureen Weber, chair
Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, Project Lead The Way

Jamal Smith, treasurer
Founder & President, The Lead Change Project

George Pillow, secretary
President and CEO, Pillow Logistics

Ken Kobe
Business and Financial Consultant, Kenneth Kobe LLC

Wilmara Manuel
Executive Director, Indiana Ballet Conservatory

Maria Quintana
President, Q2u Strategic Advisory Group

Gary Bertoline
Dean, Purdue Polytechnic Institute

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

Robert Wynkoop, 
Senior Director, Auxiliary Services, Purdue University