Scott Bess set out 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 has subsequently opened two more campuses. He 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, PH. D.
Associate Executive Director
VIDEO: Meet Keeanna Warren
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
sTUDENT & sCHOOL sUCCESS tEAM
Chief of School Operations
VIDEO: Meet Shatoya Ward
Shatoya Ward was the founding 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. In her role as Chief of School Operations, Shatoya oversees the day-to-day operations of all PPHS campuses, implementing the curriculum, culture, and best practices she made successful while leading the PPHS Englewood campus.
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.
Principal: Englewood Campus
VIDEO: Meet Jacob Pactor
Jacob Pactor joined the PPHS team as Principal of Purdue Polytechnic High School Schweitzer Center at Englewood in 2022. Jacob wholeheartedly believes in the power of learning through authentic experiences and is excited to support the PPHS Englewood team as they continue to empower learners through student-centered, real-world learning experiences.
Before joining the PPHS team, Jacob spent four years as assistant principal of Shortridge High School and more than a decade as a classroom teacher in the Indianapolis area. Jacob earned his Bachelor's degree from Wabash College and returned there in 2017 to serve as Director of Career Services. Jacob holds an MBA in Education Leadership from the University of Indianapolis, a master’s degree in English from Butler University, and a certificate in nonprofit management from Indiana University.
Principal: South Bend Campus
VIDEO: Meet Justin Zobrosky
Justin Zobrosky joined the PPHS team in early 2022 as Principal of the South Bend Campus. Justin was previously a school leader at the South Bend Excel Center and is a Clay High School and Indiana University graduate. He has worked as a teacher, lead teacher, and school director, all of which have well-prepared him to take on the amazing role of leading the PPHS South Bend team.
Principal: North Campus
Video: Meet Principal Benberry
Principal Benberry brings a wealth of experience to PPHS, including his most recent role as Vice Principal of Cardinal Ritter High School. He has over 15 years of experience in education including teaching ELA, Science, and Math, as well as 5 years of leadership experience at the high school level. He is passionate about building relationships with students and staff, as well as supporting project-based learning. We are confident that he will be a great addition to the PPHS North team as we continue to grow!
Krista Primrose, Ph. D.
Chief Academic Officer
VIDEO: Meet Krista Primrose
As Chief Academic Officer, 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.
Director of Student Services
Laura Cope joined the PPHS team as Director of Student Services in 2022. Laura received her Bachelors in Special Education then earned her Masters in Curriculum with a School Administrators License from Indiana State University. From her background as Assistant Director of School Improvement and Turnaround at the Indiana State Department of Education to her role as Regional Director of Student Services and supports with Goodwill Education Initiatives, Laura brings extensive experience to the Purdue Polytechnic High School network.
As Director of Student Services, Laura will interact, collaborate, and support all school directors, special education site coordinators, and teachers of record. She will ensure that all schools and special education staff are implementing all special education procedures and programs to develop and deliver high quality services to students and will monitor compliance for all schools. Laura will direct and advise school directors and staff with specific legal procedures, regulations, legislation and programs that will guide all staff to mold the educational experiences of a diverse group of special needs students to develop and implement supportive, prescriptive, and realistic Individual Education Plans (IEP’s).
bUSINESS OPERATIONS TEAM
Chief Strategy Officer
Kim Reier is recognized as a trusted, results-oriented, and energetic leader and has spent most of her career working in public policy, development, fundraising, and organizational strategy. Kim is passionate about work that leads to positively impacting the lives of others. In her role as Chief Strategy Officer at Purdue Polytechnic High School, Kim is responsible for creating the conditions and acquiring the resources needed to ensure the PPHS network of schools, students, and staff are successful. Kim is also responsible for leading PPHS growth and expansion efforts, including developing an external partnership model where other schools may adopt portions of the proven PPHS school model.
Prior to joining PPHS, Kim helped to lead Goodwill’s national expansion efforts of its adult high school model, The Excel Center. During this time, Kim developed the organization’s successful phased approach to expansion and developed strategic community and school development plans with organizations across the country. These efforts led to the creation of laws, policies, and regulations in 8 states, and overseeing and managing the approval of 23 schools nationally.
Kim has previously held positions at the Indiana Department of Education, Indianapolis Mayor’s Office, and served in an internship in Senator Richard Lugar’s Office. She has served on a number of volunteer advisory boards and earned her degree in political science at Butler University.
Director of Finance
VIDEO: Meet Sharnell Johnson
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.
Director of Human Resources
VIDEO: Meet LaShaun Aldridge
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Director of Technology & Facilities
VIDEO: Meet Eric Stewart
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.
Board of Directors
Board of Directors Meeting Schedule 2022-2023 School Year
July 27, 2022 - Executive Session of the PPHS Board of Directors - Overview & Agenda
September 2, 2022 - Executive Session of the PPHS Board of Directors - Overview & Agenda
September 14, 2022 | 4:00PM - Board Meeting- Overview & Agenda
December 7, 2022 | 4:00PM - Board Meeting- Overview & Agenda
January 6, 2022 | 3:00PM - Finance Committee Meeting - Overview & Agenda
January 11, 2023 | 4:00PM - Board Meeting - Overview & Agenda
February 1, 2023 | 4:00PM - Executive Session - Overview & Agenda
March 8, 2023 | 4:00PM Board Meeting - Overview & Agenda
April 5, 2023 | 4:00PM - Board Meeting - Overview & Agenda
May 10, 2023 | 4:00PM - Board Meeting -
June 14, 2023 | 4:00PM - Board Meeting -
Board of Directors Meeting Schedules & Agendas 2021-2022 School Year
Gary Bertoline, Co-chair
Senior Vice President for Purdue Online & Learning Innovation, Purdue University
Jamal Smith, Co-chair
Director of Government Affairs & Strategic Partnerships, Indiana University Health
Ken Kobe, Treasurer
Business and Financial Consultant, Kenneth Kobe LLC
Senior Consultant, Managing Director, Private, Swan Bitcoin
President, Hageman Group
President, Q2u Strategic Advisory Group
Manager, Contract Manufacturing Operations, Eli Lilly and Company
President & Chief Executive Officer, Early Learning Indiana
Vice President of Administrative Operations, Purdue University
Contact the Board of Directors