December 2021 News

Dr. Jo Tuite Published in Journal for the Education of the Gifted

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

An exploratory study by Dr. Jo Tuite, Dr. Lisa DaVia Rubenstein, and Dr. Serena J. Salloum has been published in the December issue of the Journal for the Education of the Gifted.

The Coming Out Experiences of Gifted, LGBTQ Students: When, to Whom, and Why Not? examines the coming out experiences of over 100 LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning or queer) alumni of a residential gifted/talented high school, including when they identified their own sexual orientation and/or gender identity, when they came out to their friends and family, and how comfortable they were coming out at the G/T school versus their home schools. The purpose of the study is to provide guidance to school personnel for developing effective support systems for their students.

Dr. Tuite is the Associate Director / Head of Admissions at the Academy. Dr. Rubenstein is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at Ball State University, and Dr. Salloum is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at Ball State. The study may be found in the Journal for the Education of the Gifted, volume 44, issue 4, pages 366-397.

Quiz Bowl Team Qualifies for Nationals

Monday, November 22, 2021

The Indiana Academy Beta Club Quiz Bowl team qualified for the state finals and traveled to Evansville on Friday, November 19 to compete against the other top eight teams. After three head-to-head competitions the team emerged victorious! As a result, they have qualified for the nationals in Nashville, Tennessee in July.

Congratulations to the Beta Club!

Academy Instructors Awarded Bell Grant

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Dr. Phillip Lobo and Ms. Meghan Riley have reason to celebrate. They have been awarded a Bell Grant by the Muncie Community Foundation for a collaboration in spring 2022 between Dr. Lobo’s Speculative Literature and Ms. Riley’s World Literature courses.

The collaboration examines the enriching overlap between these two literary traditions. The teaching of world literature often focuses on historical works, for good reason, but it can be difficult for students to recognize how canonical examples of world literature pertain to the increasingly global, future-oriented world in which we live. Speculative fiction, while often engaged with contemporary questions, is frequently characterized as consisting of niche genres, subject to cultural gatekeeping. In reality, speculative fiction is one of the most vital spaces of international literary production, with diverse voices addressing current global issues. While speculative fiction courses often focus on established authors and texts in order to legitimize the study of speculative fiction as serious literature, there has been a proliferation of speculative fiction by women and authors of color across the world in the past two decades. Finally, the tropes of speculative fiction – including but not limited to distant futures and alternative histories – provide opportunities to interrogate and complicate the dichotomies of “history” versus “progress,” “magic” versus “science,” and “essentialism” versus “hybridity” that global literature often addresses. Reading speculative fiction as world literature allows learners to engage with concepts in new ways. This project – which will bring together the two courses for two weeks of collaborative instruction and assignments – will address unmet needs, those of bringing currency and vitality to world literature pedagogy, and of broadening the appreciation and understanding of speculative fiction by placing it in a global, multi-cultural context.

Dr. Lobo and Ms. Riley are already looking at choices for texts and materials to purchase with the grant monies, and their plans will undoubtedly lead to vibrant and erudite scholarly discourse. It is initiatives like these that occur outside of standard expectations that enrich so many of our classes here at the Academy. Congratulations to both!

Junior Charlie Behrman Among ECI Fall Sports Athletes of the Year

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Academy Junior Charlie Behrman, boys’ tennis sectional champion, was named among East Central Indiana’s fall sports Athletes of the Year by the Star Press.

Congratulations, Charlie!

Academy Seniors Named Track & Cross Country Academic All State

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Academy Senior Michael Canfield was named to the Academic All State First Team by the Indiana Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches. Seniors Nico Minnich and Katie Wood received Honorable Mention.

Congratulations to these scholar athletes for their achievements!

Indiana Academy Ranked #1 Public High School in Indiana

Monday, September 20, 2021

The Niche 2022 school rankings are out and the Indiana Academy has regained its spot as the #1 Public High School in Indiana. We also retained our ranking as the #1 College Prep Public High School in the state. Nationwide, the Academy placed in the Top 50 Public High Schools (out of over 19,000 schools), and our faculty are ranked #12 Public High School Faculty in the United States.

We are very proud of our faculty and programs!

Additional rankings and information can be found on

Dr. Tom Arnold Awarded Robert P. Bell Creative Teaching Award

Friday, September 17, 2021

Dr. Tom Arnold, Tiffany Arnold, and representatives of the Community Foundation
Dr. Tom Arnold, Tiffany Arnold, and representatives of the Community Foundation with Dr. Arnold’s award

Dr. Thomas Arnold received the Robert P. Bell Creative Teaching Award from The Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County, Inc. to recognize his creativity and innovation in the classroom.

Arnold, a history teacher at the Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics and Humanities, was nominated by the former Director of Academic Affairs at the Indiana Academy, Dr. Jeff Smith, for his creativity in bringing art and art history together in his American History and American Government classes. Arnold is a recipient of multiple Robert P. Bell Education Grants from The Community Foundation that supported art bringing history to life for his students.

“For some of his students, the art experiences are the most meaningful lessons of the entire course,” wrote Smith in his nomination of Arnold. “Through his lessons, Dr. Arnold demonstrates to students that history is not just textbooks, statues, or other types of fading and decaying documents – history is a living thing.”

Arnold has been a teacher at the Indiana Academy since 2004. Today he serves as a classroom teacher as well as Chair of the Humanities Division. Through his leadership position, he has encouraged and supported his colleagues to apply for and utilize Bell Grants, resulting in more creative and innovative learning opportunities for the students in his school.

“I had the privilege of being able to observe one of Dr. Arnold’s projects during a classroom visit in 2019,” said Carly Acree-King, program officer at The Community Foundation. “I personally witnessed Dr. Arnold’s excitement for sketching Muncie history, and I watched it overflow and inspire his students who worked on their projects.”

Arnold was surprised with the award during a small ceremony at the Indiana Academy on Friday, September 17. The Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics and Humanities received a $1,000 for use in Dr. Arnold’s classroom from The Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County to commemorate the award.

Dr. Tom Arnold and his class
Dr. Arnold and his class

The Robert P. Bell Creative Teaching award was established to complement the Robert P. Bell Education Grants program and honor teachers who have gone above and beyond to use creativity and innovation to enhance learning by their students. The annual program rewards, recognizes, and encourages extraordinary educators who have applied for, received, and executed a Robert P. Bell Grant from The Community Foundation in their classroom. For more information about the Robert P. Bell Education Grants, please visit The Community Foundation’s website at or contact Carly Acree-King, Program Officer, at

Indiana Academy Updated Mask Policy

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Please see the document linked below for an important message regarding a change to the Indiana Academy’s mask policy. These changes go into effect when students arrive on campus the week of August 9.

Download Updated Mask Policy Notice

See other Indiana Academy COVID-19 Pandemic information at

Nikki Al Khatib Named Nurse Manager

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Beginning in August, Nikki Al Khatib has a new title: Nurse Manager.

Originally from England, Nikki completed her RN training at Nottingham University, UK in 1994 and emigrated to the USA in 1998. She passed her NCLEX-RN exam and became licensed to practice nursing in the State of Indiana in 1999.

Nikki previously worked at Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie as an RN in the Diabetes Care Center and the Cardiac Telemetry Unit.

Nikki joined the Indiana Academy as School Nurse in March 2017. Her daughter graduated from the Indiana Academy Class of 2020 and is now studying at IUPUI, her eldest son is attending and will graduate with the Class of 2023. Her youngest son is currently in middle school.

Nikki’s role includes coordinating and overseeing all aspects of student’s health care needs whilst they are attending the Indiana Academy, training non-licensed personnel to assist with emergent and routine care needs, providing Heath education and developing programs that promote health and well-being.

Dr. Godfrey Walwema Joins Academy as Physics Instructor

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Dr. Godfrey Walwema is thrilled to join The Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities as a Physics Instructor. Godfrey has taught physics for over 15 years at the International Baccalaureate and Advanced levels as well as high school. Prior to joining Ball State University, Godfrey taught physical science to preservice teachers at the University of Wyoming. He has also taught physics in Uganda, Kenya, Eswatini, and Botswana.

Godfrey believes that students should find the learning of physics interesting and exciting because the application of physics principles is evident all around them in real-life situations. He contends that naturally, students are likely to be interested in exploring and learning about what happens around them. For instance, they would want to know how the microwave oven functions, the principle behind the GPS, the most efficient way to conserve energy, and the technology involved in computers and cellphones. To this end, Godfrey’s research interest is to investigate teaching strategies that would make the learning of physics interesting and exciting to students.

Godfrey earned a BS in physics and mathematics from Makerere University, an MS in Physics from Western Illinois University, and a PhD. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on Science Education from The University of Wyoming. In his spare time, he reads about the latest innovations in the field of science and technology.