November 2016 News

Indiana Academy Ranked Best High School in Indiana

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

For the third consecutive year, the Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities is ranked the No. 1 Best Public High School in Indiana. In addition, Indiana Academy is ranked No. 3 Best Public High School in America (up from 21st in 2016), and our teachers are ranked No. 2 nationally for Best Public High School Teachers (up from 7th in 2016.)

The rankings just released from Niche ( are based on rigorous analysis of key statistics and millions of reviews from students and parents using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Ranking factors include state test scores, college readiness, graduation rates, SAT/ACT scores, teacher quality, and high school ratings.

Pan-Africa Youth Leadership Exchange Program

Monday, October 31, 2016

African Guests visit the Indiana Academy

For the third year in a row, Ball State University’s Center for International Development (CID) was selected to host the Pan-Africa Youth Leadership Program (PAYLP), a program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. Selected students travel to the United States in the spring, summer, and fall each year. From October 12 through 25, 72 African high school students and adult mentors from Benin, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger visited the Ball State campus and the Indiana Academy.

After four days spent in Washington, DC learning about U.S. history and culture along with our nation’s system of democratic governance, they spent two weeks at Ball State University. On the university campus participants discovered what classroom-based lectures are like, experienced training and simulations focused on social entrepreneurship, attended interactive workshops, and were involved in community engagement. The participants also had time for site visits, cultural and volunteer activities, and speaking engagements which provided hands-on learning opportunities for skills application and networking.

Early in their visit, Indiana Academy students joined the exchange students for lunch and attended a panel discussion with them. Our students and the visiting exchange students were able to get to know one another through conversations on their cultures, lifestyles, interests, and current events. For French instructor Jennifer Robinson this was an extremely valuable opportunity. “So often people don’t realize that French is spoken in over 40 countries around the world,” Robinson said. “So having student representatives from six francophone countries in Africa visit our school really makes learning French relevant.” Our students also benefit from the international interactions. Indiana Academy student Katie Kolozsvari summed up the experience, “I loved being able to use my French with native French speakers, and it was amazing to be able to learn about the different current events in the countries that were represented.”

Lilly Grant Makes Filmmaking Dream a Reality for David Haynes

Friday, October 28, 2016

It’s been a little over a year since David Haynes, Instructor of English at the Indiana Academy, received a chance at his longtime dream to bring a film to production. Haynes and his collaborator on the film, Anthony Collamati, Associate Professor of New Media at Alma College, produced a short thriller titled Break My Bones, that was funded by a Lilly Endowment grant and a Kickstarter campaign.

According to Haynes, “the kickstarter before the Kickstarter” was receiving the $10,000 grant from the Lilly Endowment Teacher Creativity Fellowship Program in 2015 followed by raising an additional $10,00 through a Kickstarter campaign. That money helped pay the cost of film production, including salaries for professional cast and crew members, and developing the movie in a post-production studio. The shoot itself lasted only five days and took place entirely in Muncie. “To have helped to create Break My Bones, for all its strengths and flaws as a short film is to have begun the process of fulfilling a lifelong dream,” Haynes said.

So far, Break My Bones has played at the Rhode Island International Film Festival (tied for first in “best cinematography”), the Hollyshorts Film Festival in Hollywood (won “best thriller”), the Fantasia International Film Festival (Montreal, Canada), and the Oaxaca Film Festival (Mexico).

Before the end of 2016, the film will also play in southern Italy at the Pentedattilo Film Festival and in southern France at the Festival Tous Court, Aix-en-Provence, ranked one of the top 25 short film festivals in the world.

Haynes has discussed screenplay writing and filmmaking with his students, and his creative writing classes have the opportunity to work on a short film screenplay towards the end of the semester. He hasn’t been able screen the 23 minute film for students or faculty yet because the filmmakers have to be careful about screenings in order to qualify for festival consideration at many places. However, there are plans to show the film somewhere in Muncie in the near future.

More information about Break My Bones is available on the film’s Facebook page ( and website (

Plato on Trial

Friday, September 30, 2016

Academy students assembled in the quad
Overlooking the wave of students while dressed in a white sheet, the Chief Archon (Dr. Arnold) addresses the political philosophy of Plato.

“It has come to our attention that one Aristocles, popularly known as ‘Plato,’ has been teaching at the grove of Akademos in the sanctuary of Athena to the north of the city proper.”

Students at the Indiana Academy have once again been summoned to the turtle in the yard between Burris Laboratory Schools and Ball State University’s Elliot Hall to participate in the Academy’s annual event, The Trial of Plato.

Students grabbed their sheets, ropes, and other ancient accessories then headed down to the yard where they were to be considered citizens of the ancient democratic Athens. Students salvaged around their dorms, friend’s dorms, and various other places to find articles that could create an outfit fit for the Athenian world.

Everyone present became a member of the Assembly where they discussed and debated the political philosophy of Plato.

What’s the issue?

Plato would regularly lead discussions on all sorts of topics that were sought to have no sense of propriety or recognition of the limits of public discussion, especially with young men present at the Academy.

The people of Athens received details of these discussions with regard to the right governing of a city. The magistrates got possession of written transcripts purporting to be Plato’s accounts of his own teacher Socrates’ ideas on this topic; all citizens were then advised to review the public copies of these alleged teachings.

Socrates, though a veteran of the fight against the Persian foe at the battle of Delion and elsewhere, and thus a good patriot, came under suspicion of teaching against the democracy (and worse), was convicted by a jury of his peers, and then chose a draught of hemlock to escape that judgment.

A possibility of Socrates’ ideas not dying with him arose. The fear of these political ideas has caused a necessary meeting and trial of Plato in which the students are engaged.

2016 Graduate Named Davidson Fellow

Friday, September 30, 2016

Justine Izah, a 2016 graduate from the Indiana Academy has been awarded a $10,000 scholarship from the Davidson Institute for Talent Development. She is one of 20 students to be awarded this honor and the only one from Indiana

Justine transferred her junior year from La Lumiere School in LaPorte, Indiana. She began attending Indiana University this Fall with 22 transferable credits and hopes to major in sociology and neuroscience with a minor in social work.

Justine is a published author and past president of the Academy’s Third Wave Feminism Club. She has been awarded a $10,000 scholarship from the Davidson Institute for Talent Development based on her project, “An Examination of Black Liberation, Stereotypes, Healthcare and Education Through the Eyes of a Black Woman.” She is one of 20 students to be awarded this honor and the only one from Indiana. She has also been awarded the Nagubadi Family Scholarship and the Provost Scholarship from Indiana University.

Justine’s project is an intense study of blackness and the computation of what centuries of oppression has caused. Justine explored the racial disparities facing black people, specifically women, and the inequities they experience in education, health care, and economic status. Inspired by her own experiences, Justine hopes that her research will shed light on the black experience and create empathy in non-black readers.

In addition to her interests in writing and political activism, Justine also enjoys sewing, fitness, and music. She has been involved with Girl Scouts, South Shore Leadership Youth for Community Engagement, National Spanish Honor Society. While at the Academy, she was in the Science Olympiad, Spanish Club, and Third Wave Feminist Club.

United Way Day of Action

Friday, September 30, 2016

The Academy Day of Action Crew

Thousands of people in more than 300 communities across the world volunteer through United Way to make their community a better place through Day of Action.

For Delaware County’s Day of Action 2016, there were a total of 197 volunteers who donated 694 hours of their time at 16 different nonprofit sites. Together, they were able to make an economic impact of $15,746.86! The Indiana Academy provided almost 50 of those volunteers, which ended up being the biggest group for the third year in a row!

The students apart of the morning shift started out their day by going to the Horizon Convention Center to enjoy a complimentary breakfast while attending the United Way’s Campaign Kickoff Celebration. From there, they went to the Alpha Center to volunteer. The Alpha Center provides adult day care services in a safe and fun environment for senior citizens who cannot be safely left on their own. This allows their family members and regular caregivers a much needed break for rest, work, errands and other activities. The students assisted with yardwork, pressure washing and painting, plus some even got the opportunity to work one-on-one with senior citizens making birdfeeders.

The next shift of students helped out at the Second Harvest Food Bank. They are a food distribution center that helps individuals and families who are food insecure. There, the students spent their shift sorting food and checking for freshness.

About the United Way of Delaware County

United Way of Delaware County, Indiana engages the community to improve lives by focusing resources on health, education, and financial stability. It also works to create lasting change in community conditions. Learn more at

2017 National Merit Commended Students

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Indiana Academy congratulates the following seniors who have been named Commended Students in the 2017 National Merit Program:

Robert Belin
Ellen Hine
Nikita Kumar
Ritika Mehta
Mariah Murray
Michelle Rodriguez
Sophia Schnake
Alexis Skidmore
Van Vandergriff

Free Concert with Indiana Academy Alum Kara Claudy

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Kara Claudy, songwriter, singer, recording artist, and graduate of the Indiana Academy (Class of 2007) will be performing at Pruis Hall on Wednesday, October 5 at 7 p.m. The concert is free and open to the public.

She will also be doing a meet and greet exclusively for current Indiana Academy students before the concert. More information about Claudy can be found at her website:

Academy Alum Part of BSU Delegation to Rio Olympics

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Madeline Grosh ’15 was part of a Ball State University immersive learning project that attended – and covered – the Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero. Read all about it here.

Dr. Drew Ramsey ’92 Releases New Book

Monday, September 12, 2016

The latest book by Dr. Drew Ramsey ’92, Eat Complete: The 21 Nutrients That Fuel Brainpower, Boost Weight Loss, and Transform Your Health, is available on More information is also on his website,