60 Community Voices

60 Voices from our Community

60th Anniversary Logo

Who better to tell the story of the wonderful community we have become during the last 60 years than our very own residents? We asked 60 individuals who call Wayne Township home to tell us why they love our schools and community. We hope you’ll enjoy their reflections in our 60 Community Voices Project.

Ed and Judy Adams--60 VoicesWe moved to Avon Creek Estates in 2016, and our home is located across Morris Street from Bridgeport Elementary School.

Judy and I attended school in Wayne Township. I attended Drexel Gardens Grade School and Ben Davis High School, and Judy attended Ben Davis Grade School followed by Ben Davis High School and have always been grateful for the wonderful education we received.

We believe a great education of children is vital to the success of our community, state, country and world. The teachers, administrators, and staff are key to developing children and giving them the opportunity to become successful citizens, having pride in their school.

We meet with our respective graduating classes each month and enjoy activities throughout the year together, including praises and prayer concerns.

Ms. Adetola Adedeji--60 VoicesI like Wayne Township schools for the following reasons:
Wayne Township has an excellent family connection especially through family events and its parents’ square link.
They are very caring with a good welfare package for families.
For example they provide meals to students during the remote learning period, and also summer breaks.
Also, I have not noticed any kind of discrimination at Wayne schools.
I enjoy being in Wayne!
Congratulations and happy 60th Anniversary!!

Ms. Martha Allen--60 VoicesI began my school years at the Mars Hill Elementary School followed by one of the first alumni to attend the new McClelland Elementary School with Ms. Mary McClelland as the principal. I remember thinking we were going to school in the country due to McClelland being surrounded with cornfields. I graduated as a Ben Davis Giant and chose to remain in Wayne Township to raise my family so that they would attend our schools. I wanted them to receive the best education possible at Wayne Township Schools as I did.

This community is my home, family, and workplace that takes care of one another in times of need. It has provided my family with superior education along with employment opportunities that we will always be thankful for. Wayne Township has changed and grown through the years due to people that work continuously together to make it a better community for everyone.

Mr. Justin Allison--60 VoicesFor the last 31 years, I have been associated with Wayne Township in one way or another, either as a student, a teacher, or a parent. When someone asks what makes Wayne Township special I always think of the word “legacy.” I am proud to have gone through Wayne schools as a student, returned to teach in those same schools, and eventually watch my own children learn and grow in Wayne. But this is not just my story, it is the story of so many who teach here. They, like me, were students in the same hallways and classrooms where they now teach the current and future generations. This speaks to the community and legacy that Wayne creates and maintains for its students and staff. One where it is not unusual to see past students return and continue to help Wayne grow.

Lisa Bentley--60 VoicesI find Wayne Township a special place because it is filled with the best people who truly care about its success, and it was an easy decision to live here when you see so much dedication and passion for its advancement. Our school and community leaders are both innovative and willing to try new things to advance the community and to enhance education. The Indy Gateway/ Area 31 Construction Trades Housing Partnership is just one example of this type of opportunity for our community that lifts our neighborhoods and increases affordable housing options. I am glad to work with the school system and have a hand in seeing this type of re-development of our community taking place.

Nina Brahm--60 VoicesMy husband and I moved to Wayne Township in 1995. He was teaching at Fulton Junior High School, and we thought it would be handy for him to have the same school schedule as our children. Now, more than 25 years later, we still live in the same house and don’t have any plans to leave. We love hiking and bird watching in Eagle Creek Park and frequently enjoy over 100 international restaurants in the 38th Street corridor’s International Marketplace. But what really makes Wayne Township our home are the schools.

The Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township anchored our family into the community. My husband’s 30-year career in Wayne means running into his former students in virtually every Westside establishment. We also run into former classmates of our children, who are now teachers, doctors, HVAC professionals, lawyers, restaurant managers, grant writers, and stylists. We knew our children’s classmates because we volunteered in the schools with fellow parents, many who hailed from other countries. Regardless of our backgrounds, we wanted all the kids to succeed. The rich racial and ethnic diversity in Wayne teaches parents and students about myriad cultures, making us all part of a healthy and functioning human tapestry of inclusiveness. I choose Wayne because WE ARE WAYNE, all of us!

Mrs. Shandy Brickler--60 VoicesWhy do I still live in Wayne Township? Well, ‘It is Home’! I have been in Wayne Township my entire life. I grew up in Woodpointe and then Westwood, went to Robey, Fulton, and graduated from Ben Davis. I have worked in Wayne Township for 17 years. At one point, half of my department had graduated from Ben Davis as well. My children also attended Robey, Chapel Hill, Ninth Grade Center, and graduated from Ben Davis. My children were taught by some of the same teachers that taught me.

Our schools have so many opportunities for our children and adults at any learning level. All are Welcome! The staff and community are dedicated, caring, loyal, thankful, giving, and go above and beyond! One of my favorite memories each year is the first day for staff during the Opening Day Convocation. We are always asked, “If you were a graduate of Ben Davis High School, please stand.” It is amazing to see so many employees standing! Now that is dedication! Once a Giant, Always a Giant!

Mr. Kevin Britt--60 VoicesYou might say it was in my blood to stay in Wayne. My family has lived in Wayne Township for over 150 years–farming, driving the horse-drawn school bus, conducting trains, and teaching . When I was blessed to be hired as a teacher and coach at Ben Davis High School, my wife (also a BD grad) and I made a conscious decision that we wanted to be invested in the community in which I was teaching, including where we lived and where our children attended school. We moved back here in 1990, and decades later our daughters became the 5th generation to graduate from Wayne schools. Living in Wayne has been a perfect fit for my family and me. We have spent a great deal of our time, over the years, within 2 miles of our home. Whether it be at the schools, church, or at the Wayne Sports park, we spent many hours pouring into our community alongside our neighbors who had a shared vision. Though not always easy to be committed and invested in a place, Wayne has been a community worth the toil.

The schools opened so many doors for my daughters. From the Horizons program to our sister-schools in China to State Championship games, the breadth of experiences provided amazing opportunities not afforded elsewhere. My wife and I have friendships that will last a lifetime, while my children have memories forged by Robey Relays, Purple Rain, and hundreds of teachers, coaches, and staff who poured their hearts and souls into our family. The long-standing tradition of excellence in athletics and academics instilled in us and many others a drive to achieve what others had done before us. Over the years, there has been a dramatic growth in diversity, and we consider ourselves fortunate to have been along for this transformation. Our worldview has been enriched: lessening the boundaries or stereotypes that may hinder some from having difficult conversations, and allowing us to see that we can connect even though our lives may look different from someone else. Wayne Township is filled with strong individuals with their own unique stories to tell.

Our commonalities: the desire for connection, community, pride, and tradition bind us here and keep us “ALL FOR YOU, BD!”

Ms. Tamara Brown--60 VoicesI’ve been a resident of Wayne Township about 15 years now. I have two daughters that have graduated from Ben Davis High School. I also have a son who is on the ASD so he’s been a student of Thrive for a while. What has made Wayne so special to my family is the hard work that has been put into my son’s education. Having the Office of Special Services on our team has been great. Wayne as always worked along with my son’s ABA center to insure his success. I’m beyond thankful for all the teachers and administrators that work so hard for every child in Wayne Township. #WEAREWAYNE

Ms. Karen Burke--60 VoicesWayne Township has always held a special part in my heart. Education, diversity and extracurricular activities were the driving factors in my family’s decision to stay in MSD Wayne Township School District. Wayne’s vision of Great Schools and Great Community provides the guiding principles for knowledge and community involvement to produce successful educated children.

My involvement with the district began with Robey Elementary School, Fulton Junior High, and finally Ben Davis High School. As my children transition through elementary to high school, they were influenced by some of the most caring and supportive staff members that put my children and other students first and welcomed parental involvement. This same environment continues today in all of MSD Wayne Township Schools and programs.

I am thankful to give back to the district by currently serving on the MSD Wayne Township School Board and proud to say WE ARE WAYNE!!

Dr. Jeff and Mrs. Tammy Butts--60 VoicesTammy and I have had the pleasure to live in a few communities over our lifetime. However, we have never lived in a community like Wayne Township. When we were hired as employees in the M.S.D. of Wayne Township in 2006, we knew we wanted to make Wayne Township our home. Sixteen years later, we love being embedded in all of the opportunities that our community provides to engage and serve. In fact, Wayne Township has been our home longer than any other community we have lived in. The Wayne community truly is a great place to live, work, and raise a family. We have never experienced a more caring, giving, and supportive community. We are proud to call Wayne home!

Mr. Steve Chope--60 VoicesWayne Township means many things to me. At first it was simply the township that I lived in. I always knew the county but never the township. When I was told “Wayne” it did not mean much to me.

My son began attending Stout Field Elementary 2007. Once again I knew nothing of Wayne Township. It was simply the school that was closest to us. He attended school in Wayne until his graduation in 2020. During this time I had another son who began attending Stout Field Elementary in 2017. He is now in fourth grade at Stout Field.

Another thing happened, I began working at Stout Field Elementary in 2014. I was a Paraprofessional for 6 years and in my seventh year I became the Technical Assistant.

I have a unique perspective on Wayne. First as a dad and then as an employee/dad. Our schools and community are special because of the people that work and live in them. I partnered with Wayne as a parent for many years. I enjoyed my interactions with Stout Field and the district. The most important thing that I wanted in a school was for them to care. The people in Wayne seemed to care.

When I started working for Wayne at Stout Field I found that the people really did care. It wasn’t an act that they were putting on for the parents. They legitimately cared about the students. Like “go out of your way/do what it takes” kinda care. I was not amazed, but pleasantly surprised.

From Dr. Butts all the way down to me, the little technical assistant that works at the southernmost elementary school, people in Wayne care. The people in the Wayne community respond to that. All parents want is for someone to care for their children. Learning is important but I think caring takes precedent.

I have seen Wayne from the inside and the outside. When I think of Wayne now it isn’t just where I live, it is where people care. Wayne Township Schools are where people care. I am very proud to work for the district and very proud to have my children attending the schools within the district.

Mr. Brian Clouse--60 VoicesBack in 1988, we made a conscious decision to raise our young family in Wayne Township. We knew of the experiences of many of those around us regarding the excellence of Wayne Township schools. Growing up on the west side of Indianapolis, we knew that this community was the right place to grow and educate our family.

Now in 2021, we reflect back on a choice well made. Both of our girls received a tremendous educational foundation that allowed them to flourish as young adults. The family experiences that the Ben Davis Band provided us over seven years are cherished memories to this day.

Funny how life comes back around, as my wife gives back (and is richly rewarded by students) volunteering at Chapelwood Elementary. And finally, after 33 years, I am able to give back to the Wayne Township schools community that has served our family so very well. We are Wayne!

Valerie Curfman--60 VoicesI choose to live in Wayne Township because it is a great community. Our School system is excellent. It provides our students and staff a safe place to learn and grow. We are lucky to have a diverse staff and student population. Our commitment to students and families is outstanding. We have many community partnerships that make us even better. Our leadership is strong and supportive. Our sports, clubs, music programs, BDU, and other advanced placement classes make us a well rounded township. We not only teach saving energy, we practice it with our wind farm. Wayne Township has been a wonderful place to raise my family. This is my thirty-first year working at Westlake Elementary. I still look forward to coming to work everyday. Thank you, Wayne Township, for enriching my life.

Don Dyck--60 VoicesGreat Schools-Great Community! This phrase underscores the reason my wife and I chose to live in MSD Wayne Township Schools when we moved from out of state 18 years ago. It offered value, quality of life, and community.

Service opportunities such as elementary school HOSTS, Scouts, 4H and others abound throughout the community. The convenient location of our community to transportation, education and work-skill development, libraries, the arts, and parks and recreation is remarkable. Homes values are exceptional mostly duet to opportunities for students and their achievements. Instruction and whole person development is part of every aspect of the schools applied consistently throughout the community. School leadership has become more and more obvious over the years—starting with outstanding students and staff, teachers as exemplary leaders, and administrators as leaders of leaders.

We enjoy our neighborhood, and we believe many other neighbors within the MSD Wayne community also enjoy the social support felt for each other. The wholesome diversity within our community strengthens all of us. We are grateful to be part of the great MSD Wayne community of schools, businesses, neighborhoods and families that has emerged over the past 60 years.

Amy Eaton--60 VoicesMSD Wayne Township has been the foundation and anchor of the Westside of Indianapolis for my entire life. I started as a Westlake Wildcat, continued as a Fulton Falcon, and graduated a proud BD Giant. My husband and I met in MSD Wayne, we proudly work for MSD Wayne, and our children now attend Wayne schools. We both went to big colleges, started our careers outside of MSD Wayne, and then returned “home”. We understand and appreciate that our Wayne family is unique and unable to be replicated. The widespread diversity that we have in our district gives us and our children windows into the world that we might not otherwise see, learn from, and respect. Our children and the next generations are our legacies. I believe that we must ensure that they have the best possible start on their individual path to greatness. Although I am not a teacher, I take great pride in using all of my skills and abilities to do anything and everything I can to help Wayne succeed and continue our tradition of excellence. Once a Giant, Always a Giant. Here’s to another 60 wonderful years!

Derek Eaton--60 VoicesThe MSD of Wayne Township has been my home for my entire life. I first attended Wayne Township schools in Kindergarten at Robey Elementary, and then moved to Chapel Glen Elementary for 1st-6th grades when my family moved neighborhoods. I continued as a Fulton Falcon, and graduated a proud BD Giant where I helped win State Championship and State Runner-up trophies as a member of the Ben Davis Cross Country team (’94-97). My wife and I met at Ben Davis, we both proudly work for the MSD of Wayne, and our children currently attend Wayne Twp. schools. Though I left for 4 years of College to attend Indiana University-Bloomington, and started teaching outside of Wayne Township, I quickly returned to teach at Ben Davis Junior High and was there when the name changed to the Chapel Hill 7th and 8th Grade Center (though the location hadn’t yet changed). Since then, I’ve grown through four different administrative positions where I currently sit as principal of the Achieve Virtual 7-12 (currently in my 11th year as principal). My wife and I value our district greatly as it’s always changing and growing while providing a community where our children have the opportunity to navigate diverse perspectives and circumstances that we can’t replicate at home. Our children have been driven hard in classrooms by the curriculum and their teachers, and they love school because of their experience in Wayne. We have a unique perspective working in the district, but because of this perspective, we also believe our teachers work harder than any others in Indiana while always looking to be and do better in the world of teaching and learning. Wayne has been my home for 43 years, and I don’t anticipate leaving – once a Giant, always a Giant.

Ms. Jayne Edison--60th AnniversaryIn 1993 my husband and I were house hunting in Indianapolis when our realtor recommended the west side, largely due to the highly rated school system and affordability. Having grown up on the south and east sides respectively, we were unfamiliar with the west. My experience with the area was limited to the occasional shopping trip to Lafayette Square and eating once at the west 10th St. Noble Romans in the 1970’s.

Fast forward twenty-eight years, which is how long we have lived in Wayne Township. There are several things that we find special about our community, starting with shared values. So many caring people, service organizations, and faith groups do so much good work that has a positive impact. Dedicated, skilled educators and staff make our schools great by providing strong academics, vocational programs, sports, and extracurricular activities. The opportunities available to our students is amazing. We especially appreciate the arts and music programs in our schools and the Area 31 Career Center. The Wayne Township Preschool and the Adult Education program are wonderful resources, as well. Youth benefit from active community groups such as 4-H, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and sports, thanks to lots of caring volunteers. Lastly, the diversity of people in our community has created a kind of microcosm of the world. We believe this has enriched life in Wayne Township, helping us all to be better citizens by expanding our horizons. We are grateful for all these things and glad we took a chance on the west side. And Noble Romans became a family favorite.

Mrs. Melissa Edwards--60 VoicesAs it often happens, I moved to Wayne Township because of a job. But while that job ended up being temporary, my love of Wayne Township was permanent–and this is where I chose to stay and put down roots for myself and for my family. In 1998, I applied for a job at Ben Davis High School so my children and I could share the same schedule, and I’ve worked here ever since.

My children are now Ben Davis alumni, and my grandchildren are current Wayne Township students. Three generations strong! My favorite thing about Wayne is the bond and pride of our community. People from all over the globe choose Wayne as the place that they, too, want to raise a family. We love frequenting the locally-owned, culturally-rich restaurants and shops–the very places that draw people in from all over Indianapolis. Our school district’s motto is “Great Schools, Great Community,” and that has been the truth for me and my family. Amazing people move here and send their children to school–and those children grow up and do the same. I am proud to be part of the long-standing legacy of the greatness that is Wayne Township.

Mrs. Joyce Enlow--60 VoicesI have lived in Wayne Township for over 60 years. I have been a student, parent, grandparent and employee in Wayne Township and have seen many changes during that time. My husband and I both graduated from Ben Davis, along with our 4 sons. The opportunities that Wayne schools offer students continues to grow. In addition to required graduation classes, students can pursue offerings in the arts, business, engineering and career and technical programs with quality staff and facilities. Students are given opportunities to participate in sports, extracurricular clubs, theater and music programs, and work-based learning. Students can now earn college credits and actually graduate with a college degree in some programs. Our numerous career and technical classes prepare students for entering the workforce or continuing their education at a postsecondary institute. Wayne Township also has an excellent adult education program, helping adults with continued education and ESL classes. Our community is very family oriented and can offer youth sports and cheerleading, girl and boy scouts, 4-H programs, Community Theater, fitness and dance centers, and numerous religious choices for worship. I do not know what the future will bring, but I’m sure Wayne Township community leaders and schools will be able to adjust to make us a better community. I cannot imagine living anywhere else.

Senator JD Ford--60 VoicesI moved to Wayne Township 5 years ago. What makes me and so many others stay is the amazing people that live in our community. Every year I meet more teachers, students, parents, and community members who are doing extraordinary things and making significant impacts on our community. I am always more optimistic about our country’s future when I hear and see what our students are doing. One of my favorite things about Wayne Township schools is the opportunities they provide for our students to learn trades and get a head start on higher education whether it be a certificate, associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree. This not only helps our young people save money, but also helps them transition into life after high school.

Ms. MiChelle Gordon--60 VoicesWe are Wayne. It’s more than a slogan. It’s a way of life.

I have lived in Wayne Township my entire life. Growing up, it’s just where I lived. As an adult, it’s where I chose to reside.

I am the mother of a special needs adult who graduated from Ben Davis in 2020. Initially, I chose Wayne because we lived within those boundaries. As my child’s school years continued, I chose Wayne because it was the best option for her needs.

We found teachers who wanted to make sure she felt loved and valued. Teachers who went out of their way to meet her needs. Teachers who treated her with respect and dignity. Teachers who helped her “belong.”

So yes “We are Wayne” and we chose Wayne and we would choose Wayne again and again.

Raimeka Graham--School Board Secretary

Although I attended Indianapolis Public Schools, my parents moved to the Wayne Township area when I was in college. My younger brother and nephews attended Wayne Township Schools, and two of them later graduated from Ben Davis High School. You often hear about the wonderful sports programs, especially football at the high school. However, I was able to witness my nephew excel in show choir and debate. I quickly realized that Wayne Township had a variety of top ranked experiences to offer families. There was truly meaning behind the phrase “Pride of the Westside”.

In 2002, my husband and I were expecting our 2nd child and looking to purchase our first home. Having grown up in Indianapolis, I knew that I wanted to be in the city and not one of the surrounding counties. Our oldest was entering school and we wanted an area that would continue to grow her academically. Moving into Wayne Township was the best decision we could’ve made. I’ve witnessed my children (each uniquely their own person) grow academically, socially and emotionally during their time in school. They’ve had administrators and teachers who genuinely cared about them and their success and growth as individuals.

One aspect of Wayne Township that I absolutely love is the pride the community has. From the young to our most seasoned residents, the community rallies behind our students and have a vested interest in their community. It might seem small to some, but having each of our junior highs also have the mascot of GIANTS solidifies that the District believes in the slogan “We Are Wayne”. Although they might compete against one another, the bigger understanding is that they are ONE!

After nearly 20 years, I’m still happy with the decision that was made. We’ve been blessed to have 2017 and 2020 graduates and an upcoming 2025.

Susan Graves--60 Voices PhotoForty-five years ago, my single mother relocated our family to Wayne Township from Eagledale. I started eighth grade at what was then Ben Davis Junior High School. After graduation from Ben Davis High School in 1982, I attended IUPUI and continued to live in Wayne Township. Our family called Ben Davis Christian Church home. Between those places in our community, deep rooted friendships and adventures were formed. Many years later, I married a fellow Ben Davis High School student named Tim Graves, who was already a homeowner within Wayne Township. Through our son, I believe, my true passion and appreciation for the MSD of Wayne Township schools began. He attended K-6 at Robey Elementary School. We experienced the sense of community and belonging through becoming involved in the school, which was amazing. The teachers and staff there became friends to our family through true dedication and love for the children and families whom they serve. Our son’s friends that he formed led to me becoming a part of a mom group, which further cemented bonds through experiencing raising kids. He went on to Chapel Hill 7th and 8th Grade Center and I joined the CHC PTO group. Many times I worked the concession stand and witnessed families and friends come together to celebrate and encourage students who were playing a sport. Good times were held among staff and community concession stands. Many a laugh was had! After I retired in 2019, I knew I wanted to continue to be a part of continuing to make Wayne Township great, so I decided to run for the MSD of Wayne Township School Board. During the pandemic, I knew I was making the right decision because our school’s leaders truly went above and beyond to secure food, guidance, Chromebooks, wifi, etc., to ensure that every child had what was needed to make it through until we could be together again at school. Serving alongside such great leaders and community members is an honor and blessing.

I have lived in Wayne Township for 14 years. My husband, 5 children (14, 13,13, 11, 10), and an assortment of pets fill our house. We chose to live in Wayne based on the diverse neighborhoods, the variety of high-school options, and proximity to the city. As our family expanded with children, we were overwhelmed with the consistent blessing of MSD of Wayne Township. These blessings include official daily school business: speech services at the developmental preschool, quality teaching, field days, collaborative disciplinary procedures, and trauma-informed support systems. At a district-wide level, I have appreciated the openness to which leadership receives questions, provides answers and explains the short and long-term processes. The blessings that are an unofficial part of daily business of school are what make a school district a true community. From the Principal who gave me much-needed hair styling advice for my children, to the front office staff who spoke encouraging words, to the coaches who are an extra support for my children, to the custodians who pay 50 cents to their student helpers, to the bus drivers who smile and redirect, to the teachers and staff who teach, listen, encourage, joke with, empower, and challenge. We choose to stay in Wayne because the District chooses to grow and adapt to meet the needs of the community.

Ms. Rebecca Hiday--60 VoicesYou could say I bleed purple. When I was toddler, my parents moved our family to Indianapolis from Fort Wayne and chose the Wayne Township area for our family. I attended school in Wayne Township from first grade and until when I graduated from Ben Davis High School in 1979. My friends and I loved Ben Davis, attending all the football and basketball games on Friday nights, participating in many activities and clubs during our junior high and high school years and proudly wearing our purple!

After graduating from college I came back “home” to Wayne Township, ending up meeting and marrying a fellow Ben Davis grad and started our life as a family in…you guessed it, Wayne Township! We chose to stay in Wayne because we both knew how good the schools were and the many opportunities that the schools could afford our children. We also knew the area and that people in Wayne are a community that looks after each other.

After our children began school in Wayne, I became a teacher at the old Ben Davis Junior High/ now Chapel Hill Center. Wayne Township has been good to me in so many ways, and I am so glad that I am able to be a part of a wonderful group of teachers molding, nurturing and encouraging the next generation of Wayne graduates. I tell my students how fortunate they are to be in Wayne where there are so many opportunities for them to grow and experience new things, especially at the high school level. I hope they will feel the same pride as I felt when I graduated high school and told others, “I am a Ben Davis graduate”.

Ms. Paula Hoage--60 VoicesMy husband and I choose Wayne Township for our family. Our Wayne community is rooted in history and values while also striving to make progressive, positive changes to meet our community’s future needs. We love our parks, the Wayne Branch of the Indianapolis Public Library, numerous programs and events, and west side businesses. We believe in our schools. The MSD of Wayne Township is committed to providing a safe and welcoming learning environment for all students and families. Our school system’s leaders and teachers are dedicated to providing diverse, equitable, inclusive, and personalized learning opportunities for our thousands of students. Our community and schools are exceptional, and we choose Wayne!

Mr. John Holsapple--60 VoicesWhat an amazing community Wayne Township is!!! Carolyn and I returned to Indianapolis in 2000 when I accepted the call as the Director of Communication Arts at Chapel Rock Christian Church located just north of Ben Davis High School. Having grown up on a farm, I wanted our children to experience agriculture and animal husbandry, so we considered buying a home in rural Hendricks County. However, together we realized we would miss out on relationship-building in Wayne Twp where our church/my job was located. So, with a new baby on the way, we bought a home near the Clermont Post Office where we have lived happily for 21 years.

Our two daughters and son attended Robey Elementary, Westlake Elementary (Horizons), Chapel Hill 7th and 8th Grade Center, BD Ninth Grade Center, and Ben Davis High School. Throughout the years, we have developed strong relationships with families by working concession stands, serving as the PTO President in three schools, working fund-raisers for soccer/football, serving as Box Parents for the BD Marching Giants, and encouraging staff as The Waffle Guy.

We truly believe that the fabric of our community is strong because of the multiple generations of parents who have served as volunteers in classrooms, in Parent Teacher Organizations, and in music and athletic booster groups. In addition, our schools are well-respected because the teachers and administrators are on the cutting edge of offering our students multiple pathways to career readiness and success (Ben Davis University High School, and Area 31 Career Center.) Families and neighbors are historically incredibly generous with initiatives like the BDHS Thanksgiving Food Drive, the Westside Community Garden, the Youth Sports Organizations, and the Wayne Township Volunteer Fire Department.

When asked where I live, I proudly say, “I live in Wayne.” On the map, you will not find an official suburb named Wayne, but when you raise your family here, you discover the genuine community that exists. Together, We Are Wayne!!!

Ms. NiCole Keith--60 VoicesWe chose the Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township for our four children because back in the 1980’s my husband, Floyd used to recruit Indianapolis for Indiana University Football. He and I met and married in Rhode Island in the 1990’s but decided to move to Indianapolis in 2002. We had to choose a community and my husband remembered that Ben Davis High School had great student athletes. That’s a reflection of the athletic program, coaches, teachers, academic advisors, parents, and community. We bought a lovely home in a welcoming community and moved in with our three daughters and son who were at the time ages 8 to two months old. Today our children range in age from 27 to 18 and our son graduated from Ben Davis in May 2021. He is now a Marine Biology Major and wrestles for Thomas More University. Brett Nabb was our son’s wrestling coach since he was in fourth grade at Robey Elementary. Last month, Coach Nabb surprised us and came to Thomas More to watch our son’s very first college wrestling match. Our youngest daughter, who is now a college senior in Illinois, started playing basketball in the Robey Rockets league in third grade. Last week (November 30, 2021) her basketball team played (and beat) the Butler women’s team in Indianapolis. Many of her coaches throughout the years showed up to cheer her on but the only one who sat with us was her Robey Rockets coach, Mike Carney. This morning the legendary Stan Benge sent our daughter a text that said, “Looks like you’re having a great year! Keep it up.” These people will always be a part of our family.

I remember when our oldest daughter, who is now in law school in Texas, was a senior at Ben Davis. She told me she felt sorry for kids who went to smaller schools because they didn’t have the same opportunities as kids who went to Ben Davis. Beyond sports, there are opportunities for every student. That is true and goes far beyond Ben Davis. The kids who started at Robey were in their first musical and kindergarten and participated every year. There were art shows at every level and other opportunities to develop in music and the arts. As they grew older, they were able to join affinity groups that were available to them. One daughter was in two show choirs and two daughters were trained in the award-winning Ben Davis Television. As a direct result of her training, our oldest daughter won Miss Indiana Black Expo her senior year. Last week, I picked up our former babysitter’s daughter (they are also our current neighbors), who now has the same kindergarten teacher that my kids had at Robey. Our oldest daughter’s picture is still in the Robey Hall of fame for winning that pageant almost ten years ago. We are still part of the Robey family. Also, as a direct result of her experiences in BDTV, our middle daughter graduated from The Media School and is now the Communications Coordinator at the City of Indianapolis. When she covers events in Wayne, township leaders boast that she’s a Ben Davis grad. She likes that they are proud of her in a way that is similar to her parents, because she also still part of the Wayne Township family. Although our kids are grown (or nearly grown) and gone, we plan to remain in our lovely Wayne Township home. The community is still warm and welcoming, and we have nearly 20 years of fond memories of our lives here. The teachers, staff, and volunteers of the MSD of Wayne Township provided a strong base for four very successful young adults and my husband I are grateful to them. Again, these people will always be a part of our family.

Samantha Kelly--60 VoicesWhy Wayne? I count myself lucky to be a product of Wayne Township. Looking back, my greatest memories took place right here in this community. I was fortunate to attend Wayne schools for my entire K-12 experience, meeting so many incredibly dedicated teachers along the way. It was those teachers who inspired me to pursue education, and when it was time to find a teaching job, I knew exactly where I needed to be. What a blessing it is to be able to give back to the school district that helped shape my formative years … to teach in a community that has taught me so much.

Wayne Township is filled with people who care — about their children, about their neighbors, about their schools and community. It is filled with people in all walks of life, with diverse perspectives, and important stories to tell. I am proud to work among educators who value these voices, and I am eager every day to continue to learn and grow with my students. We are Wayne!

Phyllis Lewis--60 VoicesMy physician husband decided to begin his practice of family medicine, having completed his internship in June of 1958, in a new office building in Wayne Township. He had been invited to join several practices, but once we saw the building, met the owner and other community members, we knew this is where we wanted to work and to live.

While being a faculty member of the Methodist Hospital School of Nursing, I was managing and training personnel and working evenings at the office. This was really helpful in learning about the community and the people who lived/worked in Wayne Township. We found a house two blocks north of the office and moved into the welcoming community.

We were invited into homes, churches and community activities, and soon learned about the education and schools in the district and the governance of the schools by the Township Trustee. Patients, friends and acquaintances talked about the building of a new high school, and whether a swimming pool would be built, bus drivers and their buses, lack of accreditation of schools, differences in buildings and programs in the southern portion of the district and no kindergarten.

I began my volunteering by assisting with tuberculosis testing of school employees, travel with the Band and Choir as a nurse, Room Mother and PTO President at Westlake, and active member of the church and Krannert YMCA.

Dr. Harmon Baldwin was named superintendent of the Metropolitan School District Wayne Township with an appointed five member school board in 1962, as a result of the Consolidation of Schools Act by the legislature. The election of three board members in 1964 and two members in 1966 was the beginning of an elected school board. I became actively involved in the election of 1966. I also became actively involved with a group of parents to begin a kindergarten program and was elected Parent Chair of the group in 1967. My husband and I were asked to travel with the Ben Davis Band to EXPO 67 in Canada, which we did and became connected to the band by providing health care to students and parents who accompanied the band for many years.

These experiences really connected us to the schools and the community. I felt I had become a GIANT.

In 1968, I decided I wanted to be a member of the board of education. I was interviewed by a community school board selection committee and was not selected. I decided to be an independent candidate and with two friends, Jean Dover and Jesse Peach who were both active mothers in our schools, selected a committee of volunteers with the platform of MOTHERS FOR BETTER SCHOOLS. I was elected!. I truly began to focus on the education of children and adults in Wayne Township with teachers, administrators and additional staff needed for the education and success of each participant.

My gratitude for the experiences and support I have had as a community member, volunteer, and my service as a school board member for over 50 years and the education of my two sons, Alan and Jonathan.


Ms. Trish Logan--60 VoicesOf the 60 years that the MSD Wayne Township has been incorporated, I have lived 50 of those here. My whole adult life has been in Wayne. It is where my husband and I decided to move, create a family, and grow with our community. Our children received excellent educations in Wayne Township schools and we always found Wayne teachers to be dedicated, challenging, nurturing and attentive to our children’s needs. As a result, our children were enriched and thrived. I believe this still to be true.

Our children have grown, and they too still feel a connection. One resides in Wayne, and the other contributes in other ways. They, too, remember this caring community, and I personally continue to enjoy the many friendships and connections that have been made over time. I am proud of this school district historically, and of our giving community. May God continue to bless us all in these years to come.

Congratulations on this important Anniversary!

Karlee Macer--60 VoicesWayne Township always has, and will forever be, home. This is the community where my parents, both honest working class people, raised their family and instilled in us the values of hard work, respect and service. This is the community that I was proud to then raise my own two children in, the community where I was honored to serve as State Representative, and the community that I’m proud to fight for every day. Why Wayne? Why not Wayne! My motto has always been “West Side Best Side” and it’s a phrase I say emphatically to anyone who can hear. From investing in our trails, to the development of our main street, to the small businesses and people that make our neighborhoods so phenomenal, Wayne township is a community of promise that sets a high bar for excellence.

Wayne Township Schools offer some of the greatest assets our community has. We know that empowered communities are the result of every Hoosier’s access to opportunity, and Wayne Township schools are a prime example of what incredible opportunities are available for our students and families. Our schools continue to ensure that our neighbors are provided with the resources and tools to live, work, play and grow while investing in the future of our community. Hometown pride is nothing out of the ordinary, especially for those of us from the west side, but I truly believe that the honor and joy we find in our community is a direct result of the investment our neighbors have made in Wayne’s success. This is a community that has grown tremendously, and represents people from every background and walk of life imaginable. Through this diversity, our community is made truly great, and it is through our continued investment in the people of Wayne Township that we will pass on a legacy of greatness to the children of the west side for generations to come.

Dave Marcotte--60 VoicesI’ve been a proud Wayne Township resident for over twenty years and continue to marvel at the commitment the MSD of Wayne Township has to students, families, and the community. As the former principal at Ben Davis High School and Director of Human Resources for the MSD of Wayne Twp., I had the honor of serving in leadership roles to support student achievements, teacher successes, and parental and community engagement. The MSD of Wayne Township continues to innovate ways to reach the needs of all students and is a leader in creating learning environments focused on the development of the whole child.

Community diversity is our strength and I choose to live in Wayne Township to enjoy the many cultures found in our neighborhoods and public spaces. The MSD of Wayne Township is a catalyst for cultural inclusion and recognizes the profound obligation to ensure all young people develop toward their full potential.

Ms. Evelyn Martinez--60 VoicesMy name is Evelyn Martinez. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. Years ago, on a visit to Indianapolis, I saw the big scrolling announcement boards outside the MSD Wayne Township schools showcasing the Wayne Westside values. Now I am living it!

After I moved to Wayne Township four years ago with my husband and three amazing children, I enrolled in the ParaPro class offered by Wayne Township Adult Education. I was overjoyed when I passed the exam and thrilled to begin working at Stout Field Elementary as a bilingual paraprofessional. It’s important to me to make sure our families get the help they need. Language is a barrier for many of our families, so I am honored to help be their voice. I love building these relationships with them!

My family and I are very lucky to live in a diverse place where everyone works together for the education, safety, and well being of our community. I have been a witness to this dedication in the schools and as part of a distribution team at one of many food pantries the township provides for our community.

I am certain that the resources offered in Wayne Township will help our children and community prosper. I couldn’t be happier to work and live alongside so many people who share this goal.

We are Wayne!

Ms. Julieta Martinez--60 VoicesWayne Township is very special for our family. When we decided to look for our forever home and begin our family 16 years ago, Wayne Township was our priority choice. One of the things that we established for our family goal was based around education and community. We were looking for a multicultural school where they care about students, meet their needs in all levels and provide intellectual and social confident.

Being part of this community has been special to us because we are surrounded by a mix of people with cultural and ethnic backgrounds, and that also helps our young people grow up to accept differences and display tolerance and respect at all times.

Mr. Mike Morrow--60th AnniversaryI am proud to call the Wayne Township community my home for the past 50 years. Wayne Township is full of members compassionate about their community, churches, businesses, and school system. Generations before us helped lay the foundation for a vibrant community, which allowed us to build homes, raise our children, and start local businesses, along with establishing one of the greatest school systems in the state of Indiana. Coretta Scott King once said, “The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members”. I truly believe this statement describes the people that reside within Wayne Township.

Both of my parents taught in M.S.D. of Wayne Township. My wife and I, along with our two children graduated from Ben Davis High School. I also have four grandchildren attending elementary school in Wayne Township. My father retired from teaching at Ben Davis High School. I teach at Ben Davis, and my son taught at Ben Davis and is currently teaching with Achieve Virtual Academy. We are extremely proud for having three generations of Morrow’s that have taught at Ben Davis, and for our lifelong Wayne Township roots. WE ARE WAYNE…

Mike Nance--School Board President

In late 1987, my wife and I began searching for a larger home in which to raise our growing family. Two factors in that decision were: 1) we wanted to be on Indy’s westside and 2) the community must have great school system. Church friends encouraged us to move into Wayne Township. They were excited about the educational experience their children were receiving at Robey Elementary School. We have never regretted making that move. Our children flourished in Wayne schools. Why? Because each teacher that worked with my children from kindergarten to graduation was dedicated to making sure they attained the best education possible. I still tell the following story: because of the rigor in English classes at Ben Davis, my daughter’s first semester of college English was a review of what she was taught in high school!

While preparing my thoughts to be included as a part of the 60th Anniversary celebration of the MSD of Wayne Township, I realized that I have been involved with the school corporation for almost 30 of those years. I was a member of the first Strategic Planning Team in 1992. I served on the building committee for the construction of North Wayne Elementary in 1994. For the past 27 years, I have been a member of the MSD Wayne Township school board. It is a bit cliché’d, but my how time flies when you’re involved with a successful school corporation. I have a great love for MSD Wayne schools, for the family of employees of this organization, as well as the people of this community in which I have been blessed to live. I wish much academic success for this school corporation in the years to come. I believe in MSD Wayne Township. It truly is a great school system in a great community.

Ms. Martha Nina-Morelo--60 VoicesWhy did I choose Wayne Township to live in and Wayne Schools for my kids’ education?

I choose to live in Wayne Township because I have observed that it is formed by groups of GREAT individuals that care for each other. Loving, friendly, and ingenious people that work hard every day to keep the community functioning. From families to schools and churches, from small family businesses to chain stores and big corporations, from police officers to firefighters, from first responders to hospitals, from community centers to parks, from art centers to sports places, and restaurants. Everyone works as one to sustain this exceptional community. At every corner you can see a loving citizen that truly cares about their fellow neighbor, and that is what makes our community a gratifying place to live in. I choose to live in Wayne Township because it’s people are happy, creative, loving, and compassionate with each other and that is what makes a community GREAT.

Not to mention how GREAT, special, and awesome Wayne Township Schools are. In every one of the schools campuses and programs of the Metropolitan School District of Wayne you will find marvelous and astounding teachers that are going above and beyond to impart the bread of knowledge to our students with love and compassion. They teach subjects and more including discipline and respect for not only each other but for the world EVERY SINGLE DAY. Every school is a place where each and everyone is included and accepted the way they are because in Wayne equality is our motto. In Wayne schools you would find a special place for every need that a student may encounter, each teacher holds the highest standard for their students so they can become the best social entity that they can be for our community and society.

We have all we need for a Great future, in Wayne we have it all!
Great School :: Great Communities

Living and working in the MSD of Wayne Township has been both a pleasure and an honor for me and for my family. Watching each of my three children thrive and excel in their academic pursuits with the help and support of the entire Wayne community validated the conscious decision our family made to become the epitome of “We are Wayne.” The rich tapestry of socioeconomic, racial, and religious views represented in Wayne creates an environment we embrace and enjoy!

Over 24 years ago I had the privilege to continue my educational career as the Assistant Principal of Garden City Elementary and later had the honor to serve as Principal of Garden City, open Bridgeport Elementary as Principal and transition to the Education Center to serve in various positions. After 35 wonderful years in the field of education, I retired in June of 2021 as the Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education.

Wayne continues to be our home and I am so pleased both my sons choose to serve in Wayne! Connor O’Day is currently teaching at Chapelwood Elementary School and Casey O’Day is a custodian at Robey Elementary! There is no higher praise I can give to the MSD of Wayne Township.

Ms. Abimbola Ogunrinde--60 VoicesMy name is Abimbola Ogunrinde, an immigrant from Nigeria,I am a mother of 3 beautiful children and wife to a loving husband. Living in Wayne Township has been a blessing to me and my family, hence the reason I said my children are going to finish their secondary education in Wayne. My son Ayomikun Daniel Ogunrinde joined one of Wayne township schools in 2017; brief history about his educational background. Daniel was initially a left handed boy, but back in Nigeria the school my husband and I enrolled him in, unknown to us, tried to change him into a right handed person thereby affecting him in a negative way academically. Fast forward to now, Daniel is now in 11th Grade in BDU doing well with a good CGPA, thanks to Wayne Township schools and I am so proud of him and my other children as well.

The positive change and growth my son had academically motivated me to go back to school and get my HSE at Wayne Township Adult Education. I became one of Wayne township employees as a para to also help as many students as possible to give back to a community that has helped me. I now work as a Para at Westlake elementary and also Wayne Township Adult Education.

Ms. Adekemi Oyewole--60 VoicesI have lived in Wayne community for close to Four years now and I can say the community is so peaceful and easily accessible to different places.
I love Wayne township community schools for several reasons:
1. All my children are enrolled there in various schools, and we have not had any cause to regret attending schools because Wayne is so accommodating to every race and color.
2. Wayne township schools have given me scholarships twice to study and become a better and greater individual.
3. Wayne township has several resourceful outlets where one can get help when needed.
In summary, Wayne Township Community is simply the best!!!

Ms. Amber Pack--60 VoicesAs a lifelong resident of Wayne Township there are so many reasons that I choose Wayne!

As a child growing up I attended McClelland Elementary, Ben Davis Junior High and graduated from Ben Davis High School. Most of my early memories took place at McClelland and were provided by the amazing teachers and staff members of McClelland. It was these same teachers and staff members who instilled my love of learning, teaching and helping others. As a teen at Ben Davis I was lucky to have so many opportunities to participate in extracurriculars and take challenging classes that prepared me for life beyond high school. With my involvement in the journalism program I was able to travel to New York, Chicago, Atlanta and Washington DC to attend national journalism conferences. It was never lost on me that not all kids have these opportunities available to them.It took lots of planning and work on behalf of the dedicated staff at BDHS to provide us these opportunities.

When it came time for me to look for a job and a place to raise my son it was never much of a question where we belonged. As an adult and a mom there are so many things that I love about Wayne! I now have a whole other appreciation of the dedicated wayne staff that is now instilling a love of learning and so many incredible values in my own son. I am so thankful to be able to raise my son in such a culturally rich and diverse community. I am thankful for the many opportunities that being a Wayne resident has provided me and will provide for my son as he keeps growing in our loving community. Happy 60 years to Wayne! May we continue to grow and flourish for many more!

Ms. Renee Pack--60 VoicesWe moved to Wayne Township after a 5 1/2 stint in the Army. It felt as if the area was a warm town in itself. My family and I have always felt at home in Wayne. This is where I discovered opportunities to be listened to, learn, and to serve our community.

This is where my children received a class A education that led to them to doing amazing work to make the world better. The culture in Wayne is special. There is a wonderful level of diversity in our community.

The bonus for me is actually being an educator in the district for the past 16 years, and now representing the west side as a state legislator.

I could live in any town, city, or district…..but I chose Wayne.

Taryn Richard--60 VoicesI love raising a family and working in the MSD of Wayne Township! There is no better school system for all scholars of all backgrounds and all needs! The MSD of Wayne Township and community works to embrace and celebrate one another. There are opportunities and pathways for all learners. Wayne Township partners with scholars and families to learn and grow together like no other. We choose Wayne for our son. We choose Wayne to grow in. We choose Wayne to contribute our gifts. The talent and diversity of this amazing community will keep our roots in the MSD of Wayne Township!

Ms. Elika Sanchez--60 VoicesI choose to live in Wayne Township because of our community’s innovative ways of problem solving, rich cultural diversity, and endless opportunities for involvement. When I was a young child, my family and I moved from New York City to Indianapolis seeking a family oriented environment where we could grow. We immediately felt a positive shift when we made Indy our home.

I appreciated growing up in Wayne Township and attending Wayne’s schools from Kindergarten up to Twelfth Grade. One of my earliest memories of school was my brother and I being part of the small percentage of students in which English was our second language. Now that I am a teacher in Wayne Township, I cannot believe the growth we have seen in students of bilingual homes. I would’ve never imagined this then.

Wayne Township is a huge part of who I am. I have seen our community grow just like many others who have lived here for a long time. I find it interesting how people of all backgrounds and points of view choose Wayne. This only speaks volumes to our community values. I am grateful for the opportunities, experiences, and friends Wayne Township has given me.

Dana Secrest--60 VoicesAlthough I attended high school on the east side of Indianapolis, Ben Davis High School earned a well-deserved reputation that was second to none. In addition to athletics, Ben Davis was known for generating exposure to various career path opportunities for its students. I knew when I became a parent that Wayne Township was my chosen community because of its reputation built on respect, excellence, and an amazing place to raise a family. Now as an adult and professional who has been part of the Wayne Township community for 19 years, I proudly assert “We Are Wayne!” wherever I go.

I am a proud father of a Ben Davis grad and have two children still attending school in the township. The family-oriented approach and the commitment to education is confirmation that I made the right decision to choose Wayne Township as the foundation of my children’s education. In addition, my employer is located in the community and we have developed a great partnership with the administrators, staff, and students at McClelland Elementary School. The partnership between McClelland Elementary School and our staff at the Aviation Institute of Maintenance has been a very rewarding experience that has only reinforced my love for this community. Giving back and supporting the very community that embraced me and continues to support my family is indeed an honor. Thank you, Wayne Township, for all that you do! I am proud to live and work in this amazing community.

Ms. Yesenia Serrano--60 VoicesI am happy to be part of Wayne with my family.
I am grateful to live with the members of the community where they care.
I attend the monthly Newcomer & EL family meetings and it’s an excellent experience!
I am willing and fully available to help whenever you need me to contribute my own support.
I love living in Wayne and attending Wayne Township Schools.
Happy 60th Anniversary Wayne!

Mrs. Michelle Stohler--60 VoicesHome is where the heart is seems cliche’; however, it represents why so many westsiders stay or return to this community. There is something special about knowing people, their expectations, hopes, and dreams. Having so much in common, like the love for community, education, faith, and family, which means something to neighbors as they walk their neighborhoods in the evening, worship at church together, or meet through children’s sports and the arts. I believe Wayne township is different because we welcome and respect everyone. Our homes are never vacant long because people want what we all have. They want to feel welcomed, know they are safe, learn about diverse cultures, and seek out the best schools.

I attended and graduated from Wayne schools and my kids went to Wayne schools too. One became a high school teacher in Wayne. Wayne is our home. It is where our heart is and there is no place in the world like it. Even though we may travel to far off landscapes. There is never a time at the end of my travels when I just want to click my heels together and say there is no place like home.

Dr. Shenia Suggs--60th AnniversaryWhen I began my career here almost 30 years ago, there was no question that I would live in the community I served. I have never regretted that decision. Dr. Suggs and I met here and raised our three children in the community and schools. Everyday I am reminded of the supportive environment that is Wayne Township, whether it is when I am visiting schools to observe the amazing work of our staff, or at the local grocery store and bumping into neighbors or colleagues. While our community has seen changes over time, what has remained the same is the dedication of staff to the growth of our students; the community’s commitment to the work of the school district by way of volunteers, donations of time and money, and continued support for the efforts of the teachers and staff. For these things I am grateful and proud.

Ms. Alice Sweeney--60 VoicesI have been a part of Wayne Township 4-H for over 20 years, the last eight at Wayne Twp. 4-H Director. What I find special about the Wayne township community is how well they work together for the good of everyone. Wayne Twp. 4-H has been affiliated with the MSD Wayne Township for many years, a relationship that is unique in the state. Our ability to work hand in hand with the schools to provide 4-H programming, and the life skills development that come with that is a win-win for the youth of Wayne Township. Our community has been so supportive of our efforts.

Ms. Kara Tucker--60 VoicesI CHOOSE to live in Wayne Township because I attended Wayne Township Schools and graduated from Ben Davis High School. Therefore, I knew the quality education my own children would receive attending Wayne Township Schools. Many of the dedicated, hardworking teachers that taught me were still teaching when my children attended Wayne. I even got the pleasure of being a colleague of a few of them. Those dedicated teachers are one of the biggest reasons why I choose to live in and work in Wayne Township.

Mr. Allen Underwood--60 VoicesI’ve been the district’s photographer since 1990, but my time in Wayne Township actually started long before that. My parents moved to the Heatherwood neighborhood in 1961, and enrolled me in McClelland Elementary. The woman the school was named for, Miss Mary McClelland, was my principal. I went on to attend Ben Davis Junior High and then Ben Davis High School.

Years later, in 1990, I began taking pictures in our schools. So much has changed in the more than 30 years I’ve been doing that. One of the most amazing changes to me is that the junior high school I went to is now Ben Davis University High School. I’ve always admired how Wayne grows and changes to meet the needs of its students. I think the best thing about our school district is its staff – teachers, custodians, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, the whole staff – they’re just good people.

Ben Wakefield--60 VoicesI choose to live in Wayne because of the diversity of our community. Wayne is a beautiful place full of languages, customs, and people from all over the globe. Our diverse community creates many challenges but also creates great potential. I feel incredibly blessed to be part of such a beautiful and diverse community. My family and I have been enriched by learning the stories of our global neighbors.

Our schools intentionally celebrate diversity by helping our students, and community learn to embrace the many cultures and customs of our families. Wayne is a mosaic of diversity, and this diversity makes us all better.

Ms. Jennifer Whitt--60 VoicesMy husband and I choose to live in Wayne Township because I won’t consider anywhere else! No really — the diversity and community that we have the luxury of experiencing in Wayne Township is like no other. Our children have fantastic educational opportunities, extracurricular activities, and are close to our extended family.

Wayne Township Schools are unique in their ability to blend a diverse group of students of all sorts of backgrounds together in a nurturing and encouraging environment that leads to successful academic outcomes as well as a real sense of community pride. I’m proud of growing up in Wayne Township and excited that my kids can attend some of the same schools I did.

We love our community from the friends our kiddos made at Wayne Township Preschools, to those friends I still hold on to from my days in Wayne Township 4-H. The heart, passion, and involvement of our community are inspiring.

Ms. Maria Wiley--60 VoicesI initially chose to live in Wayne Township because of the proximity to the Indianapolis International Airport and the family atmosphere I felt when driving around the neighborhoods. These were two critical factors of consideration when moving here from another state. I didn’t know anything about the Wayne Township School systems or offered programs. Once I knew we wanted to stay in Indiana and build a life here, the home that we purchased needed to be in a school district that was highly rated and inclusive of the various communities within the city. From the beginning, I was impressed with the level of family engagement of Wayne Township School District teachers and administrators. Wayne Township School District allows all family members to become involved through social and fun activities, community educational forums, community meetings, or spectating at sporting events. The school district sends consistent real-time communication to families and does its best to ensure that families’ emotional, educational, and nutritional needs are addressed. The Superintendent, Dr. Jeff Butts, is the voice for the students and parents of Wayne Township School District, and he remains active and connected to Marion County, the City of Indianapolis, and the State of Indiana. Wayne Township has exceeded our desires and was the best decision we could have ever made for our family.

Ms Gail Wills--60 VoicesMy family arrived in Wayne Township from Germany when my husband transitioned from a 20-year career in the US Army. We had a 1st grader and a 3 year old at the time. Both children enjoyed and maximized the many opportunities for success at Westlake Elementary, Chapel Hill and Ben Davis High School. Wayne Township offers top programs and extra curricular activities – any path a child wants to take, there’s a way to do it here. Through my eyes as a volunteer over the years, it was evident that staff specifically chose to work in Wayne Township for the kids. They are committed to making a difference in the lives of students who have varying backgrounds and needs. Love and care for each individual child is poured out each day by a staff of people who give tirelessly of their time, energy and resources.

Sean Winningham--60 VoicesWhen we moved back to Indianapolis, we wanted to find a home and community for the long term. We knew about Wayne Township from a family friend who attended Ben Davis High School and her mother who also taught there. When we researched Wayne Township, we loved that the schools were high quality, diverse, and were community focused. We wanted to be a part of a community, and Wayne Township definitely embraces it. With the leadership of Dr. Butts and the numerous of teachers that we’ve interacted with, we knew that Wayne Township was where we wanted to make “our home”.

Mr. Bart York--60 VoicesMy first observation and impression of Wayne Township was in 1969 as a student teacher at Fulton Junior High School. Upon graduation, and marriage, Dorinda and I chose Wayne Township as our first home and now after 52 years we still believe in Wayne Township and the west side of Indianapolis.

I believe so strongly and passionately about Wayne Township and the west side of Indianapolis that I have started and/or supported various organizations and boards. This commitment and volunteer hours verify my interest, joy, belief in, and support of Wayne Township. Wayne Township has been and continues to be a great community and a leader of education. “We Are Wayne” is much more than three words., it is the culture of our community.

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