A Note From Diane
In times of crisis, we seek stability.
We want to know there is a plan in place to move us forward—and leaders who can guide us where we need to be.
Right now, we all face unprecedented challenges, especially the students and families in our community. They need help and support from the schools they know and trust.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen strong, steady leadership from Indianapolis Public Schools Superintendent Aleesia Johnson and her team. They’ve approached the crisis with a clear focus on the balance between educating our children and making sure our students and staff are safe.
I’m proud to be part of that progress in my role as a Commissioner on the Indianapolis Public Schools Board. When I served as executive director of the Hawthorne Community Center, I saw each day—for 50 years—the critical importance of the relationship between families, schools and communities.
I’m asking for your support to continue in my role as Commissioner so we can continue building a trusted network of local public schools that meet the needs of every family.
The district has strong leadership in place, but there’s plenty more to do to ensure we are providing a quality education to every student who chooses IPS. I will focus my efforts in the following areas:
1. Racial equity. We must look at racial equity through every lens, including discipline, human resources, professional development, curriculum, finance, community engagement and communication. We must be able to develop and monitor tangible benchmarks to ascertain progress.
2. Making sure funding is actually reaching the classroom. The district currently spends millions each year to keep up aging, inefficient infrastructure. Educators deserve to have those dollars flow into their classrooms. That is why the district must complete its ongoing facilities audit, which will determine a realistic plan to free up infrastructure funding that should be spent where we need it most—on our students.
3. Academic improvement and school performance. We must improve the academic performance of every school in the district. We can no longer allow schools to fail for numerous years. Early intervention and integration of racial equity work must be a priority. Restart of failing schools, innovation partnerships and recruitment of dynamic school leaders will be important to make this effort successful.
There is no more important quality-of-life issue than K-12 education, and I believe strong schools create opportunities for students to succeed—and for families to break the cycle of poverty. I am grateful to have the opportunity to serve our community and our school district, and I hope you will consider allowing me to continue in that role. Thank you for your support.
Yours in service,
Diane Arnold has lived and worked on the Westside for most of her life. She served as the Executive Director of Hawthorne Community Center for more than 30 years. Through her work at Hawthorne, she focused on education as a quality of life issue, providing programs that range from early childhood education to senior citizen activities.
Diane has been recognized and honored for her service by Local Initiatives Support Corporation, United Way of Central Indiana, United States Department of Justice, Indiana Youth Institute,
Indiana Education Association, University of Indianapolis and Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. She has been honored as a Kentucky Colonel and a Sagamore of the Wabash.
Diane has an undergraduate degree in elementary education and a master's degree in social work both from Indiana University. She is a proud graduate of George Washington High School where she met her husband of 47 years, Jim Arnold.