Ashley Wilcoxen has been selected as a Woodrow Wilson Foundation MBA Fellow in Education Leadership. Only eight educators in all of Indiana were chosen to receive this honor and participate in this program. Mrs. Wilcoxen has served as the dean for Eminence Elementary and Jr.-Sr. High School for the past year. Before that she was the Physical Education and Health teacher, also at Eminence. About the program, she said, “[t]his is a once in a lifetime opportunity. The intensity of this program will push me to operate at my personal best and force me to look at core educational issues from a new perspective… My experience as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow will leave me a substantially stronger educator, with the ability to lead staff and students for the remainder of my career.”
Developed by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the WW Indiana MBA Fellowship program was created to develop a new model in education leader preparation, equipping graduates to lead changing 21st-century schools across the state. The WW Indiana MBA blends clinical practice in schools with innovative business school coursework. It ensures that graduates have the knowledge and skills not only to guide schools and districts in a changing education environment, but also to close achievement gaps between America’s lowest- and highest-performing schools and between the country’s top-performing schools and those around the world.
At the conclusion of the program, Mrs. Wilcoxen will have her masters degree, and building-level administrator license. Each Fellow receives a stipend, which covers full tuition, materials, and associated program expenses. In exchange, each Fellow agrees to serve in an approved school or district leadership role within the state for at least three years, with Foundation-supported mentoring. The Woodrow Wilson Foundation administers the programs in Indiana through the generous financial support of Lilly Endowment Inc.
Under the Woodrow Wilson model, Fellows take MBA courses with a specific focus on the education context. Offered through the Scott College of Business at Indiana State in collaboration with the Bayh School of Education, the program is designed to prepare leaders who will drive innovation, expand the use of analytics and evidence-based practices, raise student performance to international standards, and improve the quality of school systems and teaching over time.
Mrs. Wilcoxen was selected for this program due to her commitment to collaborative problem-solving, and dedication to providing Eminence students the best education possible. Principal Dustin Adams said, “Mrs. Wilcoxen has always looked for ways to better help students. We identified her as the best person to serve as our dean, even though she didn’t have a degree in educational leadership. She did an excellent job last year, but I imagine she’ll do even greater things with the knowledge and experience she gains from the Woodrow Wilson program.”
Mrs. Wilcoxen has already begun her coursework through Indiana State, and Eminence is seeing an immediate impact. She has reimagined the discipline system for the school to better support students and teachers. The Eminence community is excited to see one of their own honored this way, and they look forward to what Mrs. Wilcoxen will accomplish.