August 2017

A Week of Firsts

It was a week of firsts! On July 31, 2017, we welcomed 159 ninth-grade students for our first day of school.

Mitch Daniels, president of Purdue University, and Gary Bertoline, dean of the Purdue Polytechnic Institute, were our special guests. Both gave the students and staff inspiring remarks on our ambitious goals of preparing Purdue Polytechnic High School (PPHS) students for Purdue University, a successful career and a lifetime of learning.

“We have the highest hopes for you, but I am already very impressed," shared President Daniels. "You are here, you chose to be here, and you asked to here. When you came to this school, you decided you absolutely wanted to be as great as you can be. And everyone here will be committed to helping you do that.”

With the room filled with numerous students and staff wearing their Purdue Polytechnic “I’M A TECHIE” t-shirts, Dean Bertoline took the stage, put on his own “I’M A TECHIE” t-shirt, and said, “I am the original ‘techie.’” He shared with the students that going to a high school affiliated with Purdue University is a unique opportunity. “You’re going to have exposure to the University campus and to the faculty and staff on a regular basis,” he said. “Graduate in 2021 from this great high school, and go on and do great things at Purdue or anywhere else.”

We also announced a significant award of $2.5 million from XQ Institute, a funding partner working to reinvent high schools through XQ: The Super School Project, a nationwide campaign. The XQ team brought their school bus to Indianapolis to help make our back-to-school night a success. Our students, families and staff enjoyed an awesome block party with food trucks, a DJ, and photo both and had a record 98% attendance rate.

We need your time and talent to mentor and tutor our incredible students, and we can’t wait for you to meet them. Please visit pphs.purdue.edu/mentor or contact LaTrice Crawford at mentors@pphs.purdue.edu for more information on how to engage.

Staff Spotlight: Andy Mundell

This marks the tenth year of teaching for Andy Mundell. After graduating from Purdue University with a degree in mathematics education, he has since added certifications in physics and technology, as well as a Master's of Education degree from IUPUI.

Mundell also has five years of experience in coaching high school robotics, and he is thrilled to found a team at PPHS this year. “Competitive robotics is an excellent way for students to learn STEM skills, but they also develop skills in leadership, teamwork, sportsmanship, and more,” he said.

When not teaching, Mundell enjoys spending time with friends and family, especially outdoors. He loves visiting state and national parks, hiking, camping, and canoeing. His claim to fame is that he and his wife canoed from Indianapolis to New Orleans in 2012. The trip was over 1,300 miles and only took 36 days!

Staff Spotlight: Joanne LaBounty

Joanne LaBounty joins the PPHS team as an experienced engineering professional and teacher. She began her career as a cooperative engineering student at Delco Remy and Allison Gas Turbine. After graduation, she worked in several engineering and manufacturing roles as a reliability engineer, logistics element manager, and project engineer. She also authored training curriculum for military and taught O-level and depot-level engine maintenance. LaBounty then earned a teaching license in engineering and manufacturing.

“My time in industry provides a unique perspective to teaching and helps me demonstrate to students the application of what they are learning,” she said. “I’m thrilled to be part of a school which is truly preparing students to meet workforce needs and allowing them to be creative and think beyond the walls of what others think is possible. We are educating the next generation of scientists, engineers, inventors and entrepreneurs.”

LaBounty stays busy spending time with her two children, riding horses, hiking, reading four to five books at a time, and being outside as much as possible.

Purdue Polytechnic High School Indianapolis • August 2017

© 2017 Purdue University • EA/EOU


Produced by Purdue Polytechnic's Office of Marketing Communications. XQ event photos courtesy XQ Institute.

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