Downtown Rainmakers is a quarterly event for professionals, executives and business owners whose market place and/or related activities has a center of commerce from the downtown area. This event features top city leaders and business people with influence in the Indianapolis business community. Extend your professional network, meet others who focus on the downtown marketplace, learn from knowledgeable guest speakers, and participate in the ever-changing business landscape of Indianapolis!
December Topic: Strong Schools Build Strong Neighborhoods
In keeping with Indianapolis Classical Schools’ core values, Herron High School and Riverside High School are committed to providing a transformational education to our students. The availability of excellent, quality, urban education is vital to our citizens and our city. High-quality schools provide a strong anchor of stability and create community pride, which in turn, promotes further community development. Strong schools help build strong communities. Vibrant neighborhoods reduce crime, attract new businesses, and promote homeownership.
To demonstrate the changes a quality school can bring to a neighborhood, one needs only to see the growth and community pride Herron High School has contributed to the near north side neighborhood. Between 2010 to 2019 the number of annual sales in the immediately surrounding residential area doubled, and the average dollar-per-square-foot and home sale price more than doubled. Many businesses have opened and are thriving in once-vacant buildings. This significant gain in stability and value outpaces housing market trends in other areas of Indianapolis and is, at least in part, attributable to improved public education in the area.
With Riverside High School currently in its third year, the school’s leadership envisions a similar pattern of growth and stability in the Riverside community. Helping to support new initiatives to infuse the community with vibrancy and economic growth, in the three year period the school has been open, the number of annual home sales has nearly doubled, the average sale price of homes has increased by 50%, and the average dollar-per-square-foot has increased by 70%. This growth is closely aligned to the impact seen surrounding Herron High School in its first five years.
Our Speaker: Janet H. McNeal,
President, Indianapolis Classical Schools
Bringing more than 35 years of expertise in the field of education, Janet H. McNeal became a member of Herron High School’s founding leadership team in 2006. She saw the opportunity to build a school, from the philosophical foundation up, as an opportunity to “get it right.” After thirteen highly successful years, Herron High School continues to be a nationally ranked high-performing urban school. McNeal and her team built upon this success to open a second campus in Indianapolis. Riverside High School opened in 2017 and currently serves grades 9 through 11. Together the two campuses became known as Indianapolis Classical Schools. This year, the growing network is excited to announce it has been awarded a charter for its highly anticipated Kindergarten through 8th-grade campus, slated to begin serving children in grades K-2 in the fall of 2020.
As the network president of Indianapolis Classical Schools, McNeal is focused on expanding educational excellence to our city’s youth. In addition to leading the network, McNeal has developed collaborative partnerships with political leaders, lawmakers, and community foundations to bring innovation, accountability, and academic achievement to urban education. Embedded in the network’s Core Values is the concept of urban renewal and revitalization. With the knowledge that strong schools lead to strong neighborhoods, McNeal’s efforts include working with community leaders to establish quality educational opportunities to help renew the city’s urban neighborhoods.
Our Featured Non-Profit:
Children’s Bureau, Inc. is a private nonprofit that has served children and families since 1851 and we’re here because many families need help to overcome the challenges that sometimes lead to unhealthy behaviors and threaten a child’s well-being.
We offer an array of human services to Indiana children and families. Guided by our vision of a healthy family for every child, highly-trained case managers identify and address issues that tear families apart.