Dr. Byron L. Ernest
2013 Distinguished Animal Science Alumni – Purdue University
2011 Smithsonian Institution Diffusion Award Winner
2011 Purdue Ag Alumni Certificate of Distinction
2011 Inspire College Mentor Education Mentor Award
2010 Indiana Teacher of the Year
2010 Distinguished Hoosier
2010 Commissioned Kentucky Colonel
2010 Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation Outstanding Agriscience Educator
Head of Schools – Hoosier Academies Network of Schools
2855 N. Franklin Rd.
Indianapolis, Indiana 46219
Dr. Byron Ernest is the Head of Schools for Hoosier Academies in Indiana. Hoosier Academies facilitates learning for over 4,000 students K-12, virtually statewide and in a hybrid/blended model in Indianapolis. Hoosier Academies serves as a choice to students statewide in all 92 counties online or in the hybrid schools (face to face two days a week and online the other three) in Indianapolis. Dr. Ernest is considered an “Energetic Change Agent” and is very involved in education policy and leadership. He currently serves on Indiana Speaker of the House Brian Bosma’s Education Kitchen Cabinet. Additionally, Dr. Ernest was appointed in May, 2015 by Speaker Bosma to serve on the Indiana State Board of Education.
Previously, Dr. Ernest was the principal at Emmerich Manual High School (EMHS) in Indianapolis, Indiana. Emmerich Manual High School was a state Turnaround Academy, meaning the school was taken over after failing for seven years in a row. Dr. Ernest was charged with leading a new staff and developing a culture of excellence where high student achievement and performance are the norm. This culture of excellence included working in a team environment around the themes of technology, rigor, engagement, global citizenship, and sustainability. These are all important considerations in a turnaround academy where remodeling, restructuring, and redesigning the entire educational process for high student achievement and high family engagement were the intended outcomes. This school was taken off the “F” list under Ernest’s leadership and has the distinction of being the only school in the state of Indiana to be taken off the failing category.
Dr. Ernest led EMHS’s approval to be a Cambridge International Examinations School (the first in Indiana). Additionally, EMHS also implemented an academy approach to the school. Academy participation will be phased in over the next several years. Beginning with the class of 2016, all students will participate in an academy. They are comprised of the following: Freshman Academy, Advanced Studies Academy, and Professional Leadership Academy. Within each academy are pathways that allow students to focus on their academic interests. The academies are designed to let students pursue areas that interest them along with giving them the knowledge and skills needed to excel and thrive after graduation.
Prior to going to EMHS, Dr. Ernest was the Department Head for Agriculture and FFA at Lebanon Community School Corporation. Lebanon’s Agriculture Department is now in its eleventh year of existence. Dr. Ernest was recruited to start the program from scratch where a program had not existed before. The program now has four teachers and an enrollment of over 600 students, grades 8-12; the largest in the state of Indiana. The flagship courses of the program, formerly taught by Dr. Ernest, are the Advanced Life Science courses in animals, plants and soils, and food science. These are dual credit courses with the Purdue University College of Agriculture.
Dr. Ernest is an avid blogger, with his thoughts on education and leadership being found at www.byronernest.wordpress.com. Additionally, he tweets often on matters of education and leadership. Dr. Ernest can be followed on twitter at @ByronErnest.
Furthermore, Ernest was named the 2010 Indiana Teacher of the Year. This is the first time an Agriculture Instructor has ever been selected for this honor. Most recently he was named the inaugural winner of the 2010 Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation Outstanding Agriscience Educator Award. Most recently Ernest was named as a 2013 Distinguished Animal Science Alumni at Purdue University. He holds two Bachelor of Science Degrees from Purdue University in Agricultural Education and Animal Science, and a Masters in Science in Agricultural Education, also from Purdue. Byron received his Ed.D. in Administrative and Teacher Leadership from Walden University. He is now participating in the Harvard University Principal’s Leadership Program. Programs completed at Harvard include: Learning Environments for Tomorrow, School Turnaround Leaders, Closing the Achievement Gap, New and Aspiring School Leaders, Strategy in Action, Fostering Global Competency Through School Leadership, Future of Learning, Making Learning Visible, Family Engagement, Inner Strengths of Successful Leaders, and Leadership Institute for Superintendents.