Muncie Community Schools and Ball State SummitMuncie Community Schools administrators, teachers, and community stakeholders will come together with nationally recognized educators to imagine the possibilities of the historic partnership between MCS and Ball State University. Meaningful conversations and innovative approaches will energize participants to develop and implement effective strategies to support student success and community wellbeing.

Outcomes from the summit will inform the Academic Innovation and Financial Viability Plan, which will guide the future of Muncie Community Schools. The plan is due to the Indiana Legislature in June 2020. A Joint MCS-Ball State Academic Innovation Council is working together to gather input from the community, MCS teachers, and national experts to generate a thoughtful, data-driven approach to this innovative civic-university partnership.


Wednesday, Sept. 25, and Thursday, Sept. 26 Horizon Convention Center in Muncie, Indiana

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Keynote Speakers

The Innovation Summit welcomes three keynote speakers to energize and inspire participants about the possibilities of this historic partnership. Get to know each of these renowned speakers, and connect with them on social.

George Couros, author of “The Innovator’s Mindset”

Afternoon keynote, Wednesday, Sept. 25

George Couros is a leading educator and award-winning author, focused on innovative leadership, teaching, and learning. He has worked in K-12 as a teacher, technology facilitator, and school and district administrator.

Author or The Innovator’s Mindset; Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity, Couros has worked with and presented to schools and organizations across the globe about innovative student learning and engagement. His belief that meaningful change happens when you first connect to people’s hearts is modeled in his writing and speaking.

Learn more about Couros and his work on his blog, The Principal of Change, and connect with him on Twitter @gcouros.  

Jennifer Blatz — Champion of Cradle to Career

Morning keynote, Thursday, Sept. 26

Jennifer Blatz is president and CEO of StriveTogether, a national movement with a clear purpose: help every child succeed in school and in life from cradle to career, regardless of race, zip code or circumstance. The StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network reaches 13.7 million children and students, including 8.6 million children of color, in 29 states and Washington, D.C. This national, nonprofit network improves outcomes for kids by bringing together cross-sector partners around a shared community vision.

Prior to taking the helm at StriveTogether, Jennifer helped launch StrivePartnership, a cross-sector, cradle-to-career partnership that is one of the most notable collective impact initiatives in the country. Drawing on her passion for improving educational outcomes for underserved populations, Blatz has also served as executive director of the Ohio College Access Network and program officer for College & Career Access at KnowledgeWorks.

Read Blatz’s full bio and connect with her on Twitter @JenBlatz.

Robert Jackson, education consultant and award-winning author

Afternoon keynote, Thursday, Sept. 26

Robert Jackson is an expert in teaching cultural diversity, restorative practices, socio-emotional learning, and how to retain troubled students in school. He teaches educators and administrators how to use their power more effectively to educate, activate, and motivate all students and challenges parents to take a more active role in their children’s education and wellbeing.

Jackson began his teaching career more than 20 years ago in Indianapolis Public Schools with a No More Excuses approach, guiding low-performing students to become successful pastors, lawyers, school administrators, business owners, and more.

He has become one of the most sought-after education speakers in the country, delivering keynote addresses and workshops to educators, administrators, parents, and students. He has authored six books, including “Becoming The Educator They Need."

Read Jackson’s full bio, learn more about his work at, and follow him on Twitter @RJMotivates.