Melody Coryell, English teacher and coordinator of the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma program at Shortridge High School in Indianapolis, was inspired to pursue her path at a young age. In second grade, she was accepted into an educational program in Kokomo, Indiana, that demonstrated to Coryell how education can open a young person’s eyes to the world and, in the process, change lives.
Coryell arrived to Shortridge High in July 2014 after more than a decade as the IB coordinator and an English teacher at Lawrence North High School in Lawrence Township. There, she instituted recruitment strategies and modified program implementation, resulting in enrollment more than doubling.
Coryell hones her skills at Shortridge High, where her students are exposed to the diverse thinking of international authors and writers. Through her own experiences with international travel—having studied at Oxford University under a prestigious Whitinger scholarship at Ball State University—she instills the importance of cultural awareness and understanding through dialogue and literature. Coryell is acutely attuned to each student’s needs and ensures that students reach mastery before introducing new material. As a result, her students earned a 98% passing rate in English/Language Arts and a 100% passing rate for the IB diploma program.
In addition to her role facilitating the IB program, Coryell is the mentorship coordinator through which she leads weekly professional development sessions for all faculty. She is also a member of the school senior leadership team, coaches speech and debate, and organizes excursions and initiatives. Making the connections between school and parents a top priority, Coryell cultivates relationships through the organization of conferences, meetings and events.
Outside of the classroom, Coryell is a trusted IB leader at the broader level. She is vice president of the Hoosier Association of IB World Schools, and presents at conferences, conducts workshops and assists universities to determine college credit for IB courses.
Coryell also taught online courses for the Indiana Online Academy, and served as an ISTEP remediator and Pearson test writer. She received dual bachelor’s degrees in English and history from Ball State University in 2001; a teaching degree at Indiana Wesleyan University in 2013; and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Butler University in 2015.
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