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Critical Thinkers • Innovators • Problem Solvers

Our Staff

Classroom Teachers

Qiana Warren - Kindergarten


Qiana has been teaching since 2016. She graduated in August 2020 with a bachelor's degree from Martin University and am currently working on my Master's of Education. In her free time she likes to read, blog, or crochet. 

“I want to teach at Indy STEAM Academy because I like project based learning and believe children are capable of great things. I also want to teach in the neighborhood as a way to make a contribution to the neighborhood I grew up in. I look forward to fostering new relationships with my students and families to make education fun and rigorous. I am so excited about our new journey!”

Toria Sanders - First Grade


Toria Sanders has been an elementary school teacher (grades K-5) for 25 years. After graduating from Arlington High School, she was hired at an IPS school to be a reading tutor for first graders. That opportunity sparked her love for helping children to become successful. She pursued this passion further by receiving a teaching license from University of Indianapolis.

“I chose to join the team at Indy STEAM because this school offers hands-on technology-based opportunities that are connected to real-world situations. The critical thinking and problem-solving skills that students will learn here are vital components that will prepare our future generations to work and compete on a global level.

Julia Black - Second Grade


Julia was born and raised a Hoosier and graduated from Butler University in May of 2019. Since graduating, she has discovered her passion for working with the students of Indianapolis.

“I chose to work at Indy STEAM Academy to provide a high quality, hands on, and fun learning experience for my students centered around a STEAM curriculum. I aim to create a classroom culture that is built on trust, respect, and responsibility while preparing my students for success in high school, college, and beyond.”

Norma Beckwith - Third Grade


Christine Chern - Fourth Grade


Christine joins Indy STEAM Academy excited to use her background in both liberal arts and engineering to elevate students' understanding of the world. As a substitute teacher in IPS for the last year, and an engineer for Cummins Inc. before that, she knows where students are coming from and where they are going. She looks forward to supporting students as they develop their visions and aspirations.

She holds two Bachelor's degrees from the University of Florida - a Bachelor's of Arts in Chinese Language, Literature, and Culture, and a Bachelor's of Science in Chemical Engineering. She is working on earning her Master's of Teaching from Marian University through the Indianapolis Teaching Fellows program.

Zeda Perkins - 5th Grade Teacher


My name is Zeda Perkins, teaching is not just my passion. Teaching has become my ministry. I am a native to Tupelo, MS. I completed my undergraduate studies at Lane College in Jackson, TN where I earned a Bachelor's Degree in English Education and Interdisciplinary Studies. I have also earned my Master's Degree in Adult Education and Training from The University of Phoenix. Currently, I am in my 22nd year of teaching.

“What you help a child to love is more important than what you help him to learn.” BOTSWANA

Angel Guell (Art Teacher)


Austin Bolyard - P.E. Teacher / Athletic Director


Austin has 2 years of charter school experience as a Physical Education teacher and Athletic Director. He has a passion for sports and has experience working with multiple organizations and teams in Indianapolis. Austin enjoys hiking with his golden retriever, playing soccer/futsal, traveling or spending time with family and friends.

"I'm beyond excited to be a founding teacher at Indy STEAM Academy. I look forward to teaching our students the importance of health and fitness through PE and Athletics. I can't wait to bring the community together through sports and community events. Go Dragons!"

Non-Teaching Staff

Cassandra Faulker - School Treasurer/Business Manager


Indianapolis has always been my home and math has long been my favorite subject, even as a young child! I began working at H&R Block as a receptionist at 15 years old and started preparing taxes while still in high school. At 19 years old, I began working in Pike Township, initially as an office assistant, then as a secretary and treasurer at all 3 levels (elementary, middle and high school). In 2019, I obtained my bachelor's degree in Business Administration. Being able to support teachers and administrators by managing the office and school finances is very rewarding for me, so I'm excited to be able to assist Indy Steam Academy in this role!

Kim Nickleson - Dean of Instruction, Culture and Climate


I was born in Germany to a military parent. We moved to the States where I graduated from White Plains High School in New York. I always dreamed of becoming a teacher and had the opportunity to do so on a cross-country scholarship to Indiana State University, where I received my bachelor’s degree. I obtained my master’s degree in administration from Butler University. I have dedicated thirty-five years of my life to education in various positions, such as a physical education teacher, dean, and school administrator.

With the blessings from the Lord, my three wonderful children, and amazing husband; they have always provided me support.

I am proud to say that I am entering my next chapter at Indy Steam Academy. I look forward once again to helping mold students to become the best they can be!

Join our team! IndySTEAM is hiring for the following positions. Click here to apply!

Classroom Teachers: 

Special Education Teacher

Support Staff:

Office Manager



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Who We Are

We are a tuition-free public charter school with staff who are committed to providing a high-quality STEAM education for all students including students from low-income families, under-served minority students, and underrepresented students.

Indy STEAM Academy is a tuition-free public charter school and enrollment will be open to all students interested in attending from any school community. Enrollment will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Enrollment will not be based on prior academic performance, ability levels, race, color, gender, socio-economic status, religion, disability, national origin, immigration status, or any other factor that is considered unlawful. Enrollment and admission practices comply with all applicable state and federal laws.

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