Beech Grove Middle School Named ‘School of Promise’ by National Institute for Excellence in Teaching

April 2, 2024

Beech Grove Middle School Named ‘School of Promise’ by National Institute for Excellence in Teaching

Beech Grove Middle School surprised with $5,000 award for its dedication to improving instructional practices and continued student progress

2024 NIET School of Promise Award Photo Gallery: Beech Grove Middle School, Indiana

Beech Grove, Ind. (April 2, 2024) - The National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET) announced Beech Grove Middle School in Beech Grove City Schools, Indiana, as a 2024 ‘School of Promise’ for its continued efforts to strengthen instructional practices and support student success. Beech Grove Middle School is the only school in the country to receive the award this year, which includes a $5,000 prize. 

“Congratulations to Principal Ryan Morgan and the staff of Beech Grove Middle School on receiving the School of Promise Award,” said NIET Founder Lowell Milken. “This recognition is a testament to their efforts to build a team of exemplary educators that propels students to reach their potential. What’s more, they are creating a pipeline of talent by preparing aspiring teachers for the realities of today’s classroom. We look forward to the continued partnership with Beech Grove Middle and Superintendent Dr. Laura Hammack, whose leadership has allowed these principles to flourish throughout the district.”

Recipients of the ‘School of Promise’ award are selected by NIET for their efforts to make instructional excellence the cornerstone of school improvement; plan for regular professional learning focused on the individual needs of teachers and students; create a culture of collaboration and reflection; and create systems that maximize the talents of teacher leaders and administrators to drive student growth. Leaders can spend the award’s financial prize as they choose to support their educators. 

“I am impressed with the work being done at Beech Grove Middle School to reach higher academic achievement goals,” said NIET Chief Executive Officer Dr. Joshua Barnett. “We know that significant and sustained improvements in student learning rest on a strong foundation of excellent teaching across the building. I am excited to see how Principal Ryan Morgan and his team at Beech Grove Middle School continue to help students to excel.”

In over 20 years, NIET has worked alongside more than 9,000 schools to ensure that all students have effective educators and receive high-quality instruction. NIET’s partner schools have shown success by both outperforming similar schools and having greater teacher retention. 

“Beech Grove City Schools is a special place. We have a strong sense of community and there is a high level of trust between district and school leaders, teachers, and students and their families,” said Beech Grove Superintendent Dr. Laura Hammack. “In our schools, this sense of community is the foundation we build on to offer our students great classroom teaching and learning experiences every day. We are proud that the high-quality instruction our district provides has led to Beech Grove Middle School’s recognition as a NIET School of Promise!”

About Beech Grove Middle School

Beech Grove Middle School, located southeast of Indianapolis, educates 434 students in grades seven and eight, 71% of whom qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. Principal Ryan Morgan and his leadership team work to ensure that every student receives high-quality instruction in a positive learning environment and that every educator receives individualized coaching and real-time support. Students and educators alike uphold the school’s adopted mantra of “Don’t wish for it, Work for it” in their commitment to continuous improvement. The school partners with NIET to support this work through a system of teacher leadership and job-embedded professional learning that ensures teachers have the instructional strategies needed to meet the individual needs of their students. 

As a result of these efforts, Beech Grove Middle School has seen increases in student achievement. The percentage of students scoring proficient or above on Indiana’s Learning Evaluation and Assessment Readiness Network (ILEARN) assessments in both English language arts and math has increased each year from 2021 to 2023. In 2023, Beech Grove Middle School’s proficiency percentages surpassed their 2019 pre-pandemic percentages in math and were only one percentage point below the 2019 level in English language arts.  

“This award has provided our team with an opportunity to reflect on our students' growth and to celebrate the intentional efforts made to lead positive change in our school,” said Morgan. “It serves as a wind in our sails as we continue the work we started at the beginning of our partnership with NIET. Our commitment to doing what's best for our students has always guided us, and winning the 2024 School of Promise award serves as proof that our collaborative approach with NIET remains fruitful.”

About NIET

The National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET) is a national nonprofit based in Phoenix, Arizona that serves states and districts nationwide, including school districts across Indiana. For more than two decades, NIET has partnered with schools, districts, states, and universities to build educator excellence and give all students the opportunity for success. NIET’s initiatives, including the TAP System, teacher and leader development, school improvement, rubric and observation systems, and educator preparation, have impacted more than 300,000 educators and 3 million students across the U.S. Learn more at