About

Mission

Thrival World Academies is a network of study abroad public high schools providing students from underserved communities access to personalized and culturally immersive education abroad.

Vision

Global education is central to what it means to be an educated person in the 21st century and we are making it accessible to all students, regardless of race or socioeconomic background.

Our Values

We are committed to equity. We are committed, in words and in actions, to equity across all levels of our organization – from our students and families to our staff.

  • We celebrate diversity. We approach difference with open minds and a recognition that we learn more about the world and ourselves by celebrating diversity.
  • We love to learn. We open our eyes to the world with curiosity, wonder, and a sense of adventure.
  • We are a community. We foster a sense of belonging through compassion, solidarity, and appreciation.
  • We fail forward. We fearlessly embrace taking risks because we know we learn most deeply through challenge.

  • We are introspective. We are mindful and reflective about ourselves and others.
  • We are real. We evoke trust by always being authentic and transparent.
  • We joyfully push boundaries. We see possibility everywhere. We push the boundaries and shake up the world all while filled with a sense of humor and joy.
  • We work in partnership with the public. We are dedicated partners with our districts. We work collaboratively to design and execute a shared vision.

Our Team


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India K Hui, MSEd
Founding School Leader, Thrival Academy: Indy

India Hui is a devoted educator who has lived the majority of her life in Indianapolis, Indiana. Because of her father's service in the US Army she lived her early years in Germany. Although she was very young, her experience shaped much of her world view. India graduated from Warren Central High School and went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in Education from Indiana University in Bloomington. After several years of teaching, India joined IUPUI's Urban Principalship Program, where she also earned a Master of Science in Educational Leadership. She then attended Harvard's School Turnaround Leaders Institute. Serving students and families outside of the classroom brings joy to India; she has been a coach, organizer of school and community events, trusted mentor, and community advocate. Her passion for education coupled with her love of travel and learning from different cultures are what attracted her to Thrival. She looks forward to leading the Indy school, as they embark on an exciting educational journey.

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Jimmy Arredondo
Humanities Teacher, Thrival Academy: Indy

Mr. Jimmy Arredondo was born in Texas, but raised in Arkansas. During high school, his favorite subject was history. After high school, he joined the United States Air Force and took the opportunity to travel around the country and world. While in the military, he worked on F-15's as an electrical-environmental technician. A little after he received his undergraduate degree at College of the Ozarks, Mr. Arredondo went to South Korea. It was at this time he became inspired to teach. He didn't have a teaching license, so he eventually went back to college to get his graduate degree at Tennessee State University. With a fresh, new, shiny degree, he started teaching ESL in Nashville, Tennessee, but his favorite subject is, as it has always been, history. Having recently moved to Indianapolis, he started teaching at Thrival Academy, where he has the opportunity to teach his favorite subject.

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Michael Bienz
Humanities Teacher, Thrival Academy: Indy

I am thrilled to be a part of the Thrival team! After graduating from Indiana University, Bloomington, I taught middle school Social Studies in Fort Wayne, Indiana before coming to Thrival. I have also led service-learning programs in Chicago, Baltimore, and the Bay Area. It is exciting to work at a school where I can put my passions for social justice and service into action. Thrival is a truly unique place because we joyfully push boundaries both locally and internationally.

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Angelica Cox
Math Teacher, Thrival Academy: Indy

Angelica Cox is a Rose-Hulman and IUPUI graduate who was born and raised in Indianapolis, IN. She is passionate about mathematics and understanding cultures around the world. She spends her summers working for the National Society of Black Engineers Summer Engineering Experience for Kids in various locations throughout the US. This experience is what helped inspire her to go into teaching and what continues to excite her about hands-on learning. Studying abroad in Spain, Japan, and Turkey has given her perspective that no classroom lecture could have ever given. She is most looking forward to the personal impact the study abroad experience will have on each student's world view and desire to see and learn more about other cultures and their own.

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Bev Begley
Science Teacher, Thrival Academy: Indy

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Becky Goncharoff, MA
Thailand Program Coordinator

Becky is our Thailand Program Coordinator, supporting Thrival during the portion of the year that takes place in Thailand. Becky loves finding ways for local community members in Thailand and students from the United States to learn from each other and work together. She has spent over three years developing experiential learning opportunities for study abroad students in Northeast Thailand working with the Council on International Educational Exchange. Becky holds a BA in Political Science from Transylvania University and an MA in International Relations from the University of Chicago.

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Erin Murphy, MEd
Rustic Pathways Partnership Manager
Director Of Student Impact, Rustic Pathways

Erin has a passion for travel as a model for education and spends her time thinking about student impact at Rustic Pathways. She designs the curricular resources that support Rustic Pathways itineraries across divisions, oversees Rustic Pathways’ student impact evaluation, and supports the implementation of Thrival World Academies’ overseas school model. Before beginning at Rustic Pathways, Erin studied International Education Policy at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and has lived in Thailand off and on since 2009.


Our Board


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Michele Sutton, MEd, MPP
Board Chair
Senior Consultant, UPD Consulting

Michele is a Senior Consultant at UPD Consulting, where she focuses on issues of organizational transformation, programmatic innovation, and performance management. Prior to UPD, Michele was the Vice President of Teacher Leadership Development for Teach For America-Bay Area and Executive Director of Teach For America-Kansas City. Previously, she worked as the interim principal for KIPP, a policy analyst for the Education Trust-West, and a teacher in both Phoenix and Oakland. Michele has a BA from Duke University, a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from Arizona State University, and a Master of Public Policy from the Goldman School at UC-Berkeley.

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Daniela Lewy, MPH, EdLD
Co-Founder, Board Member
Senior Program Officer, Local Initiatives Support Corporation

Daniela is a Senior Program Officer at Local Initiatives Support Corporation and a Consultant at Center for Health Care Strategies. Previously, she served as the Executive Director of the Virginia Governor’s Children's Cabinet, working to improve wraparound support services in high-need school districts. She also serves as faculty at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, working and teaching at the intersection of health and education in the US and abroad. She has 15 years of experience as an experiential educator with a focus on programs serving diverse students from low-income communities, including the Baraka School in Kenya for Baltimore City boys. She holds a BA from Wesleyan University, an MPH from Johns Hopkins University, and an EdLD from Harvard University.

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Chris Stakich
Board Member
CEO, Rustic Pathways

Since graduating from Harvard University in 2001, Chris has worked at the intersection of education, community service and student travel. Chris currently serves as the chief executive officer and chairman of the board of Rustic Pathways. In addition to his position with Rustic Pathways, Chris also serves as the chairman of the board of Thinking Beyond Borders. Chris is passionate about scaling programs to create future leaders who embody compassion and global understanding.

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Daryl Peagler, MBA
Board Member
Independent Education Consultant

Daryl currently works as an independent consultant, specializing in finance, operations and fundraising strategy for education organizations. Most recently, he oversaw the external affairs and operations team at Teach For America Bay Area. Daryl also spent two years with TFA’s national office focused on regional growth strategy and development, and served as the interim direct manager for development and corps member placement in the Atlanta region. Prior to joining TFA, Daryl was a corporate development director and management associate at Thomson Reuters. During this time, he drove analysis, negotiation, and execution of acquisitions for Thomson Reuters Markets Division, and consulted on a range of projects in corporate strategy, financial planning and analysis, and product strategy. Earlier in his career, Daryl worked in investment banking, executing mergers and acquisitions, as well as public offerings for media and technology businesses. He holds an MBA from New York University Stern School of Business and an AB in Psychology from Harvard College.

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Erin Ganju, MA
Board Member
Managing Director, Echidna Giving

Erin Ganju is a Managing Director at Echidna Giving, a philanthropic fund that supports critical thinkers, innovators and practitioners to advance girls’ education in low-income countries. She is the Co-Founder and former CEO of Room to Read, an organization that seeks to transform the lives of children in low-income countries by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. During her tenure as CEO, Room to Read helped over 12 million children in 15 countries pursue a quality education. Drawing on her past career with Goldman Sachs and Unilever, Erin brings a deep commitment to data, transparency and operational excellence. Erin co-authored Scaling Global Change: A Social Entrepreneur’s Guide to Surviving the Start-up Phase and Driving Impact, which is a “how to” guide for social entrepreneurs who have a vision of changing the world. Erin was selected as the World Economic Forum’s Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur in 2014 and recognized as a Global Impact Featured Member for 2017 by the Young Presidents’ Organization. Erin holds a combined bachelor’s and master’s degree in international relations and economics from The Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C. 

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Dara Sahebjami
Board Member
Deputy Director, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Dara is a lawyer for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he leads the organization’s contracts department. Prior to joining the Gates Foundation, Dara spent years in private practice representing businesses and entrepreneurs of all kinds. Dara’s first exposure to experiential learning came as a high school student, when he had the opportunity to spend a summer living with a family in the Dominican Republic and working side-by-side with local students on a variety of environmental and agricultural projects. It was a formative experience. The chance to help other kids enjoy similar opportunities drew Dara to Thrival. Dara lives with his wife, son and several pets in Seattle, WA. He is passionate about food, music and photography. Dara has a BA from Northwestern and a JD from Georgetown.


Thrival Academy: Indy Board


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Meagan Burton-Krieger, EdD
Board Chair
Chief of Staff to the President, Butler University

Meagan believes in the transformational power of education. Her work over the last 10 years within institutions of higher education has explored how experiences, policy, and philanthropy can be combined to create personalized and holistic growth for students. She has dedicated special attention to the role of leadership and personal philanthropy in fostering student success. Meagan holds a doctorate in education with a concentration of higher education leadership and policy from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development. She brings to Thrival Academy: Indy a broad knowledge of higher education and a deep understanding of how immersion experiences can prepare high school students for college. She believes that higher education is the most effective tool in our society to equip global citizens to work in an increasingly interconnected world. Meagan is committed to helping ensure Thrival graduates have access to higher education and continued transformational experiences that will equip them to become leaders in our Indianapolis community and beyond. Meagan is currently the Chief of Staff to the President at Butler University and holds additional degrees from Albion College and the University of Vermont. She is married to the Rev. Eric Burton-Krieger who is the Pastor of Adult Discipleship at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Indianapolis.

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Nioka Clark, MA
Board Member
Director of Curriculum Services, Goodwill Education Initiatives

In May 2006, Nioka Clark graduated with a bachelor's degree in English Literature (with a minor in Secondary Education) from Saint Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Indiana. She began her teaching career at Crown Point High School, and spent the next four years teaching high school English in traditionally aged public high schools throughout the state of Indiana. In June 2010, Nioka accepted a teaching position with The Excel Center in Indianapolis, Indiana, an innovative charter high school specifically for adult students. During that first year, Nioka developed and implemented the Humanities curriculum for the accelerated pace of The Excel Center, and in 2012, she received a Master's degree in Secondary Education with a focus on curriculum technology. Currently, Nioka is the Director of Curriculum Services for Goodwill Education Initiatives and works closely with lead teachers and instructors to enhance their instruction.

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Nick Reich
Board Member
VP Strategic Partnerships, RecycleForce

Nick Reich is the Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at RecycleForce, which offers some of the most comprehensive and innovative recycling services while providing workforce training, education and employment to formerly incarcerated individuals. Previously, he was the Founder and Managing Principal of Social Insight, LLC, a strategic advising firm that seeks to positively affect the world by maximizing social impact and minimizing risk of philanthropic and investment dollars through innovation and social entrepreneurship. He brings over 13 years of experience in innovation, strategy, program development, and collaboration to help nonprofits and social entrepreneurs across a variety of sectors tackle some of society’s biggest opportunities. Reich has designed and led organizations working in education, poverty, juvenile justice and economic and workforce development, including design of new charter school models, scaleable public-private partnerships, and new divisions of private Foundations. Nick has an undergraduate degree from Indiana University – Indianapolis, Graduate Certificates in Non-Profit Management and Executive Non-Profit Leadership from IU School of Public & Environmental Affairs and IU School of Philanthropy, and a Diploma in Social Innovation from the United Nations sanctioned University for Peace in Costa Rica. Nick is passionate about education and poverty issues around the globe; traveling to Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique and Haiti, as well as championing education and health related projects in Zimbabwe, Kenya and El Salvador.

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Doneisha Posey, JD
Board Member
Deputy Director & General Counsel, Indiana Civil Rights Commission

Doneisha is the Deputy Director & General Counsel for the Indiana Civil Rights Commission, where she presides over cases of discrimination in the areas of housing, employment, public accommodation, education and credit. After studying abroad in college, Doneisha returned to the States to form a nonprofit organization and helped to build a school in the Dominican Republic. She is passionate about education and leaving a positive impact on the world. Doneisha holds a BA from Marian University and a JD from Indiana University McKinney School of Law.

Our Partners

We are proud to be partnered with the following leading organizations in education and student travel.

Rustic PathwaysRustic Pathways is our operations and travel abroad partner, providing us with high quality facilities, travel logistics, and safety & risk management processes. The organization brings three decades of expertise in the education and travel industry and today runs over 100 programs in 19 countries serving 10,000 students from over 2,000 schools annually.

Thrival is partnered with Summit Learning to bring personalized learning to our students. Summit Learning provides teachers and schools across the US with the resources they need to bring personalized learning into the classroom. Developed by Summit Public Schools in collaboration with Facebook, Summit Basecamp has built a Personalized Learning Platform that empowers teachers to customize instruction to meet students’ individual needs and interests, while putting students in charge of their own learning.

 

We are proud to be a partnered with the Big Picture Learning (BPL) network as a BPL affiliate school. As our initial incubation partner BPL provided expertise in instructional design and student-centered pedagogy. For over 20 years, BPL has been a leader in personalized learning where students work in tandem with the real world. BPL currently supports a network of 60 schools across the US and has received national acclaim for their innovative model and student outcomes.