Check out our new logo! 

Steel City Academy will empower the students of Gary with the most rigorous academic skills, cultural fluency, and depth of character so they can choose from boundless opportunities and strengthen the community of Gary.

What's in a Name...and a Logo? 


Gary is Steel City, named after Elbert Gary, a founder and former chairman of U.S. Steel. Gary follows a strong Midwestern tradition of independent baseball with the Railcats playing at The Steel Yard Stadium. To found the best school in Gary, we needed a name that captures the goals for our students and the rich heritage of Gary. 

This school is about community. A community of students and teachers who will work together every day. A community of families, organizations, and advocates who will support our kids outside of the classroom. A community that is Gary. Our Gary. Steel City students will engage with their hometown and appreciate its assets and challenges. Steel City alumni will return to strengthen, advocate, and lead Gary. 

As a former science teacher, I love this name! Steel is an alloy of iron, carbon, and elements like manganese, nickel, and tungsten forged by fire. Where iron is soft and rusts easily, steel is strong and durable enough to build skyscrapers and bridges. Steel City Academy will forge a diverse group of teachers and students, each with their own unique strengths and talents, into a strong and resilient community. 

We now have a logo that represents our values. The flame and gear represent the passion we have and the hard work we must do. The flame has five sections to reflect Steel City's five pillars: purpose, team, joy, grit, and power. The gear proves how our success is tied to our collective effort - no gear works alone. 


- Chrissy, Executive Director

Be a part of the community. Support Steel City.

What We're Up To

The past month presented many opportunities to engage with the community, from conferences to community events. The founding team has been meeting with fellow local organizations as we explore partnerships that will serve our students and families. Additionally, we have been engaging with students, parents, and community leaders for input on how Steel City can best serve Gary. 

We have also been making progress on our location. Soon we will share our address, along with information on how to join the staff and enroll your child. 

Finally, like you, we will be taking time to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends. We are extremely grateful for the amazing opportunity we have in Gary with Steel City Academy. It would not have been possible without you! In every way you have supported us, including donations made, feedback offered, and newsletters read, we are gratified and humbled by your support. 
Team Steel City turned out to support the great work of the NWI Boys and Girls Clubs.
Community members share their thoughts with the founding team on our Listening Tour . 

Team Steel City

School Director  - Katie Kirley 


Katie began her teaching career and love for Gary in 2007 when she joined the inaugural Teach For America cohort placed in Northwest Indiana. As a teacher she had the highest math gains in Lighthouse's national network three years in a row. Katie continued to grow as an educator as she took on a Director of Instruction and then Assistant Principal role at Lighthouse College Prep. In addition to teaching, Katie founded and coached her school's first ever girls’ basketball team.

Katie currently serves as the Director of School Leadership for Teach for America. In that role she leads the national Schools to Learn From program where she facilitates excellent school visits and learning experiences for school leaders at some of the top performing schools across the country. This program provides Katie the opportunity to facilitate adult professional development experiences while learning best practices to shape her vision of leading a transformational school in Gary. 

Katie received a B.S. in Psychology and Women's Studies from Loyola University, Chicago and a Masters of Educational Leadership from Columbia University in New York. Katie serves on the Auxiliary Board for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana and the Teach For America Northwest Indiana Regional Advisory Board. 

Katie lives in Northwest Indiana, coaches multiple girls' basketball teams in Gary, enjoys spending time with her friends exploring new spots in the Region, and loves visiting her family in Wisconsin and Minnesota. 

You can email her at

Local Logo 

We are serious about our commitment to community. Throughout this year, we are making  together we must make many decisions about how and where to use our funding. Whenever possible, we believe in reinvesting our resources into Gary and Northwest Indiana. This includes our first investment - our logo! 

Our logo was designed by Matt Valuckis at V as in Victor.  Matt does great work and also does extensive work with local and regional non-profits. It has been a joy to work with a local company that is deeply invested in our mission and vision. Check Matt's company and work at their website
Interested in working with
Steel City Academy?
Please email Robert, our Director of Operations, at 

Thank you!

Emma Terry      Thomas Terry       Henrick Morrell       Doug Opheim      
Sisi Dong      Amy and Jim Morrell       Margaret Vernon      Peg Terry  
Joyce Deep      Katie & Mike Morrell 

Your name belongs here! Please donate today!
Every amount helps bring boundless opportunities to Gary!
Copyright © 2015 Steel City Academy, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp