Superintendent Dr. Mark Daniel unveiled the name of Fort Wayne Community Schools’ newest school during an all-staff kickoff Wednesday. The school at the former GE campus will be called Amp Lab at Electric Works.
“This will be a lab environment at Electric Works for 11th- and 12th-grade students to prepare for innovative careers,” Dr. Daniel said. “Students are going to be able to concentrate on entrepreneurship as the hub of their learning at Amp Lab.”
Amp Lab gets its name from two unique distinctions: The root word ampere is the base unit of electrical current and pays homage to the history of the General Electric campus. The name also reflects the innovative environment that will amplify the opportunities students have to learn creatively within the community.
The school will open in August 2022 and will be open to all FWCS 11th- and 12th-graders. More information about the student experience and how to enroll will be available later this year with applications being accepted in January 2022.
Riley Johnson will lead Amp Lab. Johnson was one of the first teachers at New Tech Academy at Wayne when it opened, and in 2014, he moved to Napa, Calif., to serve as principal at New Technology High School, the flagship school of the New Tech Network. He returned to FWCS in 2019 as an assistant principal. He has been a strong proponent of turning the community into the classroom for students.
“Amp Lab transforms what workforce development during high school can and should look like,” Johnson said. “We’re not just preparing students for jobs; we’re preparing them for careers that haven’t even been developed yet. Students need to be flexible, creative and perseverant. Amp Lab will provide a key opportunity to develop entrepreneurial mindsets.”
With nearly 30,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of the largest school districts in Indiana. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 50 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.