Zionsville Monthly-July 2023

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Shari Richey Boone County’s Newest Councilor: On Representing The Boone County Community

This month, Zionsville Monthly is pleased to feature Zionsville resident Shari Richey on the cover. Richey, who is no stranger to serving the Zionsville community, was elected to the Boone County Council by the Boone County Republican Party after a closed 2-hour caucus last June. We wanted to familiarize our readers with Richey and her contributions to the Zionsville Community Schools and other local organizations over the many years, as well as share Richey’s intentions as they relate to her service to the Boone County community.


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4 ZIONSVILLE MONTHLY JULY 2023 6 Brent and Frances Kumfer: The Rejoicing Vine Winery on Cultivating Life and Harvesting Joy 10 The Center’s Night of Celebration! 12 Carmel Artist Taylor Walker To Show at the Annual 4th Street Art Festival 14 The Mercedes Monumental Classic Car Show Comes to Carmel 18 Life is Short … Stop and Pick the Flowers at Anne-Marie’s Flower Farm 23 A Look at Zionsville Community Schools’ English Learners Program
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The Rejoicing Vine Winery


This month, Carmel Monthly is pleased to feature Carmel residents Brent and Frances Kumfer on the cover. The Kumfers have recently opened The Rejoicing Vine and shared with us their deep commitment to cultivating life through sustainable and regenerative farming practices while offering a destination for sparkling wine enthusiasts in a relaxing nature setting.


The Kumfers and their two children have called the north side “home” for the last 10 years. Brent is a native Hoosier from Fort Wayne, and Frances is from Connecticut. The couple met in Connecticut after Brent moved out east for eight years post-college. Brent and Frances shared their passion for frequenting the local [Connecticut] wineries along the “wine trail” while they were dating and

that sparked an interest in what would be their future endeavor.

“When we were dating, we had a wine passport, and we would go around and get different stamps at different wineries,” Brent shared. “Once we collected enough stamps, we could submit the passport for a chance to win a trip to Spain. We loved doing that as we dated and had a lot of fun building our relationship. We found wine to be a great excuse to socialize. Once we started having

kids and realized we had no time to sit around and have meaningful conversations, we found our friends and family members were in similar situations, so we thought we should start a winery and built it around this idea of connecting more with each other, our community and with nature.”

Frances added, “We have a 4-year-old and an 8-year-old, which is one of the reasons we moved to Carmel … for the great school system.”

Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Laura Arick and submitted

on which the winery operates two years ago in the Traders Point area of northern Marion County, just south of Boone County. In the early 2000s, it was formerly an orchid nursery.

“We renovated the [existing] building into our tasting room and wine production facility,” Brent said. “We have about 1,000 square feet of tasting room space and about 2,000 square feet of production space. We also have an outdoor patio space. Of the 16 acres, we have about 6 acres that are wooded. We currently farm 3 acres: 2 acres of planted vines, a ½ acre of apple trees and a ½ acre of raspberries.”

Frances added, “Our hope with the wooded area is to put [in] some walking/ running trails and set up [picnic] tables where people can enjoy wine and conversation out near the trails and in nature.”

The Kumfers’ overall mission is to serve the community, and they plan to do that in a myriad of ways.

“The first and obvious is through the tasting room,” Brent explained. “And by providing an atmosphere where families, friends and coworkers can come and enjoy time together, building community. The second [mission] is through connecting people with food. So, the walking trails, giving farm tours and talking with people about the importance of where and how their food is grown, and then the third aspect is giving back to the community.”

Once their apple trees begin producing fruit in the next few years, the Kumfers are planning on donating to local area food banks and food pantries.

“In the meantime, we want to give back some of our profits until we’re able to provide our own grown produce

to support local organizations,” Brent stated.


“I would like to dispel that myth that you can’t grow good wine grapes here in Indiana,” Brent said. “The grapes that we can grow here do not make the same style of wines that you find in California, which has a very hot dry climate. They can grow the traditional grapes that were bred in Europe, and those grapes do not do well in our climate. So, we grow hybrids that are crosses between European varieties and American varieties. These are bred for cold hardiness and disease resistance.”

Brent explained that the hybrid wine grapes tend to be higher in acid and lower in tannins, which make it difficult to produce full-bodied reds.

“Tannins and acids don’t play well together on your palate,” Brent stated. “So, we are bucking this trend by producing sparkling wines. With sparkling wines, you actually want low tannins and high acid. It’s interesting to me that more wineries aren’t doing sparkling wines.”

Of the current offerings, The Rejoicing Vine produces a bottle-fermented brüt natural sparkling wine called the “Regenerative Rosé” with mouthwatering acidity and active yeast cultures.

“It’s a different take on a champagne-style wine and has very minimal residual sugar,” Brent said. “It’s one of our best sellers. It has an active yeast culture similar to kombucha or apple cider vinegar, and we believe that’s good for your gut microbiome.”

Frances added, “We’ve found the largest growth in wine drinking, in the younger generations, especially, are sparking wines and these kinds of ‘PétNat,’ or Pétillant Naturel, style wines that have yeast in them.”

“I think the younger consumers are looking for more approachable, lower alcohol drinks, and sparkling also fits

that bill. Sparking wines are more in the range of 10-12 percent instead of 12-16 percent,” Brent stated.


The Kumfers are making a concerted effort to reduce their carbon footprint and are buying everything regionally and/or locally.

“Sustainability is a big part of our mission, and we want to get everything as local as possible,” Brent expressed. And we farm regeneratively, which is a concept that I hope becomes more mainstream. The idea behind [regenerative] farming is a step up from sustainability. The idea of regenerative [farming] is to improve the environment that you’re farming to create healthy soils so you can get off the chemical treadmill of fertilizers and pesticides. Additionally, we can serve our [sparkling] wines on tap. Three of our four wines are on tap right now. Over the life of a keg, we can save close to 10,000 bottles from going into a landfill.”


The Kumfers invite families and even pets to come out and enjoy the natural scenery of the winery’s backdrop decorated with woods and wildflowers. Having partnered with local food artisans such as Tulip Tree Creamery and others, the winery offers a variety of healthy snacks and organic slushies. Check out the website for a full menu. Additionally, check out the upcoming events Bubbles & Brushes and Yoga For Life: Fundraiser for Suicide Prevention on the winery’s website!

The Rejoicing Vine is at 8440 W. 82nd Street, Indianapolis. For more information, visit the website at rejoicingvine.com.


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Join The Center for a Night of Celebration!

The Center for the Performing Arts is known for its outstanding educational programs. These programs are designed to enrich the community and provide learning opportunities in various performing arts disciplines. Proceeds from The Center’s annual gala support its arts and educational programming, which is why [The Center’s] support from its patrons, sponsors and the community is vital to the existence and future of its impactful programs. Last year’s sold-out gala at the Palladium raised more than $689,000 [for its programs].

This year’s headliner will be singer-songwriter Amy Grant, winner of six Grammy Awards, 22 Gospel Music Association Dove Awards and a Kennedy Center Honor. Event highlights include:

• First Merchants Bank Red Carpet Arrival

• First Merchants Bank Cocktail Reception

• Elegant dinner and live auction supporting arts programming for the community

• Celebrate, dance and revel at the gala after-parties throughout the Palladium [Black tie recommended]

The Center for Performing Arts President/CEO Jeffrey C. McDermott shared his thoughts on the impact the gala has on supporting The Center’s mission. The mission of The Center for the Performing Arts is to engage and inspire the Indiana community through enriching arts experiences.

“The Center Celebration is an import ant source of funding for our arts and educational initiatives as well as a com munity celebration of The Center’s impact across Indiana,” McDermott said. “It’s been interesting and gratifying to see how the event has developed over the past decade or more. We welcome all the local leaders and lovers of the arts who have supported our mission from the beginning, as well as

the new friends who are coming aboard after seeing and experiencing what we bring to the community.”

In addition to his commitment to and work for the Great American Songbook

It’s a “Don’t Miss Event”
Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Courtesy of The Center

Foundation, Michael Feinstein has been serving as the Artistic Director for The out the support and creative vision of this community. The gala is a fundraiser, to be sure, but it’s also a wonderful annual celebration of what we’ve been able to accomplish in such a relatively short period of time, in terms of sharing the power of the performing arts.”

The Center is appreciative of its patrons, volunteers and sponsors, without whose support and generosity its programs and events would not be possible.

“Ice Miller is proud to serve as the presenting partner for The Center for the Performing Arts gala, and I am honored to serve as co-chair of this event,” Adam Arceneaux, Steering Committee co-chair and managing partner with Ice Miller stated. “The Center for the Performing Arts brings educational and cultural opportunities to everyone in Central Indiana and adds to our quality of life. We are fortunate to have such a robust arts organization in our community.”

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Carmel Artist Taylor Walker

To Show at the Annual 4th Street Art Festival

Save the date for the annual 4th Street Art Festival this coming Labor Day weekend and be sure to check out Carmel resident and artist Taylor Walker’s exceptional work at this beloved festival held in Bloomington!

The 4th Street Art Festival will be held on September 2-3 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The festival is celebrating its 47th year and is one of Bloomington’s most well-attended events on its arts and culture calendar. The festival will be held on 4th Street between Grant Street and Indiana Avenue.

An Exceptional Collection of Art, Businesses and Stories

The artists that will be featured at the festival are from various Indiana communities. New to the festival are four artists, including Taylor Walker of Carmel. Walker

is an expressionist painter and illustrator who is passionate about animals and focuses on them in her work. Her goal is to blend technical ability and photorealism with exaggerated rainbow colors and strokes to create emotion.

Also featuring their work at this

year’s festival are Kelly Meska [potter] of Bloomington, Heidi Mandich [jeweler] of Indianapolis and Samual Dean [wood turner] of Whitehall.

Although each artist has their own genre and techniques, they all share a passion for creating art and making things, as well as a love for detail and teaching. In addition, all are committed to experimenting, continually learning and perfecting their art, and all are well tuned into the business aspects of making a living with their art.

There are 100-plus [juried] artists in 2D, ceramics, fiber, glass, jewelry, painting, photography, sculpture and wood who will line 4th Street over Labor Day weekend, eager to talk with patrons about their work, inspiration and techniques. Whether for a couple of hours or the entire weekend, art lovers are encouraged to soak in the beauty of the designs and artisanship and to connect with the stories of the people who create them.

Creating Emotion Through Rainbow Colors

Perhaps you have seen Taylor Walker’s work sold and/or displayed in All Things Carmel at Indiana Artisan Gifts and Gallery or at CCA Gallery & Gifts in Carmel’s Art & Design District. Walker is a self-taught artist specializing in watercolor, acrylic, encaustic painting (hot wax painting) and colored pencil. She graduated from Purdue University with a BFA in Graphic Design but in 2020 took the plunge and decided to follow her lifelong passion of being a full-time artist. Walker resides in Carmel with her husband, Bryan.

Walker was recognized in 2021 as an Indiana Artisan for watercolor and serves on the committees of the Talbot Street Art Fair and 4th Street Art Festival. Walker will also be exhibiting for the first time at the annually held Carmel International Arts Festival this September.

As an artist, Walker is an expressionist. She uses exaggerated color and brush strokes to create emotional effects. She’s inspired by nature, color and animals and most often paints with bright, intense color and paint splatter. Taylor’s

Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography //Submitted and Leah Rife

passion for animals is exhibited in her participation in annual fundraising events that support the Indianapolis Zoo, Indy Humane, the Hamilton County Humane Society, the Exotic Feline Rescue Center and the Langley Animal Protection Society.

Walker shared some of her thoughts about exhibiting at festivals as well as her unique style of painting.

“I got pulled onto the [festival] scene really quickly,” Walker said. “Prior to that, I was doing a lot of commission work, and then I made the switch last year when I realized that I wanted to do my own curated collections.”

When asked why it’s important for artists and community members to support art festivals, Walker replied, “We’re all Indiana artists, and by supporting these festivals, you’re supporting local artists. We especially need that in the Midwest, as we’re trying to get more on the art scene. I feel like we especially need that [support] in Indiana.”

While describing her artistic style,

Walker explained, “I consider myself an expressionist painter. I exaggerate color and brush strokes. I have a recoloring process — that’s what I call it. I’m not attracted to neutral colors, and I don’t like to paint that way. I do like photorealism. I like the challenge of making something

like the actual object. I love animals and color, so I combine all of those into the style that I do. My work is very colorful but is not childish because it is so photorealistic and technically correct. I want color to be an afterthought.”

Walker added, “In my recoloring system, purple is black, blue is a lighter shadow and green is neutral. Yellow is the brightest highlight besides the white of the paper, orange is a mid-tone and red is a dark highlight. When I look at a leopard, those black spots equate to purple in my mind. My animals look so realistic because I do follow a consistent recoloring system and all the colors are basically assigned to certain parts of the animal.”

You can follow Walker on Facebook and Instagram @tayloredillustration and see her work on her website at tayloredillustration.com.

Be sure to save the dates and join fellow arts festival enthusiasts for the 47th running of the 4th Street Art Festival! For more on the annual 4th Street Art Festival, visit 4thstreet.org.


The Mercedes Monumental Classic Car Show

Comes to Carmel

The Mercedes Monumental Collector Car Show at “Artomobilia, The Art of the Automobile” will take place on the streets of downtown Carmel, Indiana, on Saturday, September 9 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The event will feature more than 50 unique Mercedes-Benz collector cars and the Mercedes Corral, where guests can display their favorite Mercedes-Benz. Artomobilia attracts more than 25,000 attendees and displays more than 350 cars of various kinds each year.

Additionally, the 2023 Mercedes Grande, presented by the Mercedes-Benz Club of America, will provide an exhilarating list of weekend events in both Carmel and Indianapolis that will highlight the brand and evolving club while display-

ing historic local venues for its events throughout the Indianapolis area.


The President of the Indiana Crossroads Section of the Mercedes-Benz

Club of America, Roger Brummett, and Mercedes-Benz Club of America Executive Director Kathryn “Katie” Carruth spoke to Carmel Monthly about collaborating with the Artomobilia organizers as well as about the direction in which the MBCA is going as the brand is attracting new and younger generations of Mercedes-Benz enthusiasts.

“The [Mercedes-Benz] Club itself is a group of enthusiasts around the brand and marque,” Carruth explained. “It’s my vision and opinion that the club transcends even ownership of vehicles. What makes this job fascinating and fun is what Mercedes is doing as a whole, investing their resources, time and money into the future. It’s a sustainable future that makes a ton of sense, maybe not for today but for five years down the road. It’s a fun company to be an ambassador for. As we see the changes in what fuels automobiles, specifically in F1 and motorsports in North America, I think we will collect more fans in addition to classic car collectors. That will make the club a very encompassing group of people that are quite literally ambassadors and

Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Courtesy of Artomobilia

enthusiasts for a brand that has stood the test of time.”

Carruth and Brummett are excited to bring this year’s Mercedes Grande to the crossroads of America for the first time.

“Roger has done an absolutely stellar job at putting together a world-class event,” Carruth stated. “It will be right in the heart of our country. I anticipate that this event will just grow and grow for MBCA and for Carmel and Indianapolis as a whole.”


Brummett shared the story of how he, Artomobilia Event Director John Leonard, and a committee of car enthusiasts came together well over a decade ago and organized an impressive car show on Monument Circle when Formula 1 was racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“John [Leonard] and I have a lot of history together,” Brummett said. “We started out at White River Park, and then we moved the event to Monument Circle where we had crowds approaching 60,000 people for a one-day event that

was free to the public. When Formula 1 left town, the show went dormant. Then for the last 13-plus years, John [Leonard] has done a spectacular job in creating the infrastructure, technology and communication capabilities, making Artomobilia a first-class operation.”

Brummett agreed to be the national event chair for Mercedes Grand, which is debuting in Carmel and Indianapolis this September.

“It’s a big lift to pull it off and bring it to the Midwest,” Brummett shared. “When John offered up the opportunity to embed the Mercedes Monumental into Artomobilia, it took me less than 5 seconds to say, ‘Yes.’ And we’ve been plotting and planning since then.”

Brummett concluded, “We purposely picked historic facilities and venues that will display well for guests coming into the city. There will also be a private tour of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway [that weekend]. Literally, from the time a person gets here, there are ways for them to be engaged in a variety of events, to be educated, to experience Indianapolis and Carmel, and to drive through the Indiana countryside. It’s going to be a fun and expressive event!”

For tickets and event information on the 2023 Mercedes Grande, visit mercedesgrande.org, and for a complete list of events at this year’s Artomobilia Weekend, visit artomobilia.org.

2023 Mercedes Grande Events:

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Life is Short … Stop and Pick the Flowers at

Anne-Marie’s Flower Farm

Experience the joy of fresh-cut flowers and arranging your one-of-a-kind bouquet at Anne-Marie’s Flower Farm in Zionsville! Stroll through the “U-pick” flower garden and relax in the beauty and fragrance of 20 types of cut flowers and over 65 varieties … all for a very affordable price!

Zionsville residents and parents of three adult children, Anne-Marie and David “Dave” Buibish would like to invite the community to connect with nature and immerse themselves in the beautiful scenery and respite of their flower fields.


Anne-Marie and Dave Buibish moved to Zionsville in 2019 from Fort Wayne [IN] and opened Anne-Marie’s Flower Farm just last month. Buibish’s U-pick flower farm is located just south of the Timberwolf subdivision and encompasses 1 [acre] of their 17 acres of farmland.

“In February, this was a cornfield, and we converted 1 acre of it into this U-pick flower farm,” Anne-Marie Buibish explained. “The rest of it is tillable land for corn and beans, and we have someone that farms that. Our home is here [on the farm] too. After COVID, when the world shut down, we wanted to do something different [professionally], and we wanted to get involved with the community and meet our neighbors.”

Buibish recently retired as a senior engineering fellow in an aerospace and defense company where she worked for 30 years, and her husband, Dave, whom she lovingly refers to as her “Dirt Guy,”

Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Laura Arick

retired as a freight driver for Fed Ex. Dave grew up on a farm and had always wanted to get back to farming.

“This [flower farm] is a bit of a shift,” Buibish quipped. “I did a lot of serious work, and it was time to do something different where I am outside, talking with people, and not in an office all day. It’s been really satisfying. We started planting in the March/April time frame. Prior to that, I started planting — by seed — in my spare bedroom in February/March, and we got them in the ground in March/April. We’ve been planting somewhat continuously over the past several months to ensure that we have succession planting.”

Buibish explained that they will have plants ready to be picked going into the August and September months before their “season” ends for the year.

“I will have fall colors of Cosmos that will be ready in September, and we have more summer colors of Cosmos available now,” Buibish shared. “We will be open until the first frost, and at that point, we’ll close down and start it all again next spring.”

In addition to their intentional flower gardens, Buibish mentioned they are growing a wildflower patch, which is currently available for picking.


“Basically, you can spend as much time as you want here,” Buibish said. “You come up to the shed, and I will give you a large cup filled with water and a pair of snips that hang on

your wrist so that you can keep your hands free. Then I will give you a quick tour of the gardens with tips on how to cut. We have flower arranging stations with cup holders for your cups while you work on your bouquet. We put a canopy over our arranging station. And we provide free water for people. We’re getting some interest from people about hosting showers and work events here. We do offer photography sessions and private U-picks for an additional fee.”

The flower farm’s website provides pricing for U-Pick Flower Bouquets, Private U-Pick and photography sessions. Sign up for the newsletter and get the latest on-farm event updates on bouquet-arranging workshops and more! Visit annemariesflowerfarm.com!

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Shari Richey

Boone County’s Newest Councilor: On Representing The Boone County Community

This month, Zionsville Monthly is pleased to feature Zionsville resident Shari Richey on the cover. Richey, who is no stranger to serving the Zionsville community, was elected to the Boone County Council by the Boone County Republican Party after a closed 2-hour caucus last June.

We wanted to familiarize our readers with Richey and her contributions to the Zionsville Community Schools and other local organizations over the many years, as well as share Richey’s intentions as they relate to her service to the Boone County community.

In the wake of the sudden passing of Councilwoman Marcia Wilhoite, who served the council for 18 years, the Boone County Republican precinct committee members elected Richey, who was among eight candidates. As someone who spent her career in accounting at Ernst & Young (EY), Richey brings a breadth of specialized skills, insights and experiences to her new role as a county councilor.


For the past 35 years, Richey has devoted her time and her skills to various community organizations and entities, including her alma mater Butler University where she graduated cum laude with a degree in accounting in 1988. Richey earned her CPA and served 10 years as a tax consulting partner at Ernst & Young.

“I have been involved in a number of civic and community organizations, having served multiple years on the boards of The Indiana Repertory Theatre, Butler University, Indianapolis Downtown, Inc. and United Way of Central Indiana,” Richey shared. “I served on the Zionsville Community School Board of Trustees from 2010 to 2018. I was lucky to work

closely with Mike Shafer, the CFO at that time, who knew school finance better than anyone in the state. As a result, I have a much deeper understanding of quasi-governmental budgets, municipal bonds and the accounting rules that govern these entities. That local experience will likely be the most useful in my role on the Council, which is the fiscal body for the County.”

Professionally, Richey served as the leader for EY’s Indiana Entrepreneur of the Year Program [2003-2009], EY Indiana Alumni Program, as well as the Professional Women’s Network for the Indianapolis office. From 2004 to 2006, Richey led a $25-million area-wide practice with 54 professionals within the Human Capital

Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Laura Arick and submitted

Practice, successfully working with clients to save millions annually by making the most of their human capital investment to better align their human resources plans with their overall business strategy. In 2006, Richey was selected to lead Indianapolis Office’s Business Tax Services with revenue of $10 million and staff of 70+ representing the federal tax practice at EY.

When asked why she’d considered running for the open council seat after the untimely death of Wilhoite, Richey said, “First, let’s be clear. No one can truly replace Marcia. Her work as a CPA in private practice facilitated a deep understanding of the County Council’s budget and finances over 18 years, and her expertise in these areas makes her loss even more pronounced. While I didn’t have the privilege of knowing Marcia personally, I have the utmost respect for the work she did in service to the residents of Boone County.” Richey continued, “The Council was in need of financial talent that could be put to work right away. Given that this is the fiscal body for the county, and the Council’s budget process begins in earnest from July through October, I realized that accounting and finance experience is exactly what was needed at this time.”

However, it was the opportunity to be involved with and to assist our County in managing the LEAP project that really drew her interest. “The LEAP project is something that I had been following intently since its announcement in 2022. Boone County is about to explode on all

levels. LEAP is going to affect every one of us in the county — no matter where you live. I believe that it is imperative that every person with a leadership position in Boone County must be all hands on deck for the next 8-10 years so that we can land this jumbo jet as safely and gracefully as possible. We must do this well —very well—and ensure that we maximize this opportunity without losing the heart and soul of this wonderful county. We must have leaders who can build consensus and bring our residents together.

Richey added, “Serving on the Boone County Council would be an additional opportunity for me to give back to the county that has been my home for the past 24 years. In this season of my life, I have availability for monthly meetings, budget work sessions, and any other committee-related efforts required. I’m not looking at this role as a stepping stone for any further political involvement. Rest assured; I will work as hard as anyone in the county to serve the next eight years in this role so that I can have a meaningful impact.”


Richey has officially been in office since June 26, 2023, and shortly after attended her first County Council Meeting and 2 days of budget work sessions, experienced her first budget process for the county.

“I have learned a great deal already from this budget process and the meetings I’ve had with department leaders to date. My

LEFT Husband, Rich, son Max and daughter, Madeline

fellow Council members have been so welcoming and helpful,” Richey said. “Marcia knew it like the back of her hand. I’ve got a lot to learn, knowing how much our county is going to change with the LEAP project.” In addition to the Lilly investment of $3.7B, there will be much bigger companies—and corresponding investments—coming to LEAP in the future.

Richey concluded, “We must have extremely capable adults in the room who can listen, lead and have the time to devote to significant strategic planning and budgeting. Leaders who can bring our residents together. In less than 18 months, we will see a new Governor, as well as a new leader of the IEDC. Boone County residents are counting on all of us. We must have leaders who can work with and hold the state and the IEDC accountable every step of the way. It is a privilege to serve Boone County and I am excited about our future.”


• Impact 100, Member (2013-2022)

• Zionsville Community Schools, Board of Trustees (2010-2018); held roles of President, Vice President and Secretary

• Butler University Board of Trustees (2004-2012); served on a number of Committees including Finance, Executive Committee, Membership and Academic Affairs

• United Way of Central Indiana Women’s Initiative Steering Committee (20022012); Chair, Women United (2009-2011)

• Indiana Repertory Theater, Board Member and Finance Committee (2002-2011)

• Strategic Planning Committee for Butler University’s Five-Year Strategic Plan, Member (2008-2009)

• Indianapolis Downtown, Inc., Board Member, Executive Committee and Chair of Finance Committee (2003-2009)

• Butler University Alumni Board of Directors, President (1997-2003)


• Promoted to Tax Partner at age 33

• Member of IBJ’s 40 Under 40 – 2005

• Butler University’s 50 Under 50 – 2004


A Look at Zionsville Community Schools’

English Learners Program

As a brand-new school year commences and the district welcomes approximately 8,000 into its student body, many of whom are English Learners [ELs], I thought it prudent to ask about Zionsville Community Schools’ EL Program and what type of supports and resources are available for these students and their families. I spoke with ZCS Assistant Superintendent Kris Devereaux, who graciously offered her time and input on this subject.


The mission of the ZCS EL Program is to support ELs through their journey of language development. ZCS’ EL instructors serve as liaisons for your child in supporting their classroom learning. These instructors also enjoy sharing cultural events and celebrations from both from the United States and abroad.

ZCS has the privilege of serving EL students with dedicated staff who understand the needs of English Learners. The district strives to provide the best service possible to every EL student. The program’s goals are to:

- Develop English Language Learners’ speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills.

- Cultivate awareness and support of English Learners in the Zionsville community.

- Provide effective communication between families of English Learners and the school community


In 2018, I wrote an article on the “Strong in Every Language” grant awarded to ZCS by the Zionsville Education Foundation. That grant provided the EL team with interpretation and translation technology that is being used in all ZCS schools so that information can be communicated to students and families in languages other than English.

There were 52 different languages spoken throughout the ZCS school district at the time of publishing that article. Today, there are 65 languages.

Devereaux expressed, “The more diversity we have, the better we are. In 2016, we had approximately 45 EL students. In 2021, we were at 120, and this year, 2023, not counting students that will come in at the start of the school year, we will begin the [school] year with approximately 225 EL students. We are really growing in our diversity, and I think that’s so exciting!”

As a result of ZEF’s generosity and grants to ZCS, Devereaux shared that the district’s website and Parent Square software are just two of the resources that have made communications easier.

Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Courtesy of ZEF

“We’re always looking for additional things to meet the needs of our students and their families so that they feel welcome,” Devereaux stated. “All of our school communications go through Parent Square and are translated into the parent or guardian’s indicated language preference. We also updated our website to allow it to be more translation friendly as well.”


ZCS has hired additional EL teachers to accommodate the growing EL student population.

“We now have six EL teachers,” Devereaux said. “They not only go above and beyond to provide access to resources for the kids during the school day but also the families to connect them with community resources they need. We are bringing back the EL family engagement nights that we had to pause during COVID. These engagement nights bring our EL families together not only to meet but to learn and ask questions from each other and gain additional resources.”

enough about our Director of Student Resources Maggie Ioannacci — she oversees our EL program and connects the families to resources right away. We have so many different languages and people coming [to Zionsville] with varying levels of English proficiency. So, talking with those families and finding out from their perspectives and experiences what we can do to help them feel welcome and be a part of Zionsville

and the [district’s] website so they can translate our communications. It also helps us to ask the right questions so that we’re not missing something that could be super helpful.”

For more information on the ZCS English Learners Program, visit zcs.k12.in.us. To contact Director of Student Resources Maggie Ioannacci, call (317)8732858 or email mioannacci@zcs.k12.in.us.

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