New IPS 87 school principal appointed amid abuse scandal

Elizabeth Krutz is named new principal of George Washington Carver Montessori School 87.

Courtesy of Indianapolis Public Schools

Indianapolis Public Schools has announced a new principal for George Washington Carver School 87, responding to allegations of classroom bullying and calls from parents for a change in leadership.

Elizabeth Krutz, the previous principal of LaPorte Middle School, will lead the Riverside neighborhood school after expected school board approval later this month. Classes will begin Aug. 1 for the 2024-25 school year.

The former principal of School 87 was removed from the school earlier this spring after a lawsuit alleging that a second-grade teacher at the school encouraged abuse in the classroom. In a cellphone video recorded by the former teacher, he can be heard encouraging another student to continue beating a disabled student who was sobbing. The teacher, Julious Johnican, has been charged with neglect of a dependent by the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office.

Parents of students at School 87 demanded that the principal be removed from her position after the incident became public. They also blamed school administrators for failing to notify them of the allegations of abuse or the Department of Child Services investigation until the media reported it.

Krutz has more than 30 years of experience in education and most recently served as principal of LaPorte High School. Krutz is a member of the National Association for Gifted Children and serves as a principal mentor at the Indiana Principal Leadership Institute. She is enrolled in the Montessori Fundamentals for School Leaders professional course at the National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector and is a graduate of Indiana State University and Indiana University.

“Elizabeth brings an incredible skill set that includes valued experience building relationships and a proven ability to close achievement gaps through strategic planning and data-driven practices,” IPS Superintendent Aleesia Johnson said in a statement. “We look forward to the positive impact she will have on our students and community.”

The IPS Board of Commissioners will vote on recommending Krutz’s hiring at its July 25 board meeting.

Contact WFYI education reporter Sydney Dauphinais at [email protected].