Muncie Central Grads La’Saiha Ewing and Brian Whitley Receive Ball State’s Ryan Family Scholarship

La’Saiha Ewing and Brian Whitley. Photo provided by MCSLa’Saiha Ewing and Brian Whitley. Photo provided by MCS

By Andy Klotz, MCS—

MUNCIE, IN – La’Saiha Ewing loves art. It helps her express her thoughts and feelings. As creative as she is, the 2023 Muncie Central graduate still never imagined it could help fund her college ambitions and ultimately lead her to a career as a teacher, but that’s what has happened after receiving the Michelle and Jim Ryan Family Scholarship from the Ball State Teachers College (BSTC).

“Receiving the Ryan Family Scholarship is a huge honor,” Ewing said. “Honestly, I couldn’t even fathom the thought of such a beautiful opportunity. I’m so thankful to Dr. Anderson for helping me realize all of the things I can accomplish as a teacher.”

She is referring to Dr. John Anderson, the director of the Ryan Family Navigators Program at BSTC. Dr. Anderson saw her work at the Muncie Community Schools (MCS) All City Art Show last spring and reached out to see what her plans were after graduation. That led to her applying for the Ryan Family Scholarship.

“Her art is captivating and I just had to meet her after seeing it,” Dr. Anderson said. “When I discovered she was interested in attending Ball State, I encouraged her to consider becoming an art teacher and she became very excited about the thought.”

Brian Whitley is another MCHS grad who planned to attend Ball State, but didn’t have a great plan on how to pay for it. Receiving a Ryan Family Scholarship has made all the difference.

“This scholarship will greatly help me achieve my and my family’s dream (of me going to college),” Whitley said. “This means a lot to me, and teaching school children will be amazing. I can now pursue an education without having to worry about finances while in school.”

Whitley plans to become a social studies teacher and, like Ewing, is enjoying his first week as a Ball State freshman. Both were honored today at Muncie Central with a special scholarship signing ceremony that included family and friends as well as Ball State officials Anderson, Interim Provost Anand Marri, BSTC Dean David McIntosh, Associate Dean Kendra Lowery, MCS Director of Diversity Rhonda Ward and Director of Public Education Lee Ann Kwiatkowski.

“I can’t say enough about this scholarship program and how important it is to our students and our school district,” Dr. Kwiatkowski said. “These two fine students may not have been able to realize their dreams without it, and we may now have two budding teaching superstars that will help educate the next generation of Muncie students.”

The Ryan Family scholarship covers all student costs, including tuition, fees and room and board. Recipients are selected using criteria established by the Ryan family and BSTC with consideration given to applicants with financially challenging backgrounds.


About Muncie Community Schools

Serving the local community since 1855, Muncie Community Schools (MCS) educates more than 5,000 students at six elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school while also managing several other educational facilities. Through its unique partnership with Ball State University, MCS strives to maximize each student’s potential so he or she can be a positive, productive member of society. Find out more about MCS or Director of Public Education and CEO Lee Ann Kwiatkowski at