Eight members from our Orchard team joined me this year in attending the NAIS People of Color Conference
, an annual conference of educators that brings together thousands of teachers, staff, and school leaders who work in independent schools around the country. For more than thirty years, this annual gathering has "equipped educators at every level, from teachers to trustees, with knowledge, skills, and experiences to improve and enhance the interracial, interethnic, and intercultural climate in their schools, as well as the attending academic, social-emotional, and workplace performance outcomes for students and adults alike." Our team was drawn from across our divisions and departments, and included Lisa Pryor (Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion); Jessica Aiyasami (Admissions); Krystal Wood (Admissions); Taleesha Martin (1st
grade); Ragen Mitchell (6th
grade science), Aiyasami Sreenivasan (6th
grade math), Caroline Boarini (MS Spanish), and Jeffrey Berry (8th
grade social studies). The team will be regrouping in the weeks ahead to reflect on our individual and collective learning, and to plan for action steps across our school.
I'd like to also congratulate Lisa Pryor, who was selected to be a presenter amongst more than 500 applicants at this year's PoCC conference. Lisa's workshop, "The Power of BEING in Life and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Work" was an inspiration to the educators who packed the room, and a reflection of the leadership and insight she has brought to her work at Orchard.
I invite you to watch this brief video of highlights from the 2019 PoCC Conference
, and to view Orchard's Instagram story
about PoCC to see more about our team's experience at the conference. We've returned from our shared experiences inspired, and eager to keep our school's work around diversity, equity, and inclusion moving forward!