Most of you know Marcus Hatcher as The Orchard School’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Coordinator, but did you know he’s also one of 25 members of the 46th Class of The Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership Series? Since its inception, more than eleven hundred people have gone through the highly competitive ten-month program and many of the significant leaders in Indianapolis are graduates of the program or have served as moderators, such as Carolene Mays-Medley, Mark Miles (Orchard Governor), Brian Payne, Joe Slash, and Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Fun fact: Stanley K. Lacy ’60 is an Orchard alumnus and the Middle School learning center is named after him. As part of Harvest: Campaign for The Orchard School, the Mothershead Foundation pledged to help with Middle School improvements and named the new Middle School learning center the Stanley K. Lacy Learning Center, in honor and in memory of 1960 Orchard graduate and civic leader Stanley K. Lacy. The Center is a key community gathering space for upper school students.
We’re excited to have Mr. Hatcher on our team as well as a diverse group of Indianapolis leaders hoping to make the world a better place. Below is a quick Q&A with Mr. Hatcher.
What does Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion mean to you?
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) work is dear to my heart. I envision a world where people are celebrated for their differences, learn from one another, and live in an environment where we can respectfully agree to disagree. All of our needs are different and my goal is to create a space where the Orchard Community feels safe and can learn and grow in a loving environment–that’s what DEI means to me.
With DEI being a pillar of Orchard’s Progressive education, and creating a Community of Belonging is a priority of Orchard’s new Strategic Plan, you must be excited about the road ahead.
I am super excited about this opportunity and the Strategic Plan for The Orchard School. Orchard is truly a Progressive school and is leading the charge of Progressive education in Indianapolis. At times we will touch on some uncomfortable topics, however, with an open mind and thoughtful dialogue the sky's the limit for our children’s education. Working with students from preschool to eighth grade affords me the opportunity to meet students where they are in the DEI curriculum. Students are at different levels with their DEI knowledge, this opportunity allows me to teach students about diversity, equity, and inclusion while also defining the terms. Teaching also provides me with the opportunity to learn from our students and their prior knowledge. Students have so many experiences that we adults can learn from and about. As a continuous educator, I am always listening to students and their life stories.
What work are you most proud of in the past five years?
I am very proud of the day-to-day positive impact I have made on my students through education in my previous roles. Teaching is such a rewarding profession and when former students reach out to me and share their successes, I smile with pride. Additionally, I am super excited to share that I was accepted into the Stanley K. Lacy Leadership Class 46 this year. This is a leadership class for civic leaders in the Indianapolis community. Leaders are challenged to provide solutions and ideas to continue to grow into leaders that will impact Indianapolis on a global level.
The Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership Series (SKL) is a highly competitive program with some of the biggest leaders in Indiana/Midwest including CEO of Pacers Sports & Entertainment Rick Fuson. What did you do when you found out you were accepted?
I was in disbelief when I found out I was a member of Class 46. I literally yelled at the top of my lungs once I was in the privacy of my own car. The program has a lengthy application process and many applicants are not selected. To say I was overjoyed is an understatement. SKL has a list of many influential leaders in our city and to be a part of this leadership class is amazing.
How are SKL leaders chosen? Will Orchard benefit from any of the goals of Class 46?
Class members are chosen because of their significant community involvement and professional achievement; their demonstrated interest in community issues; a record of participation and achievement in voluntary community activities; and their willingness to expand their leadership role in the community. Each class covers a different topic from public safety, DEI work, education, and government to name a few. My goal is to take the knowledge I learn and apply it to the needs of Orchard’s school community.
One thing the Orchard community would be shocked to know about you?