By Tuo Liu, Modern Languages teacher, Middle School DEI Coordinator
In this month’s blog post on Hackley Perspectives, modern languages teacher and Middle School DEI coordinator Tuo Liu writes, "Art allows us to better understand each other’s experiences, not just within the Hackley community but in a global context. Art not only embodies the Hackley ethos of learning from different perspectives, but also challenges us to take risks — another key Hackley tenet.” Read the post here.
Six Upper School students traveled to San Antonio, Texas, with Mr. Willie Teacher and Ms. Amanda Esteves-Kraus to attend the National Association of Independent Schools’ Student Diversity Leadership Conference, which ran in concurrence with the NAIS People of Color Conference, from Nov. 30 to Dec. 4. The theme of this year’s conference was We The People: Leveraging Our Community to Preserve Our Humanity.
On Nov. 1, 2022, Hackley School announced the launch of Employee Resource Groups, providing enhanced support for the Hilltop’s faculty and staff. The resource groups support key efforts outlined in Redefining Excellence: Learning Beyond Boundaries by creating opportunities for those with shared identities to gather together, feel affirmed, and find mentorship and connection.
On Oct. 20, we welcomed to the Hilltop Jason Reynolds (New York Times No. 1 Best Selling Author) and Jason Griffin (renowned illustrator) of Ain’t Burned All the Bright for a book signing, a morning visit to the Lower School, and two book discussions—first with students in the Johnson Center, then with families in Allen Memorial Hall.
By Avraham Sosa-Velasco, Ph.D., Spanish teacher, Modern Languages Department Chair
In this month’s blog post on Hackley Perspectives, Dr. Avraham Sosa-Velasco, Spanish teacher and Modern Languages Department Chair, writes, “Through music, my students immerse themselves in all facets of Spanish-speaking countries. The aural and visual aspect of singing songs introduces students to dance, dress, and the richness of various cultures.” Read the post here.
A delegation from Keio Academy of New York recently visited Hackley. Led by Keio University’s President Dr. Kohei Itoh, the group included Keio Academy Headmaster Dr. Takayuki Tatsumi and Goro Sato, Keio’s Business Officer.
In this month’s blog post on Hackley Perspectives, Ariana Aguilar, Director of Annual Giving, writes "I have made a career out of giving, have been both a giver and a taker, and I can unequivocally say that giving is much, much more rewarding. I daresay that giving, in the moments when you think you have little to give, is a radical act of love and empowerment...” Read the post here.
In this month’s blog post on Hackley Perspectives titled “Celebrating the Self — Honoring Heritage," Aisha Laspina-Rodriguez, Director of Communications, poses important questions while exploring the impact of celebrating and honoring heritage in the classroom and beyond.
Hackley School has begun recruitment for a 12-month Teaching Fellowship, advancing key efforts highlighted in our strategic plan, Redefining Excellence: Learning Beyond Boundaries, and in our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives. The fellowship—which runs from July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022—pairs Fellows from diverse backgrounds with dedicated mentor teachers on site, promoting growth and cultivating rich learning experiences, and preparing the small cohort to ultimately work in Independent School settings.
On June 22, over 150 parents, guardians, faculty and staff joined in a Community Connections evening presentation led by Dr. Derrick Gay on topics of diversity, equity and inclusion. Although limited by Zoom, the evening was intended as a first session to help lay foundations with our parent and guardian community regarding the challenge of seeing and discussing the ways that race and inclusion play out in our lives and at Hackley.
As the outgoing and incoming Presidents of the Board, we write on behalf of the alumni, current parents, and parents of alumni who comprise Hackley’s Board of Trustees, to acknowledge the work our nation and school must do to fight racial inequity and injustice.
Since sharing this essay on Sunday, May 31 about the killings of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, I have been a part of several crucial, painful conversations with community members, the overriding theme of which has been to see Hackley move from conversation to action on issues of racism and injustice. I am grateful to those who participated--both students and adults--for the direct nature of these conversations, leading me to insights on ways we can and must do better.
As we approach the end of the 2019-2020 school year, we recognize the unrest happening around the country beyond the challenges of COVID-19. Inspired by Community Council President Taylor Robin, Head of School Michael Wirtz reflects on the current climate and his hopes for a better "new normal" in this Hackley Perspectives piece.