DEI Executive Committee

DEI Division Coordinators: 
  • Willie Teacher, US DEI Coordinator
  • Amanda EK, Assistant US DEI Coordinator
  • Tuo Liu, MS DEI Coordinator
  • Rachel Mwakitawa, LS DEI Coordinator
Leadership Team Members: 
  • Michael Wirtz, Head of School
  • Cyndy Jean, Assistant Head of School for Community and Inclusivity
  • Steve Bileca, Assistant Head of School for Academic Affairs
  • Andy King, Director of the Upper School
  • Shazia Durrani, Director of the Middle School
  • Lisa Oberstein, Director of the Lower School

List of 1 members.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan

At Hackley, we believe success is reflected in how we respect and uplift each other. Our deeply-held principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion are woven into the fabric of our identity, and we stand together in creating a sense of belonging for all of our community members through the following seven Action Areas of our DEI Plan.

Read below about the ongoing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work at Hackley.

Action Areas

List of 7 frequently asked questions.

  • Leadership: Focuses on school leadership, including the board of trustees

    Believing that the school’s leadership must model the change we wish to effect, Hackley has prioritized the creation of a director-level position to lead the school’s DEI efforts. In addition, the Leadership Team is undertaking an audit of the school’s policies and procedures. 
    • Successfully hire and onboard a Leadership Team-level position to lead DEI, community-building work
    • Review school policies and processes through the lens of equity
  • Hiring and Retention: Includes efforts to attract, recruit, and retain a diverse employee body, especially teachers and administrators


    Hackley is committed to diversifying faculty and staff across all dimensions of identity, with a particular emphasis on increasing the number of people of color. We have brought in training in anti-bias hiring practices for our leadership team, and will continue to implement anti-bias practices in our hiring practices across the school as we train other hiring managers. We continue to develop ways to attract candidates of color, including developing plans for a teaching fellowship program. In addition to hiring more candidates of color, Hackley is committed to supporting the faculty and staff of color currently working at the school through the creation of affinity groups.

    • Train Leadership Team and hiring managers on anti-bias hiring practices, and review and revise hiring practices through an anti-bias lens 
    • Create the Hackley Teaching Fellowship to support early career teachers
    • Broaden the pipeline of teaching talent by developing and formalizing relationships with national and local organizations working with high school and college students of color as a source for teaching candidates and sourcing candidates through internal networks (e.g. alumni).
    • Train adults to be affinity group leaders as part of support and retainment efforts
    • Identify and establish additional support mechanisms for faculty of color focused on retainment
  • Teaching and Learning: Expands curriculum and pedagogical approaches


    Hackley has conducted departmental reviews of the curriculum, which includes auditing our History and English curricula for grades 5-12 and adopting and implementing selective aspects of the Pollyanna racial literacy curriculum for K-8. The curriculum has been reviewed through lenses of class, race, gender, and culture, ensuring narratives are about history and accomplishment, not solely oppression. Selected books have been changed to include a broader variety of perspectives and voices.
    • Cyndy Jean will partner with Steve Bileca, Assistant Head for Academic Affairs, and relevant department chairs to review curriculum beginning with the English and History audits. 
    • The DEI Team will continue to offer additional professional development and support -- including affinity spaces -- for academic leaders and faculty. 
  • Student Programming: Involves all-school programming for students that lies beyond the classroom experience


    Through a variety of programs throughout the year, Hackley is developing community building work that celebrates diversity and commonality. These include heritage integration and programming for student advisories, student affinity groups, and an extended orientation program that includes community building.
    • The DEI Team will work closely with faculty, parents, and student volunteers to promote heritage month celebrations. 
    • Cyndy Jean will partner with Chris Arnold, the Assistant Director of the Upper School, to conduct Inclusivity Training for Upper School Club Leaders (e.g. Board of Magistrates, Community Council, and club leaders).
    • Cyndy Jean will work with Renee Pabst, Director of Health and Wellness, and Jason Edwards, Director of Athletics, to coordinate social-emotional learning, health, and DEI workshops in partnership with the athletic teams. 
    • The Lower School will partner with Lower School parents to share cultural experiences of countries reflecting the diversity of our Lower School through the Trip Around the World
  • Student Support: Supports student social-emotional growth


    We are creating new, inclusive opportunities for affinity groups to flourish on campus. This includes conducting a climate assessment survey with our students to better understand the current environment and to gather broader points of view.
    • Cyndy Jean will work with division directors in the Middle and Upper Schools to train advisors and deans for facilitation work. 
    • The DEI Team will develop affinity spaces for students.
  • Community Engagement: Promotes programming and structures to engage parents, families, and the alumni community


    Through activities like our alumni conversation series, parent discussion groups, and divisional advisory groups, we are finding new ways to engage the many facets of our community in civil discourse, learning opportunities, and meaningful discussion.
    • The DEI Team will partner with the Advancement Office to create a speaker series, Varying Perspectives in Action
    • Cyndy Jean will work with the Advancement Office to create a mentorship program for students, focusing on particular affinity groups (e.g. special interests, students of color, first generation). 
    • Cyndy Jean will work with the division directors to engage DEI Advisory Committees in each division, bringing together faculty, students, and parents to plan programming throughout the academic year. 
  • Faculty, Staff, Administrator Growth and Support: Continues DEI professional development for faculty, staff, and administrators


    To support growth, Hackley is creating faculty affinity groups and introducing DEI measures to our employee performance evaluation process, sharing performance expectations, and providing training multiple times throughout the coming year. 
    • Cyndy Jean will lead DEI workshops for members of the Leadership Team, Academic Committee, and faculty focused on team building through equity practice, curricular development, and cultural competency. Early themes include, “discretionary spaces,” and “culturally responsive practices” in the classroom. 
    • Cross-departmental groupings of employees will bring colleagues together across the school to build community and set goals for professional growth in DEI-related topics. 

DEI Team

List of 1 members.

  • Photo of Cyndy Jean

    Cyndy Jean 

    Assistant Head of School for Community and Inclusivity

List of 2 members.

  • Photo of Willie Teacher

    Willie Teacher 

    Performing Arts Teacher, US DEI Coordinator
  • Photo of Tuo Liu

    Tuo Liu 

    Modern Languages Teacher, MS DEI Coordinator

List of 2 members.

  • Photo of Amanda Esteves-Kraus

    Amanda Esteves-Kraus 

    Science Teacher; Director of Boarding, US Assistant DEI Coordinator
  • Photo of Rachel Mwakitawa

    Rachel Mwakitawa 

    Lower School Teacher, LS DEI Coordinator
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