In 1941 the Brownie School began as one of the first racially integrated schools in Virginia. Today Diversity remains front and center as one of the four core values of Browne Academy. Our commitment to celebrating diversity and making sure everyone feels comfortable and included in our community continues to evolve and expand. As part of Browne’s evolution, we are delighted to announce the appointment of Sky Wright as our inaugural Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB).
Mrs. Wright’s first act as director was to establish the DEIB committee, which is composed of self-selected faculty and staff volunteers. The committee had its first meeting in early October. At the next meeting, members will elect their committee chair, deputy chair, and secretary to serve for the 2022-2023 school year. As the year progresses, the committee plans to work on increasing diversity among our faculty and staff, an area identified for continued growth in the parent and faculty/staff surveys last year.
Besides the DEIB committee, Mrs. Wright established Embrace, an affinity group for faculty and staff of color. The purpose of Embrace is to provide opportunities for relationship building, a professional voice, and a collective voice for fostering an inclusive environment where all feel valued, supported, respected, and empowered to succeed.
The 2022-2023 DEIB committee members are as follows:
Tietjen Alvarez, lower school art teacher
Rebecca Culbreth, lower school director of learning resources
Johanna Cheney, 7th/8th math teacher
Maddie Fields, kindergarten teacher
Janet Gomez, preschool teacher
Rebecca Gray, 5th/6th English teacher
Serie Haeseler, school counselor
Sophie Horville, executive assistant to the head of school
Rana Johnson, 4th grade teacher
Robyn Laha, 3rd grade teacher
Lora Leary, kindergarten teacher
Janet Merrifield, 5th/6th math teacher
Hannah Miller, 2nd grade teacher
Sarah Rojas, lower school Spanish teacher
Lucia Schaefer, middle school music teacher