Diversity

ring day 2019

In keeping with our Mission Statement, Connelly School of the Holy Child strives as a Catholic community to welcome students, staff, and families of different faiths and diverse backgrounds and is dedicated to including and respecting all. The school embraces the uniqueness of students, families, and staff who both enrich and promote diversity.

The school values all individuals at Holy Child through teamwork and Christian values. For the good of the community, we believe in the dignity and uniqueness of everyone. Holy Child promotes personal growth and development for all who participate in the life of the school. Our community practices peace and compassion through everyday life by creating a learning climate based on trust and reverence for the dignity and uniqueness of each person.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

At Holy Child, our students and families represent a wide spectrum of cultures, identities, and backgrounds, all of which make our community stronger and richer. Our community believes that diversity makes our students, faculty, and community members smarter, wiser, and better able to fulfill our vision of graduating students who go forth to shape a better world.

As we seek to provide the opportunity for a Holy Child education to a diverse group of young women, we are also aware that this purpose can only be accomplished by deep commitment to increasing inclusivity, equity, and diversity on our campus. We acknowledge that learning occurs best in a safe, secure, and stimulating environment.

Diversity Conversations

Faculty and staff seek opportunities and channels to increase an intellectually challenging and creative program of study that develops love for learning and academic excellence, and that supports diversity and respect among all people. The Holy Child mission is furthered when each teacher educates every student as an individual, recognizing and developing her unique talents, skills, personality and learning strengths.

 

Student Diversity Committee Learning Opportunities 

Student Diversity Advisor: Karen Craig, Upper School History Teacher

  • Leadership Camp, AIMS, August 2019.
  • Baltimore Student Diversity Leadership Conference, AIMS: November 9, 2019.
  • NAIS Student Diversity Leadership Conference, Seattle, Washington, December 2019
  • Middle School Diversity Conference at Saint Andrew’s Episcopal School, January 2020
  • GLEAN Conference, Saint Andrew’s Episcopal School, March 2020

2019-2020 Holy Child Diversity Events and Information

  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Presentation by Ms. Kaliq Simms (AIMS) to the Administrators, Faculty and Staff, and Board of Trustees
  • Hispanic Heritage Month:
    • Morning announcements and Tiger Times
    • September 20th, homeroom in the gym, speaker’s conversation by Mr. Gabe Albornoz, Montgomery County Councilmember.
    • Merengue Class by Mr. Tony Thomas, Dance Teacher
  • Additional Homeroom in the Gym Presentations:
    • Diversity and Faith by Ms. Karen Craig, History Teacher
    • Indigenous People’s Day by Mr. Alex Barr, History Teacher
    • November 1 and 2: Día de los Muertos
    • November 1 to 7: National French Week by Madame Marie-Lise Bonneau, French Teacher
    • What is Privilege? by Ms. Karen Craig, History Teacher and Ms. Katia Vargas, Multicultural Diversity Coordinator
    • December 12, Our Lady of Guadalupe
    • January 25: Lunar New Year, by Aurora Chen, Chloe McLean, and Halo Lyman
    • Tuesday, February 25: Mardi Gras, by Madame Marie-Lise Bonneau
    • Friday, March 6: World Day of Prayer
  • Diversity Half Day: Promoting Healthy Conversations about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
    • Middle School and Upper School Workshops:
      • Socio-Economic Status
      • Ability Differences
      • Building A Bridge
      • Project 1619
      • Body Shaming
      • Microaggressions and Stereotypes
      • Acknowledging Privilege: Be an Ally
      • Religious Tolerance – the Golden Rule
      • Gender Gap in the Workplace
      • Mental Health
      • Your Vote Counts!
    • Click here to see the Instagram story highlight
  • Black History Month: Contributions of the Black Community in Pop Culture
    • Famous Black and African American Door Competition
    • Homeroom in the gym dance performance by Elyse Miller
    • Portrait for the Library – Natural Hair – by Aurora Chen
    • Conversations:
      • Sports – by Jaden Faunteroy, Ms. Karen Craig, Ms. Rachel Karanian
      • Cultural Appropriation – by Lola Hill and Nyla Belton, Ms. Nawil Jama
      • HairKayla Smith, Ms. Madie Bromiley, Ms. Elizabeth Billett
      • Movies and Media Jaden-Christina Baker, Lucy Williams, and Mr. James Carpenter
      • Fashion- Jaylen Butler, Pilar Arrendell, and Mrs. Lindsay Davis
      • Black Christians Amari Bryan Chavis and Mrs. Ogechi Akalegbere
      • MusicJayda Fomengia, Nadia Green, and Ms. Fager
  • Women’s History Month
    • Girl Power. #girlhero sticky notes to display, The Girl Up Club
    • March 12, Homeroom in the Gym. We had a conversation about how women are portrayed in the media and how that affects our self image of beauty. We wrote a love notes to ourselves.
  • National Autism Awareness Month – Homeroom presentation Officer Laurie Reyes of the Autism/Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) Outreach Unit of Montgomery County Police Department
  • International Week
    • International Trivia Game honoring our faculty and staff from international background
    • Cooking videos and cooking classes with international plates were offered
  • Asian American and Pacific Islander History Month Homeroom in the Gym presentation by: Chloe McLean, Ms. Cynthia Dillard, Mrs. Ida Pablo, Mr. Mark O’Dea, Nyla Choudry, and Benanti Kaur
  • Meetings throughout the year with the Middle School Diversity Club, Teacher Diversity Committee, Books and Bagels Book Club, and Diversity Team of teachers
  • Unpacking These Troubling Times Conversations with students, parents, faculty, and staff June 9 and 10, 2020.

Resources

Diversity Team

  • Katia Vargas - Multicultural Diversity Coordinator
  • Ogechi Akalegbere - Christian Service Coordinator
  • Elizabeth Billett - 9th and 10th Grade Counselor
  • Karen Craig - Upper School History Teacher
  • Alice Mercer - 11th and 12th Grade Counselor
  • Ida Pablo - Middle School and Upper School Math Teacher

Faculty and Staff Diversity Committee

Diversity Coordinator - Katia Vargas

  • Ogechi Akalegbere – Christian Service Coordinator
  • Nichole Batluck – Librarian
  • Elizabeth Billett – 9th and 10th Grade Counselor
  • James Carpenter – Upper School Theater Teacher
  • Andrea Castelluccio – Upper School Spanish Teacher
  • Chip Comstock – Upper School Math Teacher
  • Karen Craig – Upper School History Teacher
  • Lindsay Davis – Director of School Counseling and Middle School Counselor
  • Cynthia Dillard – Music Teacher
  • Nora Fitzpatrick – Assistant to the Head of School
  • Ben Hatton – Upper School History Teacher
  • Nawil Jama – Upper School Math Teacher
  • Adam Lewin – Upper School Social Studies Teacher
  • Kevin Melendez – Technology Help Desk
  • Alice Mercer - 11th and 12th Grade Counselor
  • Ida Pablo – Middle School and Upper School Math Teacher
  • Sonya Payne – Upper School Art Teacher
  • Colleen Wealton-Mailander – Middle School and Upper School Spanish Teacher

Our health, philosophy, world religions, international program, and service-learning curricula embrace the multicultural and economic reality of our community, society, and world by considering and understanding our global interconnectedness and the ensuing need for social justice, constant striving for peace, equity, and service to others.

2019-2020 Faculty and Staff Professional Development Opportunities

  • NDPI (National Practitioners Institute), June 2019
  • Leadership camp, AIMS, August 2019
  • Kaliq Simms presentation to Faculty and Staff on August 5 and August 20, 2019
  • Baltimore Student Diversity Leadership Conference, AIMS: November 9, 2019
  • NAIS People of Color Conference, Seattle, Washington, December 2019
  • Model Organization of American States, Washington DC, November 2019
  • AIMS Talking About Race, November 2019
  • Middle School Diversity Conference at Saint Andrews Episcopal School, January 2020
  • Everyday Activism: Small Actions that Make a Difference in Independent Schools, Holton-Arms, February 2020
  • GLEAN Conference, Saint Andrew’s Episcopal School, March 2019
  • NAIS Diversity Directors, March 2020
  • NAIS Webinar for Financial Aid and How to Overcome the Economic Crisis Facing Us, March 2020
  • NDPI Diversity Directors, March 2020
  • New Oasis International Student’s Webinar, April 2020
  • SEVIS New Procedures for International Students, April 2020
  • NAIS Covid-19 and How to Help Kids in Need
  • NDPI New Ideas for Diversity Directors Covid-19 Anti-Asian Racism Webinar, April 2020
  • NAIS The Next Wave: Building Resilience, Connection Across Differences, and a Values-Based Approach to Community Health & Well-Being, April 2020
  • NAIS Meetup for International Student Program Directors, April 2020
  • NAIS Meetup for Diversity Practitioners, April 2020
  • Mental Health Matters: Fostering Resilience During COVID-19 School Closures, April 2020
  • AIMS EDIJ Practitioners, May 2020
  • NAIS Diversity Directors, May 2020
  • NDPI Diversity Directors, May 2020
  • NDPI, June 2020
  • Summer Reading Book for Faculty and Staff: White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo

Student Life Staff

Julie Burke
Dean of Students
301.365.0955 x2239

Jackie McCarthy
Associate Dean of Students
301.365.0955 x2114

Elizabeth Billett
9th and 10th Grade Counselor
301.365.0955 x2116

Alice Mercer
11th and 12th Grade Counselor
301.265.0955 x2228

Lindsay Davis
Director of Counseling and Middle School Counselor
301.365.0955 x2198

Katia Vargas
Multicultural Diversity Coordinator
301.365.0955 x2195

Catherine Albornoz
Campus Minister
301.365.0955 x2223

Ogechi Akalegbere
Christian Service Coordinator
301.365.0955 x2321