Dear Ursuline Community,
In the end of my last letter to you, I said that I hoped that together, as one community, we can blaze a trail toward inclusion and belonging. I am excited to announce that we are now one step closer. In consultation with Jessica Kennedy Becker '89, liaison to the Board of Trustees, and professional consultant Deb Augustine Elam '79 who is an Ursuline alumna, corporate pioneer and diversity strategist, I have appointed the Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Task Force Steering Committee, comprising representatives from various constituencies - trustees, alumnae, faculty, staff, students, parents and friends.
This task force is charged with developing a comprehensive strategic plan in the coming months. The overarching goal is to systematically assess all areas of school life, as well as governance and operational structures, and to determine how we can enhance our cultural competency skills, and create an ever more inclusive, welcoming community. While the members of the task force will lead the effort and ensure that we make measurable progress, all members of the community will have the opportunity to voice their perspective.
We are looking for people of various experiences in order to have an inclusive approach. If you are interested in participating in any way, please complete this interest form by July 6. Each area of focus will be co-chaired by an Academy representative as well as other members of the Ursuline family. Within those groups, we will also have subcommittees who will work together on that specific area.
As we work together to be transformative agents of justice, hope, and optimism in the world, we look forward to working alongside you - hearing your suggestions and welcoming your input. We will continue to send updates as we have them. After all, communication and collaboration are key to building a better, stronger Ursuline.
A special thank you to the following members of our Ursuline Academy Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Task Force Steering Committee.
Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Task Force Steering Committee
Deborah Augustine Elam '79, Consultant
Jessica Kennedy Becker '89, Board of Trustees Liaison
Dr. Margarita O'Byrne Curtis '69, Academy President
Jennie Guidry, High School Academic Assistant Principal
Cathryn Walsh, Middle and High School Teacher
Fr. Bentley Anderson, SJ
Suzette Peychaud Bagneris '86
Robyn Sangster McCormick
Becky McLellan, Director of Admissions
Cheri Morial Ausberry '84
Robyn DeGruy Kiper '96
Mariana Coudrain, Annual Fund Coordinator
Maria Merchan Weidenbacher '05, Director of Alumnae Relations
Kimberlin Pittman Brown '95
Maureen Mock Verderame '66
Christy Jackson Zurcher '00, Director of Communications
Fran Collins McManus '76
Laila Morcos Zissis '92
Dr. Tracy Bonday, Head of High School
Shannon Culotta, Head of Elementary
Alicia Humphres, Chief Officer of Operations
Liz Glaser Broekman '85
Pam Cromiller Cohn '79
Andrea Estavan, Elementary Dean of Students
Sue Dorsey Heidel '85, High School Dean of Students
Co-ChairsDanette Saylor, Ph.D.
Sr. Regina Marie Fronmuller, OSU
Dr. Margarita O'Byrne Curtis '69