St. Catherine’s School is committed to providing an inclusive educational environment. We actively engage students, families, faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds and experiences. Our school community respects the differences in ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation and socioeconomic status. Consistent with the School’s mission, St. Catherine’s fosters in our students, and expects from all others, respect for the dignity and wholeness of every person.
St. Catherine's is on a journey to be a part of dismantling systemic racism. Black lives matter, and we stand in solidarity with our Black students, families, faculty, staff, and alumnae.
Our path forward focuses on four pillars:
1. Listening and Learning 2. Curricular and Community Education 3. Representation 4. Equitable and Inclusive Campus Climate
St. Catherine’s School brings together girls and their families, faculty and staff from a diverse mix of backgrounds, nationalities, experiences and perspectives. We are committed to building a welcoming community within and beyond the School through teaching social responsibility and inclusiveness, and we recognize the unique gifts and potential of each person and recognize the strength that comes from our differences.
Our girl-centered education includes the active partnership with our brother school, St. Christopher’s School, to continue building our inclusive community.
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We weave cultural competencies into every day
As we advance our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, we focus on various cultural identifiers including age, ability, ethnicity, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation and socioeconomic status. To further ensure we uphold this focus, various leadership groups work collaboratively to weave mutual respect into every facet of school life and into the academic curriculum. We actively strengthen our work extensive community connections, collaborations and service partnerships.
To learn more about our Global Education program, click here.
The Virtues Program in the Lower School teaches the girls understanding and compassion at a young age with a 2-year cycle of monthly virtues that are explored in the classroom, in chapel and across grade levels.
In addition to the Middle School advisory program, girls across grade levels come together in our Strong Circles Program to explore themes of honor, friendship, inclusion and service. They work on special projects throughout the year in which each girl’s voice is heard and celebrated.
In the Upper School, junior and senior peer advisors actively engage with freshmen to help them transition into Upper School life and work together on numerous projects and activities that center around themes of building community.
St. Catherine’s Board of Governors has a specific committee dedicated to diversity, equity and inclusion. Representation includes board members, alumnae, parents, school administration, faculty and staff.
2020-2021 DEI Board Committee Members: Ashley Taylor, Chair Trishana Glover-Hassell M.D. Freddie Gray Carol Brown Harris Cal Jennison Donnan O’Keefe Chrystal Telfian Michael Thorne-Begland Elizabeth Valentine
Ex-Officio: Lila Lohr, Interim Head of School David Charlton, Ed.D., CSDV Macon Clarkson Anne Kenny-Urban
Non-voting Members: Taruna Aurora, M.D. ReRe Bernstein ’87 Tiffany Jones ’06 Jackie Taylor ’94 Liza Mickens ’15
Faculty/Staff Members: Sue Baldwin Andrea Byrd Jennifer Cullinan Kefu Dorion Frances Doyle Annie Kapetanis, Ed.D. Anamaria Scozzaro Bianca Spurlock Lara Wulff, Ph.D.
We actively recruit, hire and retain talented faculty and staff of diverse backgrounds. Some of our activities include participating in diversity career fairs, partnering with community organizations and collaborating with career development offices at colleges and universities.
We value each girl’s spiritual journey and we make time for prayer, reflection and matters of the heart. Our Episcopal identity guides us to embrace all faith traditions. Chapel speakers of all ages and walks of life share their experiences in relatable ways. Chapel services are held several times a week in each division.
St. Catherine’s is a leader school in the Virginia Diversity Network with faculty members often serving on the Executive Committee. In addition, St. Catherine’s is a proud supporter of the annual Virginia Independent Schools Diversity Fair.
St. Catherine’s is an active member school in Global Education Benchmark Group sharing the mission to promote the development of global citizens by expanding their knowledge and skills, and empathic orientation required to understand multiple perspectives and to thrive in increasingly interconnected world systems.
Our school leads professional development workshops and programs throughout the school year that include training, activities and speakers that address inclusion, community and global engagement topics.
We know that girls greatly benefit from hands-on learning and experiences which allow them to explore, connect and grow. Our teaching and learning extends beyond the classroom with unique student-led activities, service trips, exchanges with partner schools and a host of X-term cohorts that place inclusion and service to others at the center of their work.
The Lower School Inclusion Club meets weekly to participate in age-appropriate activities related to broadening their understanding and appreciation of diversity as it relates to different perspectives, cultures, and religions.
Through our partnership with the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities, Middle Schoolers attend the Prejudice Awareness Summit and the Middle School Diversity Conference hosted by St. Stephen's and St. Agnes' School. Upper School students attend the Connections Institute to understand how stereotypes, bigotry and prejudice can negatively affect their schools.
Our students are passionate about collaboration as demonstrated by the many clubs on campus including several devoted to inclusion topics such as Community Service League, Feminism Club, Gay/Straight Alliance (GSA), Enye Club, Latin Club, Medley Club, Model Judiciary, Model UN, Political Awareness Club (PAC), Saturday Academy, Speak Up Mental Health Club, Spanish Club and Unity Club.