Diversity and Inclusion

We are not all the same, and we like it that way

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 Episcopal identity welcomes all faith traditions.
  • Our students come from approximately 55 different zip codes.
  • Our families self-report 18% racial diversity among all students for the 2018-2019 school year
  • Our faculty and staff have studied 25 different languages and 40 percent have lived outside of the U.S.
  • Exchange students from around the world visit St. Catherine’s each year for both short and long-term experiences. This year students from Austria, Colombia, Lithuania and Germany are attending school with us. In recent years, girls from China, France and Vietnam shared their talents and life experiences with the St. Catherine’s community. And our girls travel to places around the globe for short-term, semester and yearlong academic exchanges.
Our girl-centered education includes the active partnership with our brother school, St. Christopher’s School, to continue building our inclusive community.
 

We are committed to an inclusive community

Diversity Statement

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.
 

We weave cultural competencies into every day

To further ensure we uphold this focus, various leadership groups work collaboratively to weave mutual respect into every facet of school life, to further advance the qualities of equity, justice and civility, and to strengthen community connections through collaboration and service partnerships. To learn more about our Global Education program, click here.

Programming

List of 7 items.

  • Advising and Mentoring Programs

    • 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.
  • Board of Governors Committee on Inclusion

    St. Catherine’s Board of Governors has a specific committee dedicated to inclusion efforts that is further supported by an Inclusion team that consists of faculty and staff representing all divisions.
  • Chapel Program

    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.
  • Community Partners & Faculty Professional Development

    • 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.
    • The School also participates in iEARN, an International Educations and Resource Network, in which our teachers and students engage in interactive curriculum-based groups to create, research and share opinions with schools across the globe.
    • St. Catherine's is a member of the Workplace Inclusion Network (WIN), sponsored by the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities.
    • 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.
  • Experiential Learning

    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.
  • Guest Speakers

    St. Catherine's brings guest speakers and visiting experts to campus to share their experiences with our students. They represent a diverse array of perspectives and passions including:
    • Minnijean Brown-Trickey, member of Little Rock Nine
    • Axana Sultan, Founder and CEO of Enhancing Children’s Lives
    • Sarah Lenti Policy Consultant and Board Member for the National Immigration Forum
    • Angela Luna, founder and CEO of ADIFF
    • Mae Shields, Civil Rights activist
    • Ellen Stofan, Ph.D., Chief Scientist of NASA
    • Shiza Shahid, Co-Founder and Global Ambassador of the Malala Fund
    • Maggie Doyne, 2015 CNN Hero of the Year and founder of Kopila Valley School and Home in Nepal
    • Fr. Nabil Haddad, Melkite Catholic founder and director of the Jordanian Interfaith Coexistence Research Center in Amman, Jordan
    • Tucker Carrington, Director of the Mississippi Innocence Project
  • Student Conferences and Clubs

    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), Laurasian Club, Model Judiciary, Political Awareness Club (PAC), Speak Up Mental Health Club, Students Engaging in Essential Dialogue (SEED) and Unity Club.

Contacts

List of 5 members.

  • Sue Baldwin 

    Assistant Head of School and Chair of Diversity and Inclusion
    804-288-2804 x3038
    Longwood College - B.M.E
  • Mrs. Allison Felton 

    Teacher, Middle School Spanish, Diversity Coordinator for Hispanic Education
    VCU - M.Ed
  • Gina Friend 

    Assistant Director of Lower School, Lower School Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator
    804-288-2804 ext. 3090
    James Madison University - B. A.
  • Cheleah Googe 

    Teacher, Middle School English, Assistant Coach, Tennis, Assistant Chair of Diversity and Inclusion
    Virginia Commonwealth University - Masters of Education
    University of Richmond - Bachelor of Arts
  • Cynthia Lotze 

    Teacher, Upper School English, Upper School Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator
    Mary Washington College - BA
    Virginia Commonwealth University - MFA