2020-21 SCS Equity Committee

As part of our long-term strategic plan for diversity, equity and inclusion, we’re focused on addressing educational equity and bridging achievement and opportunity gaps for our students.

To accomplish this goal, Staunton City Schools formed an Equity Committee in the fall of 2020 composed of 20 members—citizens, parents, students and staff. The Equity Committee is a permanent advisory committee to the superintendent that meets monthly in a virtual setting. Members of the committee serve a one-year term and may be considered for reappointment to the committee at the end of their term if interested.

First-Year Equity Work

in the first year, the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities is guiding the committee in forming an equity plan for SCS and assisting with identifying and ranking priorities related to equity. Specifically, the group is focusing on:

  • ensuring equitable practices in the school division’s curriculum and instruction;
  • student and parent experiences;
  • school policies and procedures; and
  • the recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce.

The committee is on schedule to present an equity plan to the superintendent by the spring of 2021, who will then present it to the School Board for review and approval. Once the School Board approves an equity plan, the leaders of SCS will begin to implement the plan.

2020-21 Equity Committee Members

  • Diana Black
  • Ryan Blosser
  • Sabrina Burress
  • Cristina Casado
  • Betsy Conyers
  • Rev. Andrea Cornett-Scott
  • Laura Faircloth
  • Stephanie Haskins
  • Michele Kielty
  • Donte Montague
  • Karen Painter
  • Lisa Shipman
  • Emily Sproul
  • Lisa Warren
  • Six students have been selected for the committee, but their names will not be released in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

A selection panel composed of three Staunton citizens and two SCS staff members reviewed equity committee applications and recommended members to the superintendent. The panel used a rubric to review and evaluate applicant qualifications and select committee members of various backgrounds, beliefs and experiences.

Selection panel members included Ophie Kier, former Staunton vice mayor and former school board member; Walt Obenschain, former Staunton councilman and former school board member; Chris Lassiter, a former local journalist, YMCA marketing and communications director, and parent of students in SCS; Amanda Warren, director of nutrition services for SCS; and Ruth Jones Turner, director of strategic planning and partnerships for SCS.