News from the Head of School

July 20 DEI Communication
Posted 07/20/2020 11:00AM

Dear Community Member,

We would like to thank you for the many encouraging responses we have received so far about Flintridge Prep’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiative, announced on June 18. Your voices inspire our intentional, purposeful, and immediate commitment to this important work: to ensure that Prep stands up against racism and makes our campus a place where everyone feels truly welcome walking through the gates.

As we embark on this initiative, we are grateful that veteran Prep trustee Carol Ramsey will be serving as the chair of the Board DEI initiative committee. Carol's professional career has been spent in the fields of education and philanthropy, with significant experience and special emphasis on organizational management, program development, and board governance. (For more about Carol, please see below.) Assistant Head for Student Life Vanessa Walker-Oakes and Assistant Head for Academic Life Sarah Cooper will be the administrative leads, working closely with Head of School Jim Pickett. Last month both Sarah and Vanessa, accompanied by several Prep faculty members, attended the Glasgow Group’s National Diversity Practitioners Institute, an intensive conference focusing on creating diverse, equitable, and inclusive independent schools. In addition, all Prep faculty and staff will begin the school year with an anti-bias workshop presented by Elizabeth Denevi, director of East Ed, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting diversity and equity in schools, and co-founder of Teaching While White. Such work builds on the professional growth experiences of more than a quarter of Prep’s faculty over the past year in topics related to diversity, equity and inclusion, and is a critical next step on our journey. 

Many thanks to those of you who have already expressed interest in being part of this initiative. If you would like to volunteer to be a member of, or nominate someone else for, our working committee, please fill out the Google Form below by Wednesday, July 29. We anticipate that this committee will meet frequently throughout the 2020-2021 academic year. Community members who are not on the committee will have ample opportunities for input through forums such as focus groups, town hall meetings, surveys, and other conversations.

In August we will send our next update, once we have created the structure of the multi-constituency working committee. We look forward to continuing this crucial dialogue with all of you over the months and years to come.

Volunteer to Participate

Sincerely,

Jim Pickett
Head of School

Carol Ramsey
Chair, Board DEI Initiative Committee

Sarah Cooper
Assistant Head for Academic Life

Vanessa Walker-Oakes
Assistant Head for Student Life

About Carol Ramsey

Carol Ramsey started in private education as a college administrator at Bowdoin and Vassar Colleges, followed by an extensive involvement in private secondary education at A Better Chance, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, and as Head of the Wilmington Friends School in Delaware. She later accepted a position as Program Director of Children, Youth, and Families with the James Irvine Foundation, then expanded her philanthropy experience through a position as Director of Corporate Contributions with the Raytheon Company, headquartered in Waltham, MA. Upon leaving Raytheon for early retirement, Carol consulted with a large public school charter management organization, and ended her active career as Vice President for Programs at the Entertainment Industry Foundation in Los Angeles. Carol has held several trusteeships, totaling more than 40 years of concurrent service at Northfield Mount Hermon School (MA) the Thacher School (CA), the Buckley School (CA) and Flintridge Preparatory School (CA); Connecticut College (CT); the Grand Opera House in Wilmington, DE; the North Carolina Outward Bound School; and the National Conference of Christians and Jews in San Francisco. She has been a review panelist for the National Science Foundation's Math and Science Program and served for 10 years on the Western Regional Selection Panel for the White House Fellows Program.


Flintridge Preparatory School
4543 Crown Avenue La Cañada Flintridge CA 91011
Tel: 818-790-1178
Fax: 818-952-6247
Located near Pasadena and Los Angeles in La Cañada, CA, Flintridge Prep is a private independent, coed day school for grades 7-12.
  • NAIS
  • FAST
  • CSEE
  • Independent Curriculum Group
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