A St. Margaret’s delegation of administration, faculty, students, trustees, alumni and parents traveled to San Diego last weekend to attend the Pollyanna Conference, a daylong interactive program focused on diversity, equity and inclusion.
School representatives from across Southern California came together to deepen the conversation, promote action and strengthen leadership by addressing challenges, sharing effective practices and generating positive steps toward building and sustaining a diverse school community that reflects the student experience.
“I wanted to become more aware about diversity and how different kinds of diversity frame an environment, and also how I might go about increasing diversity awareness at St. Margaret’s,” said Kaelyn Dunnell, a sophomore who was part of the St. Margaret’s delegation. “We learned many things that could help St. Margaret's going forward, and I am excited to be a part of it.”
Each school attending Pollyanna sends a group of community members called a POD, which represents various aspects of the school. St. Margaret’s was represented by Board of Trustees President Paul Westhead, trustee Susan Brown, Director of Equity and Inclusion Victor Cota, Assistant Head of School for Strategic Initiatives Ryan Dahlem, Preschool Director Cris Lozon, faculty members Beth Clemmons, Eric Harrington and Staciana Winfield, Upper School students Kaelyn Dunnell and Thomas Hughes, PTF President Jill Golubow, St. Margaret’s parent Enrique Loya, and St. Margaret’s alumna Mary Cruz ’17.
The goal of the conference is to improve inclusion within schools and the understanding that racial, socioeconomic, religious and sexual diversity enhances all elements of the school.
“That aligns well with our cultural-competency efforts here at St. Margaret’s,” Mr. Cota said. “The large delegation from all corners of our school at Pollyanna is just another indication of the school community’s commitment to this important initiative. We are excited to continue advancing this work here at St. Margaret’s.”