< Back
You are here  >   Home  >  Belmont Public Schools News

Belmont Public Schools News

Introducing the Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion


Dear Families,

It is with great enthusiasm that I write to introduce and formally welcome Ms. Chon’tel Washington as our new Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) for the Belmont Public Schools.

Prior Experience

While the role of a DEI Director is new to us, it is one with which Ms. Washington has a lot of experience.  Prior to her arrival here in Belmont, she served as the Director of Diversity Initiatives from 2018-2021 at Berry College in Mount Berry, Georgia.  In that capacity, she provided leadership as a campus-wide advisor, collaborating to provide a dynamic DEI vision and foster an inclusive environment.  She served as their subject matter expert on DEI, successfully facilitating courses on diversity and inclusion and addressing racial incidents on campus.  A native of Massachusetts, Ms. Washington’s prior employment experience included work at Framingham State University as their Director of Inclusive Excellence Initiatives and the Assistant Director of Admissions, Diversity & Recruitment from 2014-2018.  In these roles, she helped develop the university’s DEI strategy and oversaw their resource center, which focused on campus-wide inclusion programming.  She designed and facilitated intercultural training and developed education programs to bolster open dialogue and greater intercultural awareness, producing over 60 diversity and inclusion events annually in collaboration with key stakeholders.  In her work with the Boston Scholar Athlete Program in her hometown of Boston from 2011-2012 she managed over 40 student-athletes, which required collaboration with public school principals, administrators, and parents to support academic success.  All of these prior work experiences will serve her well in this new role in Belmont.  She brings much expertise to the challenges we face and the goals we hope to accomplish as a district.

Education

Ms. Washington attended Hamilton College in Clinton, NY, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in 2008.  After her undergraduate studies, she attended Brandeis University in Waltham where she received her Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA).

Role Responsibilities

Here in Belmont this new role will be responsible for developing and equipping staff at all levels with the skills, tools, strategies, resources, and support to be effective leaders and advocates for racial justice in their work so that they can confront situations of inequity and injustice.  Advocating for the necessary resources to promote equitable practices of diversity and inclusion, and assisting all BPS teachers to weave social, racial, and economic justice into their work processes, projects, and relationships will be key parts of this role.  Additionally, we expect that this new position will facilitate professional development opportunities in key areas related to diversity and inclusion, participating in antiracist and other anti-bias education efforts in the district.  There is also a community aspect to this role, as our Director of DEI will partner with the BPS District Equity Team, School Committee Equity Subcommittee, the Diversity Task Force, Belmont Educators of Color & Allies (BECA), Belmont Against Racism (BAR), the Belmont Human Rights Commission (HRC), and other established school and community groups to builds strong relationships.  Having done much of this work in her previous positions, we are confident that Ms. Washington will be able to successfully take on this important work.  She will engage directly with staff and students to establish support groups and networks for underserved and underrepresented communities.

Selection Process

Ms. Washington was selected for this position after a thoughtful and thorough search.  In total, there were 31 applicants for the open position.  Over the course of multiple rounds of interviews with both the screening committee and central office leaders, Ms. Washington emerged as the most qualified, motivated, and knowledgeable candidate.  I feel that we are fortunate to have a professional of her caliber lead our district in this important work.  We are thrilled that she wants Belmont as much as Belmont wants her.  My sincere thanks goes to Kim Haley-Jackson (HRC representative and BPS parent), Lindsey Rinder (BEA Unit B representative and BPS parent), Leon Dyer (BEA and BECA representative), Molly Quinn (BEA and BECA representative), Danielle Betancourt (BPS leadership representative), Heidi Paisner-Roffman (BPS leadership representative), Kathryn Bonfiglio (BAR representative), and Jason Ketola (Community representative) for serving on the search committee for this position.

Introduction

This fall we will be hosting a welcome coffee in order to formally introduce Ms. Washington to several of our community groups.  Ms. Washington will begin her position on September 1, 2021.

Welcome to the Belmont Public Schools family, Chon’tel.  We look forward to working together closely on this important work.

Respectfully,

Michael E. McAllister
Director of Human Capital






Share