Dear Concord Academy Community,
We are excited to announce the hiring of Grant Hightower as CA’s new director of community and equity as of July 1, 2021. Grant comes to us as a seasoned diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) activist, practitioner, and consultant. Most recently, Grant has served as the director of METCO programs at the Reading Public School District. There, he oversaw the district’s desegregation initiative, designed to provide equal access to educational opportunity for 70 K-12 students, and provided leadership and support to the district population in accessing cultural, ethnic, and pedagogical diversity. Prioritizing the perspectives and lived experiences of students, and providing them with tools for empowerment, in Reading and in his prior administrative work with the Wellesley Public School District, Grant has helped to change structures and systems and develop antiracist and culturally responsive teaching practices. He holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from American International College and an M.Ed in organizational management from Endicott College.
As the director of community and equity at CA, Grant will report to and work closely with the dean of academic program and equity, assisting our community in realizing a central tenet of the school’s mission, “striving for equity.” Grant will lead and coordinate daily efforts to support equitable access to the school’s mission and program for students, faculty and staff, alumnae/i, and families and will develop programming that engages all members of the CA community in the work of equity and belonging. Through partnerships with offices and departments across the school, Grant will play an important role in CA’s recruitment, hiring, and retention of a diverse faculty and staff community and will bring faculty and staff into equity work. He will also support CA’s active affinity space culture, training and mentoring students in their leadership roles.
As head of the Community and Equity team, a group of experienced and passionate faculty and students, Grant will solicit broad input and involvement from students, faculty, and staff in advancing CA’s DEIJ ideals. Priorities include supporting the development of a curriculum that engages every student in social justice learning as part of the academic program and partnering to develop a comprehensive Health and Wellness curriculum that supports students of all identities and promotes belonging and equity as central to wellness within the CA community.
Throughout the interview process, Grant made an indelible impression on CA community members through his commitment to student and adult support, incorporating DEIJ skills and content into the curriculum, and his dedication to pushing the community to truly live its values through striving for equity. We welcome Grant, his wife, Chanelle, and their four children, Sevoi, Lydia, Solenne, and Lenox to the CA community. We can’t wait for Grant to get started!
Dean of Academic Program and Equity
Documentarian Ken Dornstein P’23 Shares His Search for the Truth in 2022 Centennial Davidson Lecture
It’s difficult to imagine a talk more in the spirit of Concord Academy than the 2022 Centennial Davidson Lecture by Ken Dornstein P’23. The endowed lectureship invites eminent speakers to campus to share their unique backgrounds and expertise, and on November 18 the documentary filmmaker and author did that with dramatic flair and expansive heart.
When Richard Selden P’23 spoke at an all-school assembly at Concord Academy on November 16, he acknowledged how much CA students want to change the world. “No matter what your academic and career interests are, you can find a way to tie them into fighting for social justice,” he said. Selden shared how he turned his passion for molecular biology into a rapid DNA technology that is making the world a safer place.
Science teacher Gretchen Roorbach, CA’s first environmental sustainability and justice coordinator, recently reported on actions the school is taking to meet its sustainability targets. Of several projects of note, a fan system soon to be installed in the gym will reduce heating and cooling demand. The first project approved for the Green Revolving Fund support, it resulted from a proposal created last year for a CA science class on energy and climate by recent graduate Ishan Narra ’22.