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
“Life is a journey, and it’s really important to explore your interests,” said Dr. Helen Suh ’21 during her 2021 Davidson Lecture. “There are so many paths and ways to be happy.” This was just some of the sage advice the environmental epidemiologist offered on April 14 to Concord Academy students, faculty, and staff. The following evening, she addressed parents and alumnae/i, discussing her research on air pollution and how she has responded to the pandemic in her work and sharing her career path after graduating from CA.
We are delighted that Justin Bull has agreed to serve as CA’s interim dean of faculty for the 2021–22 school year. The interview committee appreciated Justin’s desire to enhance communication, his interest in bringing forward conversations around teaching and pedagogy for the year ahead, and his deep experience as a teacher, department head, coach, mentor, advisor, and house faculty member.
Melody Komyerov ’89 will serve as CA’s Director of Marketing and Communications, starting in mid-April. As a member of the senior administrative team, Melody will develop and lead Concord Academy’s strategic communications, encompassing digital, social, and print media, with responsibility for ensuring effective systems, resources, and process to achieve the school’s marketing and communications objectives. She will partner with the interim head of school and across departments to inspire and engage all of CA’s constituents and community members.