“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.
Jeff Desjarlais, director of health and student support services, spoke to students during Monday’s assembly. He reminded our community that the emotional impact of this pandemic is far from over. Responding to the mental health of our community will continue to be a priority.
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. 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.”
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.
CA Celebrates Black History Month with Assembly Focused on Civil and Human Rights, Past, Present, and Future
On February 24, Concord Academy welcomed representatives from the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights to speak with students about their work advocating and organizing for democracy, justice, inclusion, and opportunity for all people in the United States. The event took place thanks to the coordinated efforts of 9th grade class student leaders, who modeled coalition building in initiating this all-school assembly, coordinating with affinity groups and the Community and Equity Office to create and host this opportunity for school-wide learning and reflection. Affinity groups have also been engaging the CA community in Black History Month initiatives throughout the month.
CA’s 2021 Centennial Hall Fellow, entrepreneur, author, and public speaker Mallika Chopra ’89, spoke about her personal journey and her experience teaching meditation and speaking about living with intention, balance, and purpose. As part of the Centennial Hall Fellow series, she shared a brief meditative practice — a simple yet powerful tool for charting a course according to our deepest desires and values.
Each year, Concord Academy celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a day of engagement rather than a day off. This year, CA honored Dr. King’s legacy in new ways. The program, held on January 27, featured not one guest but seven, and the format was, for the first time, virtual. The day’s theme, “Infinite Hope Imagining Black Futures,” took inspiration from a line from a 1968 address of Dr. King’s: “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” A panel discussion, several workshops — including one by CA alumna Daysha Veronica ’10 — and a Q&A and keynote reading by celebrated poet Danez Smith asked the CA community to focus through a specific lens: imagining what a liberated future that uplifts and centers Black people, communities, and culture looks like.
In Her New Role as Concord Academy’s Interim Head of School, Sarah Yeh is Leading the School She Loves, Drawing on her Administrative Experience and Dedication to Teaching
When Sarah Yeh P’24, Ph.D., assumed the role of Concord Academy’s interim head of school on November 2, she put her experience as assistant head, dean of faculty, and passionate teacher in service of this school, to which she is deeply committed.
Interim Head of School Sarah Yeh spoke from rear steps of the Elizabeth B. Hall Chapel on January 28, reflecting on recent weeks and the historical context in which the CA community is living and learning.