Equity Committee Taking Shape; Appointments Delayed

The School Board on Tuesday night delayed a vote to appoint the members of the 25-seat Ad Hoc Committee on Equity.

The creation of the panel was approved unanimously Feb. 26, and the panel was chargedwith examining ways to ensure marginalized and historically disenfranchised groups receive equitable treatment in the school district.

The panel, to be led by Brenda Sheridan (Sterling), will hold its organizational meeting April 4 and meet with the consultant hired to investigate equity concerns district-wide at its April 11 meeting.

A proposal to appoint members to most of the 25 seats was on the School Board’s agenda Tuesday night, but members agreed to delay action because names had not been proposed for each of the positions.

While the board has been under pressure to move quickly to establish the panel, members said that only having a partial list of members could result in some areas being underrepresented.

“I will not approve a partial list. I don’t think that is the responsible way to go about it,” said Jill Turgeon (Blue Ridge).

Robin Burke, who is slated to represent the Loudoun chapter of the NAACP on the panel, told the board she plans to move quickly to form a task force among the committee members to immediately begin a study of specific issues facing black students.

A vote on the committee appointments is expected at the March 26 meeting.

The proposed membership list presented to the School Board on Tuesday was:

  • School Board members: Brenda Sheridan (Chair), Beth Huck,Chris Croll
  • A Head Start or STEP Parent: Veronica Orosco Jimenez
  • School and non-school based staff: Dr. Charles Barrett, School Psychologist; Shontel Simon, principal of Forrest Grove Elementary School; Kevin Tyson, principal of John Champe High School;Tara Hewan, elementary school instructional facilitator);Perla Arias, secretary at Rock Ridge High School; and Fatima Scherer, English teacher at Sterling Middle School.
  • Parents selected for their experience and/or education: Charlotte McConnell, Zerell Johnson-Welch, and TBD
  • Gifted Education Advisory Committee member:Jill Rodeffer
  • Minority Student Achievement Advisory Committee representatives:Wendy Caudle Hodge, Katrecia Nolan,Natalia Beardslee, andKellee Jenkins
  • Special Education Advisory Committee member:TBD
  • All Dulles Area Muslim Society representative:Rizwan Jaka
  • Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington representative: TBD
  • Hindu community representative:Rajesh Gooty
  • Hunt District PTA representative: Tiffany Feagin
  • Loudoun Chapter of the NAACP representative: Robin Burke
  • Latinx community representative: TBD

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