Diversity is an essential manifestation of Chandler’s core values. In Chandler’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity (DEI) Statement which you can find on the front page of our website, the school commits to building and sustaining a community in which the empathy of every member guides our understanding of human differences. We are intentional in actively building a community with people of diverse thoughts, cultures and backgrounds.
Through our commitment to equity, we examine biases and strive to become better equipped at supporting ways in which we learn. Inclusive practices create opportunities for deepened cultural understanding, heightened engagement and critical dialogue. Chandler’s curriculum is designed to support programs that foster each students’ global awareness and to encourage critical thinking and respectful discourse.
To support the school’s DEI efforts and to meet a strategic planning goal, Chandler has hired a full-time Director of DEI to start in July. The role of the DEI Director is to work with every school constituency to operationalize our DEI statement. Parent education, professional development for faculty, curriculum review and program design, recruitment and retention of faculty and families, and most important, meetings with students fall within the scope of the DEI Director’s position description.
Following a national search and with the participation of Chandler parents, students, faculty, administrators and board members, Hillary J. Blunt has been appointed as Chandler’s first full-time Director of DEI. Hillary will be joining Chandler from The Country School, a Pre-K-8th Grade independent school in Valley Village, where she taught middle school English and served as the school’s Director of Equity and Student Support. In that role, Hillary led the development and implementation of policies and programs that supported a diverse, equitable and inclusive school community. Examples of her work included organizing monthly parent education seminars, establishing a middle school student diversity club, and working with the school’s administration to revise hiring practices.
Hillary has ten years of teaching experience. Born and raised in Minneapolis, Hillary graduated from Iowa State University with a BS in Elementary Education. She earned her MA in Educational leadership from Saint Mary’s University in Minneapolis. In her introductory letter, Hillary wrote, “In my work, it is extremely important to help create classrooms where all students have access to rigorous content and a nurturing environment that is relevant to their lives. My passion has been centered around the necessity of creating equitable schools and communities.”
One of the teachers who interviewed Hillary wrote, “I appreciate that Ms. Blunt has lots of classroom experience, curriculum development, professional development, and DEI experience. She communicates clearly, effectively, and in detail. She knows the challenges of the position, and she has solutions. She is a collaborator and understands the importance of working with all members of a school community in order to authentically execute activities, programs, and other important DEI initiatives.”
With gratitude to everyone who helped during the search process, I am honored to welcome Hillary Blunt to Chandler. Later this spring, I look forward to introducing her to Chandler’s parent body through two meet-and-greets before she officially joins the community on July 1.
John Finch, Head of School