At Germantown Academy, we are committed to creating a learning environment that is as diverse as the broader, global world of which we are a part. We value this diversity because it makes us a stronger community, enriches our thinking and helps us to develop our collaborative spirit. With these guiding beliefs to shape our admissions and hiring processes, we embrace all forms of identity including race, gender, ethnicity, age, religion, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, and physical ability.
Our commitment to diversity is deeply ingrained in our Mission Statement and Civility Pledge—collaboration, compassion, honor, respect, civility—each key word a foundational and enduring value that defines Germantown Academy.
- Students of color comprise 28% of the student body.
- Faculty and administration of color comprise 10% of educational professionals.
- More than 33% of GA’s student body receives need-based financial aid.
- High retention rates are a hallmark of Germantown Academy with 97% of students returning each year. Notably, students of color return at the same rate of 97%.
- Non-sectarian, Germantown Academy has representatives from varied religions in its student body and faculty, including but not limited to Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish and Muslim.
- A “Host” program in admission pairs each new family with a current family of similar background or situation to educate students and parents about GA and facilitate a smooth transition.
- The Equity and Inclusion Leadership Team provides intentional, consistent education to members of our school community.
- All three divisions have two faculty members each who serve as Diversity and Community Life Coordinators.
Our goal is to be a school where differences are celebrated, all individuals are comfortable expressing their authentic selves, and all voices are empowered. Only then can we truly live our mission and prepare students for life and success in a global society.
Equity and Inclusion Plan
In keeping with the principles set forth in our mission and strategic vision, and to meet the needs of all our students, the Germantown Academy Board of Trustees approved an Equity and Inclusion Plan in 2018. These goals reflect the state of the school and most pressing issues and will be evaluated, updated, and revised on an annual basis to meet the ever-evolving needs of our community.
The Head of School, Director of Equity and Inclusion, Division Heads, Diversity & Community Life Coordinators, Board of Trustees, and Equity and Inclusion Leadership Team will be responsible for overseeing this work.
- Ensure students see themselves reflected in the talented adults around them and learn from adults whose experiences differ from their own.
- Create powerful leadership in equity and inclusion.
- Develop and prioritize strategic, ongoing education in equity and inclusion.
- Further affinity groups & community engagement in equity and inclusion.
Our Important Work
Diversity engagement at Germantown Academy is supported in all three divisions and on the faculty/staff/administration levels through the work of the Equity and Inclusion Leadership Team (see column on right). Click on the buttons below to see how each division is working to expand education and leadership in diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Supporting an Evolving Community
Administrators, faculty, and staff have eagerly participated in the following educational programs:
- Race Institute
- Cheryl Irving Cultural Competency Institute
- People of Color Conference
- Multicultural Teaching Institute
- ADVIS Diversity Conference
- GA In-Service Days
- 1st Thursdays at GA
- Faculty Voices Assembly
GA students have led or taken part in the following programs:
- SUMA and Affinity Groups
- NAIS Student Diversity Leadership Conference
- Mid-Atlantic Regional Diversity Conference (MARD)
- Springside Chestnut Hill & Malvern Prep Diversity Conferences
- Cheryl Irving Student Diversity Conference
GA parents have been given the opportunity to participate in the following education programs:
- Keynote Speakers
- Community Conversations including Identity Education & Students, and the Power of Storytelling
- Creating Key Partnerships with Division Heads, Diversity and Community Life Coordinators, School Counselors, and Human Resources
- Parent Affinity Groups and Social Events
Stay tuned for updates.
Anika Walker-Johnson was named the school's first Director of Equity and Inclusion and began her tenure at GA in July 2018. She is a member of the school's senior leadership team, a faculty member in the Upper School, and leads the work of the all-school Diversity and Community Life Coordinators.
The purpose of the "Civility Pledge" is to complement and extend the GA Mission. The "Pledge" reminds us of the kind of community GA is and endeavors to remain, while acknowledging the indisputable fact that the best instruction takes place in a school in which each participant is treated respectfully and courteously.
GA established this team in the fall of 2018 to provide points of connection in the following ways throughout the school community: one-on-one conversations, community conversations, story-telling, social and athletic events, cultural celebrations, student, family, and faculty/staff affinity groups, classroom visits, curriculum review, department meetings, and colleague-to-colleague collaboration.
Rich Schellhas 1760
Head of School
Director of Equity and Inclusion
Director of College Counseling
Head of Lower School
Head of Middle School
Dr. Molly MacKean
Head of Upper School
Associate Director of Alumni Relations
Director of Athletics
Divisional Diversity and Community Life Coordinators
Dr. Leigh Serra
First/Second Grade Teacher
MS French and Chinese Teacher
MS Health & Wellness
Carol Peery Ayers
US Spanish Teacher
US English Teacher