GA is a PreK-12, coed, nonsectarian day school in Fort Washington, PA

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Diversity Commitment

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.
  • The Equity and Inclusion Leadership Team provides intentional, consistent education to members of our school community.
  • All three divisions have at least 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.



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
  • ADVIS Diversity Conference
  • GA In-Service Days

GA students have led or taken part in the following programs:

  • Affinity Groups
  • NAIS Student Diversity Leadership Conference
  • Mid-Atlantic Regional Diversity Conference (MARD)
  • SCHout Conference
  • Cheryl Irving Student Diversity Conference

GA parents have been given the opportunity to participate in the following education programs:

  • Keynote Speakers
  • Family Affinity Groups and Social Events

Associate Director of Equity & Inclusion

Associate Director of Alumni Relations
Assistant Director of Equity & Inclusion

Civility Pledge

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.


Equity and Inclusion Leadership Team

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

Nidhi McVicar
Assistant Head of School

Sarah Na
Associate Director of Equity & Inclusion

Melissa Fikioris
Associate Director of Alumni Relations
Assistant Director of Equity & Inclusion

Sue Szczepkowski
Head of Lower School

Jonas Jeswald
Head of Middle School

Molly MacKean
Head of Upper School

Dr. Leigh Serra
Director of Health & Wellness

Tim Ginter
Director of Athletics

Karen Mason
Director of College Counseling

Divisional Diversity and Community Life Coordinators

Christina Ro
LS Fourth Grade Teacher

Alia Tahvildaran
LS Art Teacher

Jarrett Anderson
MS French Teacher

Jay Wright
MS Health & Wellness Teacher

Carol Peery Ayers 1760
US Spanish Teacher

Alicia Evans
US English Teacher

Michael Ferrier
US English Teacher

Rod Thomas
MS/US Assistant Librarian