Germantown Academy Head of School Rich Schellhas has announced the appointment of Anika Walker-Johnson as the school's first Director of Equity and Inclusion. Walker-Johnson, who comes to GA from Tabor Academy in Marion, Mass., will begin her tenure in July 2018.
"It was clear after the semifinalist interviews here on campus that Anika was the perfect fit for GA," said Schellhas. "Experienced, thoughtful, compassionate, and strong, Anika demonstrated that she was up to the challenge of taking on this senior administrative role. She demonstrated grace under pressure when faced with concerned parents, instantly connected with students, and embraced the opportunity to share her own stories with the faculty and staff of GA. I am confident that she is the right person to help us fulfill our Equity & Inclusion goals, both now and in the future."
Walker-Johnson spent the last 17 years in various roles at Tabor, which is a day and boarding school. For the last 10 years, she served as the Dean of Multicultural Education & Community Life. During that time, Walker-Johnson co-authored Tabor's Statement of Diversity and Inclusion, served as a faculty and student mentor, co-led a recruitment strategy geared toward hiring new faculty of color, promoted cross-cultural competency for students, faculty and administrators, and planned campus multicultural education events. She sat on several administrative committees, including the Senior Administrative Committee, Professional Development and Hiring Committee, Dean's Office Committee, and co-chaired the Diversity Leadership Council.
"With every successive conversation, I felt a genuine love and pride toward GA emanating from its community members," said Walker-Johnson. "Their excitement was palpable regarding the progress being made in the work of diversity, equity and inclusion at the school, and I am humbled to join them in building and strengthening the inclusive community they have envisioned."
For the past three years, Walker-Johnson also served as Associate Director of Admission – Multicultural Recruitment where she assisted the admission team with developing and implementing a strategy for strengthening the school's commitment to a diverse community. Also, during her tenure at Tabor, Walker-Johnson taught English for 12 years and was a residential houseparent. She served as a class advisor, co-coordinated the community service program, and oversaw the Young Women's Leadership Council, a mentorship group for girls of color.
Her professional development experience is extensive. On a leadership level, Walker-Johnson attended the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Summer Leadership Institute and is a member of the Administrators of Color Leadership Collaborative. She was an Enrollment Management Conference workshop presenter and a workshop facilitator at Tabor on healthy relationships sponsored by the One Love Foundation. Her work in diversity and inclusion includes membership in the Diversity Directions -Heads & Diversity Directors Collaborative and attendance at workshops and conferences such as Supporting Muslim Students in Independent Schools, Asian American Footsteps, and the annual NAIS People of Color conference.
Walker-Johnson earned her bachelor's degree in African-American Studies and English from Emory University. She completed post-bachelor's work in English at Southern Connecticut State University and is currently enrolled in the School Leadership Program at the University of Pennsylvania to pursue her M.S.Ed.