An Independent School • Grades 5-12

Photo: Head of School Bernie Noe welcomes PoCC attendees to Lakeside on a campus visit.

More than 20 Lakeside faculty, staff, and administrators are representing Lakeside at the National Association of Independent Schools’ People of Color Conference (PoCC) taking place in downtown Seattle this week. The conference is the flagship of NAIS’s commitment to equity and justice in teaching, learning, and organizational development. Its mission is to provide a safe space for leadership and professional development and networking for people of color and allies of all backgrounds in independent schools.

Multiple Lakesiders are presenting and working to make the week a success. Lakeside School welcomed over 50 PoCC attendees to campus on Wednesday, Dec. 4 to hear from administrators and tour the Middle and Upper schools. Our Upper School choir is performing on Friday afternoon, under the direction of Choir Director Mary Clementi. Head of School Bernie Noe is delivering opening remarks at the conference, in his role as chair of NAIS’s executive committee, and Assistant Director of Equity and Inclusion/Upper School Languages Teacher Debbie Bensadon is introducing one of the keynote speakers. Assistant Head of School/Upper School Director Felicia Wilks is co-presenting the workshop “Advancing Your Independent School Career: A Reflective, Mentor-Based Approach,” and Middle School Personal Development Teacher Yvette Avila is co-presenting in the workshop “Intersectionality of Identifying as Asian and LGBTQ Educators.” Upper School English Teacher Fakhereddine Berrada is leading an affinity group, and Middle School Makerspace Coordinator Heather Butler and Middle School Educational Technology Manager Dave Miller are hosting in the PoCC makerspace, which features discussions, demonstrations, workshops, and resources. Both Bensadon and Wilks served on the PoCC Seattle planning committee.

Six Lakeside students are attending the Student Diversity Leadership Conference, associated with PoCC. Watch for a blog about their experiences in the coming weeks! And follow the activities of PoCC on Twitter using the hashtag #NAISPoCC.