An Independent School • Grades 5-12
Lakeside’s diversity, equity, and inclusion team

Lakeside’s community wide commitment to equity and inclusion work is supported by a robust diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) team. The five-person team works with students, faculty, staff, and parents and guardians on a variety of projects and undertakings.

Here is a rundown of who is on the team and their areas of focus.

  • Debbie Bensadon, director of equity and inclusion, leads this work at an institutional level, particularly regarding school-wide policies and practices. She collaborates with other administrators, the Board of Trustees, and the Parents and Guardians Association to implement efforts to make Lakeside a place where each person feels a part of the community. She also supports inclusive hiring at both divisions and represents Lakeside’s DEI office in the larger educational community.
  • Upper School history teacher Nancy Rawles is serving as Upper School faculty equity coordinator; we will be appointing a Middle School faculty equity coordinator soon, and Debbie Bensadon is currently serving in that role in an interim capacity. The faculty equity coordinators work with faculty on both campuses, providing feedback on academic curricula (what faculty are teaching), assessment practices, and inclusive teaching practices. Additionally, they help faculty identify professional development opportunities and materials specific to teachers’ interests and areas for growth.
  • LEEP director/family support liaison Latasia Lanier and Middle School human development and health teacher Yvette Avila are the student equity program coordinators. Lanier advises the Upper School student affinity group leadership team (SALT); recruits, trains, and supports student facilitators that lead Middle School affinity groups; and coordinates and oversees 5-12 community programming. At the Middle School, Avila is the lead for the affinity group program and collaborates with faculty to ensure the affinity curriculum supports and builds on student learning.

Find more information about the team’s work on our diversity, equity, and inclusion webpage. You can reach members of the DEI team at