Pomfret School invites nominations and applications for the position of Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
Reporting directly to the Head of School and serving on the senior leadership team, the Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will provide strategic and visionary leadership for Pomfret School’s efforts related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. While supporting the School’s mission and core values of Integrity, Growth, and Community, the Dean will develop and lead initiatives to further enhance Pomfret’s welcoming environment. The Dean will work closely with students, faculty, staff, trustees, and administrators to refine and execute the Diversity Strategic Plan.
ABOUT POMFRET SCHOOL
Founded in 1894, Pomfret School is an independent, coeducational, college preparatory boarding and day school located in Pomfret, Connecticut. Set on 500 acres, Pomfret is situated within an hour of Hartford, Boston, and Providence, and three hours from New York City. Its stunning campus and expansive offerings draw 350 students in grades 9-12 and postgraduates from 26 states and 23 countries. Pomfret’s mission is to cultivate a healthy interdependence of mind, body, and spirit in its students as it prepares them for college and to lead and learn in a diverse and increasingly interconnected society.
Student-driven, interdisciplinary, collaborative, and immersive. These are the pillars of the academic program at Pomfret. With a student-teacher ratio of 5:1, an average class block of 70 minutes, and 42 honors and advanced courses to choose from, Pomfret delivers a distinctive brand of education that engages the mind, heart, and spirit. Students learn to solve problems, think creatively, make arguments, and build teams based on a carefully structured track and sequence of courses and learning opportunities. Both in and out of the classroom, Pomfret’s spaces and resources, including the Henry B. du Pont Library, are a laboratory for innovation.
The graduation requirements reflect an array of tailor-made offerings that inspire and motivate students with diverse interests. All students take a minimum of four years of English, three years of mathematics, two years of history, two years of core laboratory science, a world language through level three, six terms of fine arts, and a term each of digital arts, religion, and health and wellness.
Students are challenged to stretch and grow beyond the confines of a traditional academic program though Pomfret’s signature offerings:
Project: Pomfret. Each year, Pomfret sets aside 10 days to explore and investigate problems that inspire and perplex. Rooted in the principles of design thinking, Project: Pomfret encourages students and faculty to construct complex ideas in ways that are deeply and uniquely transformative. The culmination is the Project Fair, a community-wide capstone presentation of the investigations into industries and sectors such as science and technology, the arts, the environment, health and wellness, media and communications, and community building.
QUEST Program. QUEST’s acronym represents Question, Understand, Engage, Share, and Transition. Focusing on four key pillars of student life in and out of the classroom – character and community, communicating beyond Pomfret, social justice and diversity, and health and wellness – students meet regularly by grade level for workshop presentations, speakers, and group discussions. This signature program both complements classroom learning and launches the college counseling application process.
Certificates. The certificate program gives motivated, independent-minded students the opportunity to gain deep exposure to a specific area of study and to pursue a genuine interest with purpose and passion. Certificates are diploma distinctions that appear on a student’s transcript, and the coursework may begin in the junior year. There are five domains in which certificates are offered: Artistic Expression and Design, Global Citizenship & Awareness, Social Justice, STEM Exploration, and Sustainability.
Travel Experiences. Students may earn a trimester credit for each travel-based experiential learning class. Current offerings include Peru, Mexico, Spain, France, Costa Rica, and Maine. The immersive experience allows students to gain insight and knowledge about a culture, language, and way of seeing the world that differs from their own.
Helios Project. The passive solar aquaponics greenhouse was built and is managed by students. The greenhouse supports a variety of student research projects that incorporate applied science and engineering principles and provides access to collaborative projects with local, national, and international partners. It also supplies fresh vegetables to the dining hall and much-needed produce to local food pantries.
Community Service. The Community Service Internship Program places a small number of interested student volunteers at partner agencies in the local community two to four days per week. Making contributions to the local community, Pomfret students embody the values and life lessons they will need to lead lives of integrity, civic engagement, and social responsibility as adults.
STUDENT LIFE, ACHIEVEMENT, AND OUTCOMES
At Pomfret, classmates become siblings, teachers become parents, and the dorm becomes a home. At Pomfret, relationships matter. The student life experience at Pomfret is designed to complement the academic journey by offering enriching programs with an emphasis on building character, developing cultural competency, making good decisions, and cultivating socio-emotional fluency. With opportunities for clubs, social activities, co-curricular programs, and health and wellness programs, students build a personal portfolio centered on responsibility and well-being at Pomfret and develop skills that will equip them for college and life. The residential life experience seeks to make the Pomfret campus a home away from home. Close to 100 percent of faculty live on campus, with over 70 percent serving as dorm parents and affiliates. They supervise, guide, mentor, and support students. Residential life faculty are in loco parentis, providing individual attention to each student, helping students learn from the differences of other students’ backgrounds and beliefs, and developing a sense of unity within each dorm.
The College Counseling team at Pomfret offers students an individualized, proactive, and personal approach to the college admission process and boasts an impressive college matriculation list. Every faculty member in a student’s life is part of the team that supports the search and application journey beginning in the junior year.
The arts at Pomfret are infused with the belief that they are what make us most human, most complete as people, by helping us see what we are looking at, hear what we are listening to, and feel what we are touching. Making art enriches lives and gives expression to the innate urgings of the human spirit. With extensive curricular and extracurricular offerings in performance, studio art, digital art and design, and music, Pomfret and its public spaces are alive with displays of talent and passion.
Pomfret offers 16 different sports at multiple levels. The athletics programs and facilities host a community of athletes who share an unshakable bond. Under the careful mentorship of experienced and passionate coaches, students learn important life lessons that transcend sport. The varsity squads routinely compete against the best competition in the region as members of the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council; there are also strong sub-varsity options for developing talent.
STRATEGIC PLANNING AND STRATEGIC CHANGES
The cornerstone of the last strategic plan upholds the Vision of the Pomfret Graduate as a: disciplined and multifaceted learner who asks relevant questions, pursues interests and obligations with determination, reflects on success, and develops resilience from failure; collaborative and empathetic leader who works effectively with others in a variety of contexts and a diversity of cultures; critical thinker who pursues, interprets, and synthesizes information with a critical eye; creative problem-solver who produces innovative and original ideas and solutions, for the marketplace and the human race; effective communicator who conveys the essence of a situation with purpose, clarity, and poise; and, respectful and ethical citizen who acts with integrity, compassion, and responsibility.
A key pillar and strategic priority of the plan is Pomfret’s commitment to being a leader in learning and supporting a new approach to teaching. The generosity of Peter and Laurie Grauer led to the creation of an endowed fund that established The Grauer Family Institute for Excellence and Innovation in Education. The School reimagined its daily schedule, academic offerings, and teaching methodologies. The other equally important strategic priorities are: Distinctive Boarding Environment, Measurement of Achievement, and Long-Term Success. More information on the School’s strategic plan may be found here with the School’s Mission.
DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION
At Pomfret, “we believe diversity is who we are.” Diversity refers to those differences in identity that impact social experiences, including status and access to resources. Most obviously, it is determined by race, gender, and culture. On a more subtle level, it includes class, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and appearance. Pomfret’s faculty are guided by research that indicates academic excellence and a diverse learning environment are synergistically linked and that students in diverse classroom settings show growth in intellectual development, motivation, academic performance, and the ability to get along with others.
OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES
The School’s progress over the last decade has significantly impacted the student and faculty experience. The interim Co-Directors of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion serve on the senior leadership team, continue to expand affinity spaces, develop programs, build new partnerships, and broaden the scope and reach of diversity work. In addition to adopting a Diversity Strategic Plan, there is a standing DEI committee on the Board of Trustees, a standing Diversity Council on the faculty, and a Diversity Hiring Task Force established to recruit, hire, and retain more faculty and administrators of color. From its inception, the development of Pomfret’s signature QUEST program included social justice and diversity as one of its four main pillars. All administrators attend a weeklong seminar, Diversity Directions, which provides grounding in the principles of inclusion and equity. On the teaching and learning front, there has been a diversity audit of the curriculum to identify opportunities to provide more diverse perspectives, and faculty have increased professional cultural competence in their practices. Pomfret was a founding member of SPHERE, a consortium of Hartford-area schools committed to social justice and diversity.
The current Diversity Action Plan is in development for 2020-2021. The action plan will focus on making Pomfret a more inclusive and explicitly anti-racist institution that fosters belonging for all members of the community. It will also seek ways to engage BIPOC alumni more intentionally in the life of the School. Immediate initiatives include: examination of hiring processes that recruit and retain faculty of color; SEED (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity) training for all members of the senior leadership team; orientation for new BIPOC students; microaggression and anti-racism training for all student-facing employees and students; an audit of current courses to ensure all voices are represented; and the addition of new classes on race and diversity to the core curriculum.
A new protocol will be established for reporting incidents of racism and/or bias to school administrators, and the disciplinary process will evolve to include even more restorative justice practices. Policy positions and expectations on acts of racism will be clarified in student and employee handbooks. Finally, the School and the Alumni Association Executive Council will work together to do more outreach and create more spaces for alumni of color to connect and speak up.
LOCATION AND LOCAL CULTURE
Pomfret’s nickname – the Hilltop – and the region’s moniker – the Quiet Corner – embody the vibrancy, promise, and opportunity of Pomfret’s resources. Graced with maple trees and ringed by stone walls, the 500-acre Hilltop campus exudes New England charm. The original buildings were designed by the celebrated Beaux-Arts architect Ernest Flagg and the grounds were laid out by world-renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. Today, the Hilltop is a wonderful amalgam of old and new, blending iconic landmarks like Clark Memorial Chapel with airy facilities like the Centennial Academic and Arts Center. In addition to this manicured campus core, Pomfret is bounded by several hundred acres of open space. The wilder side of Pomfret includes natural meadows, forested uplands, miles of walking trails, and Wappoquia Brook.
The town of Pomfretoffers beautiful vistas, winding country roads, stone walls, and an eclectic collection of shops and restaurants. It is a community of approximately 4,200 with easy access to I-395 and Route 101, Hartford, Providence, and Boston. Pomfret is near many destinations: local theater, the University of Connecticut, the Wadsworth Athenaeum, and the Mystic Seaport & Aquarium, to name a few.
WORKING AT POMFRET
Pomfret’s community of faculty and staff are creative, collaborative, and resourceful. The Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will live and work among engaged, positive, committed colleagues who know and value the students in their care. Faculty participate in the residential life program as advisors and/ or dormitory parents. Pomfret offers a competitive, comprehensive compensation package to all faculty and staff.
THE ROLE OF THE DEAN
The Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will provide strategic and visionary leadership for Pomfret School’s efforts related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Reporting to the Head of School, the Dean will join the Assistant Head of School, Dean of Faculty, Director of the Grauer Family Institute, Director of Advancement, Chief Financial Officer, Director of Communications, and, the Director of Enrollment Management on the School’s senior leadership team. As a thought partner among adults and an ally to to students, the Dean will balance the needs and contributions of the entire community.
For consideration, please send all nominations or cover letter and résumé to:
At Pomfret, we value diversity and always employ, retain, promote, and otherwise treat all employees and job applicants based on merit, qualifications, competence, and talent. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religion, color, national origin, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, disability status, or any other characteristic protected by law. Pomfret School is a member of SPHERE, a consortium of eleven Hartford-area independent schools committed to broadening diversity of our student bodies, administration, faculty, and staff.
DESIRED QUALIFICATIONS AND CHARACTERISTICS
Bachelor’s degree (master’s degree preferred)
Three or more years of leadership experience in an educational setting; classroom teaching experience preferred
Demonstrated experience in articulating a strategic vision and bringing it to life
Experience collaborating with multiple teams and managing several time-sensitive projects simultaneously • Collaborative leadership style
Desire to work and live in community with faculty and staff colleagues and boarding and day students • Strong and responsive listening and communication skills
Growth mindset coupled with optimism and a strategic focus
Commitment to building a school culture rooted in innovation, inclusion, leadership, adaptability, and excellence
High ethical standards and an awareness of appropriate boundaries, as well as sensitivity and respect for the needs of an adolescent population
Commitment to the Pomfret School mission and core values
Internal Number: 100
About Pomfret School
Pomfret School is an independent coeducational college preparatory boarding and day school for 355 students in grades 9 through 12 and postgraduates. Set on a beautiful 500-acre campus in Northeastern Connecticut and brought to life by an exceptional faculty, Pomfret offers a challenging and rewarding experience for students from various cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. Through an engaging process of learning and leading, a commitment to service beyond self, and numerous opportunities for personal growth in academic, athletic, artistic, and residential settings, students emerge as ethical and active citizens of the world. With a clear mission, Pomfret School cultivates a healthy interdependence of mind, body, and spirit in its students as it prepares them for college and to lead and learn in a diverse and increasingly interconnected society.
Pomfret School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national and ethnic origin, age, disability, or any other characteristic protected by law in administration of its employment, enrollment, or educational policies, tuition assistance programs or other administered programs.