Leadership Program

New Perspectives, Strong Connections

The Steward School
Students attend diversity-themed conferences
The Steward School strives to be a caring, open-hearted community — one where all voices are valued. Our commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is central to our mission and guides us as we foster a supportive, welcoming campus. 

Several Middle and Upper Schoolers chose to attend recent conferences in which they further explored the importance of diversity and how it relates to empathetic leadership and meaningful connections. Tiffany Goodman, Steward’s DEI coordinator, accompanied the students to each conference.

The Student Diversity Leadership Conference
This gathering, hosted by the National Association of Independent Schools, was held in St. Louis. There, Feryaal Abassi ’24, Kensington Charles ’26, Ana Reveles Leon ’24, Ada Long ’25, Sienna Rankins ’25, and Braylan Rice ’25 developed their cross-cultural communication skills, collaborated to design strategies to facilitate social justice, and learned the foundations of being compassionate allies. Meeting student leaders from around the country, said Ada, was a great way to explore how others have enacted change in their schools. 

“I’ve already started brainstorming strategies to help approach social justice conversations at Steward,” said Ada. “Many of these sessions are over text with the friends that I made at the conference!”

Braylan said, “Being in an affinity group with over a hundred other LGBTQ+ students was motivating and inspiring. I saw that there is a beautiful and diverse world out there.” He added, “My biggest takeaway is that my story matters in making a positive change in our world.”

At the conference, Yaa Agyekum (director, Center for the Advancement of Learning), Paul Harris (Upper School dean of student support), and Jentae Scott-Mayo (school counselor) presented “Components of Competency: Cultivating an Anti-Racist Culture,” and Ms. Goodman presented “Building Compassionate Communities and Brave Spaces through Restorative Practices,” an equity seminar. 

The Harold M. Marsh, Sr. Connections Institute
This week-long program, hosted in Richmond by the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities, included interactive workshops, small-group discussions, and experiential learning. Luke Eiben ’25, Nadine Odibo ’26, Shreya Natarajan ’25, Rafi Zepeda ’26, and Brennan Zide ’26 learned how to identify and respond to biased behavior. 

Prejudice Awareness Summit 
Held at VCU and sponsored by the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities, this conference for Richmond-area middle school students focused on understanding cycles of prejudice and fostering healthier campus communities. Sabrina Galpern ’30, Nate Herron ’28, Aaliyah Ladak ’29, and Scarlett Marshall ’29 attended the summit, and Ms. Goodman was a featured presenter.  

St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School Diversity Conference
In Alexandria, Va., middle schoolers from Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia focused on fostering healthy relationships and examined different aspects of diversity. Faith Akinfolajimi ’29, Tabbi Akinfolajimi ’30, Fope Alasi ’30, Charlotte Arnold ’30, Sara Carter ’29, Tori Scarpa ’29, Emma Wang ’29, Shalini Masson ’29, and Liam Turner ’30 attended the conference, and Middle School Social Studies Teacher Wayne Ducksworth was an invited group sponsor.

“In communities as small as Steward, it’s easy to become small-minded about the people and cultures outside of Steward,” said Faith. “This conference helped me get a glimpse of different ways of thinking and becoming more open-minded to the rich communities inside and outside of our school.” She added, “I learned that the definition of diversity can be different between different people, based on personal experiences.”

Ms. Goodman said, “Steward is committed to DEI and providing students with opportunities to prepare for the real world. They must learn how to grapple with difficult topics. These conferences offered methods to tackle this in a larger and more complex society, but also the affinity spaces — in which students with shared interests exchanged ideas — allowed participants to examine how they interconnect with others.”

General Contact

The Steward School
11600 Gayton Road
Richmond, VA 23238

phone: (804) 740-3394
fax: (804) 740-1464

Media Contact

If you are a member of the press and would like more information about The Steward School, please contact Director of Marketing and Communications Rachel Williard at or (804) 565-2319.

If you are looking for contact information for a specific Steward employee, please click here.
Copyright 2024 The Steward School