Dalton Hosts LGBTQ Conference
On April 20, 2013, Dalton hosted 23 New York independent schools at its third annual, “From Diversity to Community,” conference. The topic was Shaping and Sustaining Safe Schools for the LGTBQ Community. The goal of the annual conference is to grow a high functioning, diverse and inclusive independent school community, in which all constituencies engage in supporting and valuing diversity, and sharing the collective wisdom of the group.
Ellen Stein ‘65 opened with conference with a definition of what a safe school is: A place where you can relax and be fully yourself, without fear of being made to feel uncomfortable, unwelcome, or unsafe no matter who you are and how you identify. It is a place where the rules safeguard self-respect and dignity and strongly encourage respect for others.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn was the keynote speaker. She spoke eloquently about the importance of gatherings such as ours and the importance of having welcoming and supportive faculty and administrators.
Board President, Cheryl Cohen Effron ’83, followed Speaker Quinn and shared her thoughts on the importance of Board support for building inclusive school communities. She went on to say, “Creating an atmosphere of inclusion and celebration of difference is what strengthens a community.”
After her speech, groups met by constituency---administration, alumni, diversity coordinators, faculty, parents, students and trustees---to discuss challenges and best practices within each school. Following a presentation of findings by students from several schools and a moving testimonial by Monique Vogelsang, a Dalton fourth grade head teacher, each school group had its various constituencies meet to discuss action steps.
Information and Photos from Past Conferences
Dalton’s 2007 strategic plan called for the Trustees Community Life & Diversity Committee to create a city-wide conference aimed at creating an inclusive independent school community. The inaugural conference, “Creating a Generation of Inclusive Thinkers and Community Leaders,” was held in 2011. The next year, the conference focused on, “School Transitions: The K-8 Experience.”
We extend our thanks to conference organizer and parent, Casper Caldarola ‘77, and the hard-working conference committee, and facilitators as well as the participants from Dalton and the other 23 schools for a very successful conference. The conference is produced by a Conference Committee, along with well many Dalton volunteers:
Casper Caldarola '77, chair
Ellen Stein '65, Head of School
Kelvina Butcher, Director of FP Curriculum
Tracy Christopher, French, GSA Advisor
Roxanne Feldman, MS Librarian
Sage Sevilla, Director of Diversity
Monique Vogelsang, 4th Grade Head Teacher
Administrators - Nora Elish, Martha Edelson, Josie Diaz, Tracy Fedonchik, Emily Kasof, Babby Krents
Alumni - Julie Stolzberg ’90, Margo Amgot '75, Rena Andoh '93, Jason Abrams '80, Elizabeth Han '95, Kathy Chan
Diversity coordinators - Sage Sevilla, Kelvina Butcher, Will Fisher, Melissa Haile-Mariam
Faculty - Debbie Reilly, Justine Ang Fonte, Christine Leja, Paul McElfresh, Dee Mingey, Fred White
Parents - Amy Kissel, Michele Smith Barakett, Lisa Issroff, Anna Kramarsky, Claire Hannan-Radomisli, Natalie Sanchez
Students - Tracy Christopher, Monique Vogelsang, Adam Lanphier, Geoffrey Perry
Trustees - Leah Johnson, Dominica Jones Samuels, Daniel Glass, Barri Waltcher, Tim Wilkins
Tanvi Agrawal ’13, Zach Caldarola ’14, Uriel Dvorozniak ’16, Selena Gonzalez ’13, Maddie Hikida ’18, Zara Hoffman ’15, Maya Jingles ’15, Emma Levine ’16, Grace Ralbovsky ’15, Jordan Samuels ’13, Henry Woods ’14