The NEC Diversity Task Force was created in September 2018 in response to state and national issues around educational equity and achievement gaps for students with special needs, English Language Learners, and students from specific racial and cultural groups. In September 2021 we became the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee.
The mission of the DEI Committee is to advise and assist administration with making ongoing progress towards three goals:
NEC will have a diverse workforce, reflective of students and families in our region, in which all employees feel valued, appreciated and free from discrimination.
All students at NEC will feel fully included and have equal opportunities to thrive. This includes but is not limited to areas such as social inclusion, academic achievement, student discipline, enrollment, and discharge policies.
All families at NEC will feel included in and fully able to access the school community.
Goals of DEI Committee
Meet regularly to have brave conversations about issues related to diversity, equity, and cultural responsiveness, and to engage in shared learning about these issues in order to become peer leaders.
Advise administration about goals and Professional Development initiatives/activities and assist administration in planning and implementing these activities.
DEI Committee Newsletters
DESE and M.A.S.S.
NEC’s work on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is guided by the work of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents (M.A.S.S.). More information is available at:
Meet the DEI Committee Members
Alison Dudley – School Social Worker, LICSW
As a White, cisgender, school social worker, I am committed to ensuring a positive school climate where ALL students and staff feel welcome and a sense of belonging to our NEC community. At the Kevin O’Grady School, we have a diverse student population racially and ethnically, and as a member of the Family Support team we work to ensure all families feel included and are able to communicate with their child’s teacher. I enjoy being a part of the DEI committee because I get the opportunity to have conversations with all levels of the school to discuss ways in which we can improve and ensure that we are actively working toward an anti-racist, inclusive culture.
Jesus Pena – NSAU School Counselor
As a licensed school counselor at Northshore Academy I have worked throughout my career to support students of all backgrounds with accessing their education in a just and equitable way. Part of my personal and professional journey includes working with the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee to better understand how we can fully realize our commitment to building an inclusive, varied community welcoming to all people. I look forward to furthering our work by embracing and sharing the individual differences, life experiences, and unique talents that our student and staff population bring to our school culture.
Kristen Vaisvila – ESL Teacher & ELE Coordinator
I am the Consortium’s ESL Teacher and ELE coordinator, so I work with our multilingual students as they learn English and I make sure that their families are receiving information about their child’s education in a language that they can understand. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are topics that are relevant to my career, but also fundamental to my belief and desire that all people should be allowed the opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way, regardless of their race, gender, ability/disability, sexual orientation, or any other aspect of their identity. I got involved in the diversity initiative because I want to bring more equity and justice to our educational community. Click Here to learn more about the ESL Program at NEC.
Tess Saunders – Paraprofessional
I joined the DEI committee during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when the country was experiencing social unrest. Diversity, equity and inclusion is so important to me as a biracial woman in the workplace. My hope is for students of color to be able to see themselves in me and feel as though they are in a safe and inclusive environment. I look forward to helping NEC continue to support students of all races, disabilities, sexual orientation, and gender!