Dear Parents and Guardians,
The Public Schools of Brookline is deeply committed to maintaining high expectations for all students, and to eliminating persistent opportunity and outcome gaps among students based on race, ethnicity, language, income and disability. Given the Public Schools of Brookline mission to ensure that every student develops the skills and knowledge to pursue a productive and fulfilling life, to participate thoughtfully in a democracy, and succeed in a diverse and evolving global society, the district is committed to recruiting and developing a diverse group of educators, ensuring proper emphasis on and support for culturally responsive instruction, and examining our policies, programs, practice and documents to ensure they support all students and our mission.
It is my deep belief that the work of educational equity is the work of everyone in the Public Schools of Brookline. It is the responsibility of each and every one of us to ensure we are supporting all of our students, and systematically working to overcome the opportunity gaps which lead to our outcome gaps. While this work is the responsibility of all staff, it is critical to have one person who organizes, leads, holds accountable, and supports all of us – educators, students, families, and community members – in our efforts.
To that end, I am thrilled to announce Dr. Kalise Wornum has been selected as the new Senior Director of Educational Equity. Dr. Wornum will provide direction, support and coordination for the District’s priority of eliminating opportunity and outcome gaps. She will work directly with educators, students, families, and community members in our collective efforts to address issues of educational equity across the district. Dr. Wornum will be a member of my Senior Leadership Team.
Prior to joining Brookline, Dr. Wornum was the Director for the K-12 METCO Program in the Wellesley Public Schools for 15 years. She also served as Executive Director for Empowering Multicultural Initiatives (EMI), a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the academic achievement of students of color and promoting culturally relevant practices.
A graduate of the Lexington METCO program herself, Dr. Wornum has worked with numerous institutions across the Commonwealth and the New England area and has made it her lifelong passion to confront racism through education. She earned her Bachelor of Arts at Bradford College, a Masters of Arts from the University of Vermont, and a Doctorate from Capella University.
In September, Dr. Wornum was appointed by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to serve on the Racial Imbalance Advisory Council. The council advises the Commissioner of Education and the Board of Education on matters pertinent to the development and maintenance of school desegregation/integration in public schools within the Commonwealth.
We look forward to Dr. Wornum’s guidance in recognizing the complex intersections of race and learning, as well as her work in helping our students succeed in a diverse and evolving society.
Andrew J. Bott