Worthington Schools leaders say they are looking to hire a coordinator of diversity, equity and inclusion, a cabinet-level position.
Superintendent Trent Bowers told the school board June 8 that such a position would provide an outlet for parents and a strong supporter of programs that improve the environment for students who are academically challenged, black, Latino or part of the LGBTQ community.
Bowers made his presentation after national protests, including some that involved rioting and looting, followed the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minnesota. Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died during an incident that involved Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on his neck for almost nine minutes after Floyd had been arrested for allegedly passing a counterfeit $20 bill at a convenience store. A bystander recorded the incident with cellphone video.
“We’re obviously receiving many questions about our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion,” Bowers told the board. “I’m honestly very encouraged by the response from our community and their call to action. It’s clear now more than ever that educational equity is literally a matter of life and death for our students.
“As a board of education, you guys have been really good at championing these efforts, and because of your leadership you’ve personally pushed me forward.
The position was posted June 9 on the school district’s website, worthington.k12.oh.us. The salary range is $95,000 to $110,000.
The deadline to apply is July 3, and the position would be available on or before Aug. 1, according to the district.
Bowers said the ideal candidate would be a visionary and transformational thought leader who has influenced multiculturalism and achieved positive change.
Although the board did not vote on the matter, individual members voiced support of the position.
Board member Charlie Wilson said the coordinator position is something he has pushed for since being appointed to the board in February 2007.
“First of all, there are some very good ones out there, and I would like for us to get the very best,” Wilson said.