Connie Yepez, Director of Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

ConnieYepez, Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Living Our School Values

As we enter the second full month of school, I marvel at how I see our school values on display every day! Certainly, as a new member of the community, I’ve been adjusting to Belmont Day culture, lingo, events, traditions, and schedule. There is much to learn and take in—and so much that I already appreciate about this wonderful community.

How are respect, honesty, responsibility, caring, joy, and excellence visible in our community to me? From my travels around the school and from my office in the sixth grade hallway, I see and hear:

    • Students beaming with smiles and alive with laughter
    • Joyful play on Big Blue and Claflin Field during recess
    • Students reaching out to faculty when they have a concern, question, or problem
    • Faculty modeling that we are all every child’s teacher
    • People learning and using each other’s names
  • Student focus and engagement in classes
  • “Hello” and “Good morning” are spoken consistently in our hallways
  • Beautiful and inspiring displays of student work
  • A spirit of cooperation and support when others need help

These are just a few of the ways we actively demonstrate the values of our school community. These values are also aspirational. Are we all always responsible, caring, or joyful? Speaking from the “I” perspective, I am not. In the moments when we lose our way and behave in ways that do not show our best selves, I hope we can lean into the aspirational nature of our stated values. Demonstrating care and love for each other sometimes will mean that we will need to apologize, change our behavior, and repair fractured relationships.

We are all BDS! This reminds me of the concept of UBUNTU, which I have seen translated as “I am because we are.” This definition speaks to me because it names the connectedness in communities—families, friend groups, schools, teams, etc. Archbishop Desmond Tutu wrote that the essence of ubuntu is, “My humanity is caught up, is inextricably bound up, in yours.” Our ability to acknowledge our common humanity as we navigate challenges is what will keep us connected, compassionate, and empathetic as we all try to know better and do better.

I am so excited to be here at BDS and be “bound up” in this community. I look forward to sharing what I know will be a year of learning, excellence, challenges, growth, and joy, and experiencing with all of you many more examples of our values in action.

ConnieYepez, Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

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