Tippecanoe School Corp. has hired president of the local NAACP chapter, Sadie Harper-Scott, to be its new coordinator for diversity and inclusion.
Harper-Scott will support students and staff on equity, diversity and inclusion issues across the school district, per a press release released Monday.
She says she looks forward to giving students and families opportunities to be successful in and out of the classroom.
“I plan to listen, learn and help people have collaborative, solution-oriented conversations around issues of equity and diversity," Harper-Scott said in the release. "If we can do that, we can all work together and move forward."
With "an impressive record of advocating for youth," Harper-Scott will help achieve the district's goal of "providing a welcoming environment to students of all backgrounds," said Patrick Hein, president of TSC Board of Trustees, in the release.
Throughout her career, Harper-Scott has worked with youth as an advocate, probation officer, counselor and case manager. She graduated from Elizabeth City State University in 1979 with a bachelor's degree in sociology and social work, per the release.
TSC Superintendent Scott Hanback said he is looking forward to the improvement TSC hopes to see with Harper-Scott in the new position.
"We consistently review our corporation by evaluating areas of need and identifying opportunities for growth so that we can focus on meaningful improvement," he said in the release. "As a learning institution, we’re heavily focused on helping our students achieve their full potential and discover who they can become."
In June, McCutcheon High School alumnus Will Persin created a Change.org petition calling for TSC to update its standards to include "the history and repercussions of slavery, segregation, redlining, gerrymandering, discrimination, and all other forms of systemic racism and oppression in the United States."
"The goal was moreso to get the admin's attention ... to get them, the school board, to start talking to students, teachers and alumni of color," he told The Exponent last month. "I just wanted to get the conversation going because I felt like it hadn't taken off yet at TSC."
In response to the petition, The Exponent published a story on Thursday in which alumni recounted their experiences with racism in TSC schools.
As of Monday afternoon, nearly 1,500 TSC students, parents and alumni have signed the petition.
Harper-Scott's appointment to the position is expected to be approved during the school board's meeting at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, per the release.