Leader Visits

Jason HeissererUncategorized

What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide
what kind of difference you want to make.
–Jane Goodall

Friends,

This week I hosted two school leaders separately at Crossroads: Phil Pusateri, the Head of School for LaSalle Middle School, a charter school in the city, and Armando Gilkes, the new Director of Diversity at DeSmet Jesuit High School. I invited Phil and Armando to visit Crossroads after a Coffee & Convo presentation at Crossroads by a DeSmet senior this past summer. Phil was an audience member, and Armando was newly hired in his role at DeSmet. Both were interested in Crossroads, our work with diversity and inclusivity, and finding support in one another as we lead for just and equitable schools.

As a public school leader, I could not find peers who would engage in conversations like this with me. I am proud to say that independent school leaders have not shied away from ways that we might support one another as leaders, particularly around issues of diversity. LaSalle Middle School, DeSmet Jesuit High School, and Crossroads College Preparatory School are very different. We have different missions, different resources, different demographics, and yet all of us want to make a difference for our particular students and want to learn from one another so that our schools serve our students in ethical, excellent, and engaging ways. We want to do the good work of learning and leading together.

Neither Phil nor Armando had visited Crossroads before. Both commented on our art, the relaxed, conversational, and kind nature of our students, the culture of trust that is inherent in the building, and the spaces that students from all grade levels and faculty and staff share as they work. Both also marveled at our Primary Tenet.

Next week I will host Kelcie Bartley, the Diversity Coordinator from The College School. I invite everyone I run into to visit Crossroads. More and more colleagues from other schools are taking me up on this offer, and I am looking forward to how these relationships will support our work and our standing in the community.

With great expectations,
Jason