South Pasadena Unified School District

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Instructional Services » Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

South Pasadena Unified School District (SPUSD) desires to provide a safe and welcoming school environment that allows all students equal access and opportunities in the district's academic and educational support programs, services, arts, athletics, and activities.  Throughout our nation’s history, institutional and structural racism and injustice have led to deepening racial disparities across all sectors of society and have lasting negative consequences for our communities, cities, and nation.

South Pasadena Unified School District is committed to recognizing and valuing the diversity, backgrounds, and abilities of all students, and providing them the encouragement to reach their full potential.  As a public school district, we are facilitators of the limitless growth potential of human beings, with a charge to guide our youth in finding and achieving their purpose with a belief that every human being deserves to live with dignity.  

The problems of society are mirrored in schools, and these problems can only be fully addressed with a united effort of community and school coming together for the betterment of our students’ future. We are committed to ensuring that all of our students have the knowledge, skills and confidence to create a more peaceful and just world, one that embraces and celebrates diversity and breaks the chains of oppression of all kinds.

DEI Committee

The SPUSD Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee was formed in the spring of 2021 to examine the policies and practices of our school district for overt and unintended bias and discrimination.  The desire is to close the gaps to access, opportunity, and achievement by restructuring policies and practices.  Our goal is to be a district where all families are welcomed, and all students are taught and supported in achieving their greatest potential. 

The committee's purpose is to examine SPUSD policies and practices to recommend revisions to the Superintendent and Board of Education that will support this goal.

A DEI committee application was sent out district-wide to find committee members from each of our five schools.

More than 80 people applied, showing our community’s commitment to this initiative. All applications were thoroughly reviewed by the SPUSD administrative team in seeking committee members who:

  • Have a strong value for social justice
  • Have a vision for the future of SPUSD that celebrates the diversity of our city and provides equitable educational opportunities for all students
  • Are committed to public school education
  • Are comfortable with groups in an online platform
  • Are able to work cooperatively and collaboratively with people who may disagree with your viewpoints
  • Are able to engage with civility when your ideas or points of view are challenged
  • Are willing to learn and grow as a group
  • Are representative of SPUSD’s diversity
Thank you to the following DEI Committee members who will be serving on this committee for the 2020-2021 and the 2021-2022 school years:


Parent Representatives

Zoanne Clack (from MHS)

Amber Jaeger (from AV)

Chris Cathcart (from MAR)

Alexandra Ramirez (from SPMS)

Nida Niravanh (from SPHS)

Staff Representatives

Rania Shanny (from MHS)

Michelle Taormina (from AV)

Rachael Rodriguez-Wong (from MAR)

Emily Williams (from SPMS)

Howard Crawford (from SPHS)

Rozanna Baranets (from SPMS)

Student Representatives

Diego Loera (from MS)

Siyuan (Tia) Guang (from HS)

Samantha Lopez (from HS)

Administrative Representatives

Christiane Gervais (from DO)

Laurie Narro (from MHS)

Kim Sinclair (from AV)

Patricia Cheadle (from MAR)

Cheryl Busick (from SPMS)

John Eldred (from SPHS)

Consultant and Facilitator

Kikanza Nuri-Robins


We look forward to sharing updates on the DEI committee's work, seeking additional feedback from our larger community, and providing additional outreach opportunities.