In early December the Shorewood School District welcomed seasoned educator and administrator Shari Tucker as its new director for equity. Tucker came to Shorewood from Glen Hills Middle School, where she was a teacher and assistant principal. There, she gained experience teaching, coaching and leading within the framework of Integrated Comprehensive Systems for Equity, the Milwaukee consulting agency engaged by the Shorewood School District in 2020.
ICS Equity delivers a proven framework and process to eliminate inequities comprehensively across educational systems. Shorewood’s contract with them was a key attraction for Tucker, as it signaled a genuine willingness to create sustainable, positive change.
“The commitment I saw from the School Board, the community, the District — that was huge,” Tucker says. “I say this to everyone I talk to: I cannot and will not do this work by myself, to dismantle and disrupt systems that have been in place for years to marginalize certain groups of people.”
To that end, as District and school-level leaders move through and lead staff in the ICS Equity modules, ICS founder Dr. Colleen Capper has been engaging Shorewood community members in the District’s work via the Community Equity Ally Academy, a monthly, four-session series that ran March-June.
“I think that’s where a lot of people really struggle,” Tucker says. “They start on this equity journey, and then they end up in a space where somebody says something overtly racist. And then you’re sitting there, like, ‘How do I address that? What do I say?’” With a solid understanding of the District’s progress, community allies can better align with the District’s “committed actions” for long-term impact.
The Ally Academy initially comprised representatives from community groups already engaged in equity work including the Village’s Human Relations Commission, Shorewood Moving Forward, the Shorewood Public Library and community members who participated in the 2019-2020 sessions to help the District create its equity framework.
“Equity is lifelong — you don’t ever ‘master’ equity,” Tucker says. “That’s one of the core principles for Shorewood, and I reiterate it to staff all the time.”
For more information on ICS for Equity, visit: https://www.shorewood.k12.wi.us/apps/pages/ICSEquity
*This story can also be found in the Spring 2021 Shorewood Today magazine.*