(ATHERTON, CA – May 7, 2021) Following an extensive search, Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton (SHS) is proud to announce the appointment of Ben Su as the school’s inaugural Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access (DEIA). As part of the school’s Office of Mission, Culture, and Strategy, Su will lead the formation and execution of comprehensive DEIA initiatives that will be integrated throughout SHS’ entire preschool – grade 12 program.
“On behalf of the SHS Board of Trustees and the school’s leadership team, we are thrilled to have Ben Su formally stepping in to helm this crucial work,” said SHS Director of Schools Richard A. Dioli. “A wise and wonderful member of our community these past three years, Ben has a clear care for students and colleagues alike and is deeply attuned to the importance of our educational mission, especially in the area of DEIA work. Under his leadership, we look forward to furthering how our community truly understands, embraces, and lives our values.”
Well-suited for the rigorous work and high expectations ahead, Su has an extensive background in cross-cultural settings and roles, including posts with AmeriCorps, the Peace Corps, the Institute of International Education, and with BUILD’s college access program, as well as a number of teaching assignments. He holds a doctorate in interdisciplinary studies from Graduate Theological Union; a master’s in religion and culture, as well as his secondary teaching credential, from Creighton University; and a bachelor’s in English from U.C. Berkeley. Having taught at both Sacred Heart Preparatory (Atherton) and Stuart Hall (Sacred Heart San Francisco), Su is well-versed in the Sacred Heart mission, educational philosophy, and school community – vital experience that will serve him well as he steps into this new role. Passionate, thoughtful, and active on the Atherton campus with respect to advancing DEIA aims, Su initiated and leads the faculty’s Cultural Studies Collective, is a member of the People of Color Affinity Group, and currently co-chairs the school’s Racial Justice Task Force.
“This is a critical time in our campus work around racial justice and educating our students to take an active role in creating a more humane, just, and caring world,” said James Everitt, chief mission, culture, and strategy officer for Sacred Heart. “These efforts closely align with both the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Religious of the Sacred Heart (our founding Order), both of whom have renewed their support of, and commitment to, eliminating any internal, institutional racism. Over the past few years at Sacred Heart – and with great purpose and intention – we have built a solid foundation in equity, justice, and multicultural education. We are confident that Ben will now take our school community to the ‘next level,’ actively advancing this timely and essential work.”
“In this moment of both promise and urgency, I am honored to continue the work to which so many in our community have long dedicated themselves…[efforts which] endeavor to realize the hope that no part of a person’s identity will ever hinder that person’s success, well-being, or belonging but that every part of every person – child and adult – is increasingly recognized, cherished, and able to contribute to our school community, as well as to a more just world,” said Su upon accepting the appointment. “It’s my hope that through this process, each of us will find the liberation that comes from being embraced by – and in embracing – those around us.”
While Su officially starts his tenure as Sacred Heart’s DEIA director on August 1, 2021, he will begin preparations for his new role over the upcoming summer months. As DEIA director, he will work with trustees, senior administrators, and colleagues across all departments to further develop strategies, goals, and implementation timelines related to the school’s preliminary and long-term DEIA initiatives.