The Institute for New Teachers of Color in Independent Schools

at the Gordon School, East Providence, RI

Monday, August 9 through Wednesday, August 11 
three full days, lunch included, 9am to 3pm
The Gordon School, East Providence, RI
$395, enrollment limited to twelve

As faculties at independent schools become increasingly diverse, it is critical that new teachers of color receive the support they need to thrive in their roles. 

We are offering an intimate three-day conference for new teachers of color. Participants will be reflecting on where they are in their career journeys, learning about independent school culture, honing their craft as educators, and developing personal mission statements to ground them as they navigate the next year. Mentorship will also be an important piece of the conference. Participants will be matched with an advisor who will support them through the institute and beyond. Sessions will be facilitated by Noni Thomas López, Betty Noel, Susan Yao, Will Gilyard, and guest speakers. 

Sessions will take place from 9am to 3pm on Monday, August 9th through Wednesday, August 11th. We welcome all teachers who identify as people of color, who are in their first or second year at an independent school, and who are looking for a supportive cohort and mentorship to set them up for success. We also invite experienced teachers who are joining the independent school world to consider joining us. We are excited to meet in person at the Gordon School!

$395 tuition includes books and lunch each day

About the Gordon School

Gordon is proud to host this first institute for teachers of color who are new to the independent school world.

Gordon has a long history of leadership in multicultural education and antiracist work. By supporting events like this week's workshop, Gordon hopes to further extend the school's mission to help reshape the culture of independent schools so that students, teachers and families can all benefit from a richer range of perspectives and experiences and more diverse and inclusive school community.


The faculty

Will Gilyard 
Will Gilyard is in his eighteenth year of working in independent schools. In 2020, he returned to his alma mater Choate Rosemary Hall to take on the roles of Dean of Students, Form Dean, and Alumni Engagement Associate. Will joined Choate after nine years at the Kingswood Oxford School, a independent day school serving sixth to twelfth grade located in West Hartford, CT, where he served as Dean of Students, an upper school math teacher, assistant football coach, and faculty advisor for the United Students club and Boys of Color group. Will served as a core faculty member of the Kingswood Oxford Leadership Institute for Educators of Color from 2011-2018 and helped create the curriculum for the mentoring and advising circles for institute participants.

Before joining Kingswood Oxford School, Will was the Head of the Upper School at the Cathedral School of St. John the Divine in New York City. He serves on the board of advisors for the IDEAL School, also located in New York City. He is passionate about the role of educators in independent schools, specifically in the lives of students of color. Will has attended numerous workshops, conferences, and institutes related to leadership in independent schools and antiracist education. Will had the honor of being a member of a think tank for the CARLE institute.

Betty Noel-Pierre
Betty Noel-Pierre currently serves as Head of Upper School Student Life at the Brearley School in New York City. Before joining Brearley, Betty worked as the Head of the Middle School at Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn, New York. 

She began her teaching career while earning her PhD in molecular genetics and microbiology from Stony Brook University, where she earned the Distinguished Service Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Department. She has taught Middle School and Upper School science at Saint Ann’s, the Browning School and the Marymount School of New York, and has been an instructor at Stony Brook University. Betty also served as the Director of Equity and Diversity at Browning and the Academic Dean for the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth Summer Program. 

Her dedication to curriculum and student life in independent schools began with her experience as a student and continued to develop as an alumna, parent and former trustee of The Chapin School. 

Noni Thomas López
Noni Thomas López is currently the Head of School of the Gordon School in East Providence, RI. She has worked in independent schools for twenty-five years.

Before joining Gordon, Noni worked for twenty years as a teacher and administrator in independent schools in New York City, including time as the Assistant Head of School for Teaching and Learning at Ethical Culture Fieldston School, the Head of Middle School at the Nightingale-Bamford School, and Middle School Director of the Calhoun School.

Noni has presented at multiple national and regional conferences and consulted at universities as well as public and private schools on curriculum, diversity, equity and inclusion, board governance, and organizational leadership. 
She currently serves on multiple national and regional boards, including the National Association of Independent Schools, the Association of Independent Schools of New England, the Headmistresses Association of the East, Community Preparatory School, Trinity Repertory Theater and Inspiring Minds, a not-for-profit organization that serves Providence elementary school students and families. 

Susan Yao
Susan Yao is the outgoing Middle School Head at Friends Academy. She began her career in independent schools at St. Luke's School in New York City as a social studies teacher. 

An alumna of Bank Street's leadership program, she is passionate about progressive education, project-based learning, and mindfulness. Her next journey is to start the Laughing Rivers School, a new, progressive Kindergarten to eighth grade school anchored in Buddhist principles. She is excited to support new administrators of color on their leadership journeys.


Registration is closed

The institute is at capacity and registration is closed.

Please email Susan Yao, Middle School Head at Friends Academy, with any questions