The Chappaqua School District appointed a New York City educator to a newly-created position that will help the district promote racial equity, social justice and anti-racism for its students and the community.
On Wednesday evening, the Board of Education appointed Phillip I. Marcus Jr. the director of Equity, Inclusion & Wellness, effective Nov. 30.
“I’m excited to be joining the Chappaqua Central School District and to work among students, families and educators who have chosen to prioritize equity, inclusion and wellness in this challenging time for our country,” Marcus said. “Over the coming weeks, I’m most looking forward to listening to the needs of the community and engaging in conversations and learning experiences that lead to our collective growth.”
Marcus has been a building leader within the New York City Department of Education for three years, after serving as a middle school and high school literacy coach and English teacher. He helps perform professional learning for his colleagues and teachers with a particular emphasis on equity, anti-racism and culturally competent instruction. Marcus has published several pieces including two on the issue of race, appearing in Medium and Columbia Spectator.
He was a middle school assistant principal of instruction at Bronx School for Law, Government and Justice. In that role, he oversaw about 30 teachers and several department chairs, grade-level leaders and instructional coaches in English, social studies and the arts.
Marcus has been described by supervisors and colleagues as someone who has a “following in the community” because of his strong relationships with students, teachers and families.
“We are looking forward to welcoming Phillip to this new role which enhances our important equity, anti-racism and social justice initiatives,” said Chappaqua Superintendent of Schools Dr. Christine Ackerman. “His colleagues have shared that he is an educator who has a deep commitment to equity work and has successful raised the racial consciousness of his colleagues to help create more inclusive and culturally competent learning experiences for students.”
Creation of the post was part of the changes made by the district following a 10-second racist TikTok video featuring several Horace Greely High School students which surfaced in June. In the days and weeks that followed, students, alumni and community called for school officials to address not only racism in the schools but the lack of diversity among faculty and staff and include race and ethnicity into the curriculum.