The Lake Oswego School District has promoted a staff member to the position of director of equity and strategic initiatives.
David Salerno Owens has been working as a response to intervention coordinator and freshman transition specialist at Lakeridge High School. He will assume his new role July 1.
The director of equity position will lead the development and implementation of proactive diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, according to the school district, which will support the district’s new strategic plan.
“He will lead the development of a vision and effective strategy that champions the importance and value of a diverse and inclusive school environment and he will engage staff, students, and the community at both the district and local school levels to build a welcoming and inclusive culture in Lake Oswego schools. In addition, he will assess potential barriers and develop strategies focused on recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce,” according to the Lake Oswego School District.
In February, students from Lake Oswego Junior High School staged a walkout after a note with a racial slur on it was passed to a black student by three white students. Lake Oswego High School students also walked out of class in March 2017 due to racist incidents.
Owens said he has experience empowering adults and students to honor and celebrate each other.
"I've lived and work in such varied places," said Salerno Owens. "It gives me a wide perspective on issues of diversity, inclusion, and equity. While I have focused my career on helping students broaden their skills to be successful, I look forward to the challenge of facilitating conversations across the district and community."
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