Samantha Utley has been named the inaugural Coordinator of Equity, Inclusion and Justice at the Fanny Edel Falk Laboratory School, a private K-8 school affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Education. Her start date is Aug. 3.
In this newly created, senior-level role, Utley will work with students, faculty, staff, and parents and caregivers in a variety of contexts, including professional development, student admissions, curriculum development, classroom instruction and more.
A native of Monroeville, Pennsylvania, Utley is the former dean of students at the Duquesne City School District, where she managed student affairs. Prior to that role, she worked at Duquesne schools as a teacher and instructional coach for science, STEM and technology.
At the Falk School, Utley intends to apply the values of equity and restorative justice that shaped her experiences at Duquesne schools. She expects to foster an environment that recognizes and celebrates the innate differences in people and promotes the development of positive social identities.
“The primary years are the foundation for students,” said Utley. “Reading, writing, math—if you don’t have those skills down in the first few years, you will struggle down the road. The same could be thought of with equity and inclusion. If we don’t instill that knowledge in our children, then as adults they will have deficit thinking and bias as adults.” Read more about Utley’s new position on the School of Education website.