Administration seeks to hire more racially diversified staff

By directly seeking out minority candidates, the administration is hoping to diversify the school’s faculty and staff.


**Cultural crossover…***Teaching about her culture, Chinese teacher Xia Pomposi helps sophomore Alec Kreiser learn phrases in Pomposi’s native language of Mandarin Chinese. Pomposi grew up in China and considers teaching as a way to educate American students on her culture.* *Arrowhead Photo by Dekai Averett*

Despite the various ethnicities represented within the student body, the administration is struggling to diversify the teaching staff to provide a more representative learning environment.
This general lack of minority representation in the teaching staff hasn’t gone unnoticed by students, teachers or administration alike.
According to Principal Sam Varano, creating a more diversified staff is a task he has tried “really hard” to accomplish.
“I believe very strongly that the most impact I can have on helping students in our school community from diverse backgrounds feel as included as possible is by having professional staff members who look like them,” Varano said. “For an African-American [student] we have none.”
One of the largest obstacles in the way of accomplishing these tasks is a lack of minority applicants.
“I don’t think it’s that they don’t want to hire diverse professionals,” study hall proctor Mileidys Rodriguez said. “I think sometimes the area where you live might be the issue where not many people from other countries come and live here.”
Due to these limitations, the administration has directly sought out minority professionals to potentially diversify the teaching staff.
“The only reason we have candidates from diverse backgrounds is because we are going out and asking them to apply,” Varano said.
According to Cultural Awareness Alliance (CAA) member Trevor Melton, having a more diverse teaching staff can aid in decreasing racial prejudices within the high school.
“By having educated teachers of different races at Souderton, we can reduce the unconscious bias and stereotypes students have,” Melton said.
Varano believes that an increased presence of minority teachers can be beneficial to the predominantly white student body.
“For our white students to never see someone who is Hispanic as a teacher or who is African-American as a teacher, that’s not good for them either,” Varano said.
An increase in the diversity of the teaching staff could also bring additional course options to the curriculum.
“Some minority teachers could teach a subject they relate to and are educated on,” CAA co-leader Adryanna Bauman said, “A teacher could teach a language that is their first, or an African-American teacher could teach a black history course.”
This school year saw the introduction of a Mandarin language course taught by native Chinese teacher Xia Pomposi. Pomposi believes that she can provide a more “meaningful” experience due to her upbringing in China.
“I feel that I can share my culture from China,” Pomposi said. “When you learn culture, you become more understanding of Chinese people.”
According to Pomposi, her own experience of moving to the United States from China allowed for her to learn about the “melting pot” of ethnicities and cultures in the U.S.
“In China, we don’t have different races so I was more like a majority. When I came here I found out, ‘Oh, I have to learn different peoples culture.’” Pomposi said.
Melton believes that continued discussion on staff diversification will result in an improved academic experience for students of color.
“Overall, if we continue to have conversations regarding race and ethnicity at Souderton, then we will begin to see changes in how our education system teaches us,” Melton said.