Abington School District hires first-ever district equity officer

Abington School District has named Dr. Kristopher Brown the district’s first-ever District Equity Officer. Dr. Brown was appointed to the new position in November and has now joined the district full time. He is one of only a handful of educators statewide to hold such a title.  

From the announcement:

Administration and the Board of School Directors created the position of District Equity Officer last fall in an effort to assess and cultivate equity to enhance recruitment and retention of staff, provide professional development, and promote the achievement of students from diverse and under-represented populations within the District. Dr. Brown will work with the District’s school leaders to address disparate impact and ensure the K-12 curriculum reflects a diverse set of perspectives, and with students to continue to provide opportunity for their voices to be heard. 

“One of our main goals in Abington School District as part of our 2019-2022 Comprehensive Plan is to support students at risk, with a focus on cultural responsiveness,” said Dr. Jeffrey Fecher, Superintendent of Schools. “We are proud to welcome Dr. Brown to our Abington School District administration team to help us work toward achieving that goal. Abington Schools should always be equitable places of learning for every student who walks through our doors.”

Dr. Brown most recently served as principal of Strath Haven High School in the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District after spending four years there as assistant principal. He is an alumnus of Abington Senior High School, where he began his educational career as a social studies teacher after earning his bachelor’s degree at Villanova University. He earned a master’s degree from Delaware Valley University, and a doctorate in educational leadership from Saint Joseph’s University, a university at which he also serves as an adjunct professor.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to return to the Abington School District,” Dr. Brown said. “This is an incredible community, and I am grateful to get a chance to engage in work about which I am truly passionate—all in a place that I care about greatly. I commend Dr. Fecher and the Board of School Directors for committing to this effort, and I look forward to working to ensure that the Abington School District serves all children well.”

Dr. Brown spent his first day on the job at his alma mater elementary school, Willow Hill Elementary, where he joined students for the 30th annual National African American Read-in, an event that is a significant component of the school’s celebration of Black History Month. Reading specialists select books authored by African Americans, and students in fourth through sixth grades choose one to read aloud to another student from kindergarten through third grade. Together, the students form a “human reading chain” from one end of the school to the other. After the Read-in event, Willow Hill submits the 2020 African American Read-in Host Report Card to the National Council of Teachers of English, tracking the number of participants and the selection of books and authors read aloud.

Photo: Abington School District