North Allegheny School District Expands Diversity Initiatives
With NA Empower
New student and staff organization to help create a more inclusive community that recognizes, honors, and celebrates differences
North Allegheny School District introduces NA Empower, a new committee that will move the District forward by giving students and staff the power to impact more equitable policies, practices, curriculum, and instruction.
NA Empower will develop programs to help strengthen North Allegheny’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion; identify needs and concerns of the community, and support the development of culturally competent individuals.
“I’m inspired by the students and staff that have come together to create NA Empower. I am confident that these leaders will champion a culture of inclusion focusing on a range of differences in individuals, ideas, and experiences,” said Dr. Melissa Friez, Deputy Superintendent. “Unveiling NA Empower is just the first step. Together, NA Empower and the District are committed to doing the work to create a culture where all individuals feel valued, supported, and encouraged to succeed beyond their years at North Allegheny.”
Reimagining the NA Diversity Committee was a collaborative effort that began in the summer of 2020. With the goal of creating an inclusive environment where individuals felt empowered and supported, a group of students and staff began meeting bi-weekly. Using virtual communication platforms, the group collaborated on the organization’s name, vision, mission, and leadership positions.
During the 2020-2021 school year, NA Empower is focusing on restructuring the Diversity Committee, mandatory training programs, increased recruitment of diverse candidates, and updating anti-bullying/cyberbullying, unlawful harassment, and hazing policies.
The inaugural NA Empower committee includes 30 students and staff members from buildings across the District.
Members of the inaugural NA Empower Leadership Team include:
- Dr. Melissa Friez, Deputy Superintendent
- Matt Buchak, Assistant Principal
- Jordan Cotten, Instructional Technology Integrator
- David West, Teacher
- Evan Dozier, NA Student
- Faith Nguyen, NA Student
North Allegheny School District’s Diversity Committee was founded in 1992 to help serve the diverse needs of every child of the District. Moving forward, the Diversity Committee will be known as NA Empower.