The Diversity of the Mariemont Staff

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BY OLIVIA SIMPSON

Naomi Akagha, junior, describes the word diversity as “different people, physically, emotionally, and psychologically.” Mariemont could fit this description when thinking about interests, genders, sexualities, ages, along with other things. But when considering the diversity of race, Mariemont falls short. Considerably when it comes to that of the staffs.

Across all four schools, the only representation of African American descent is Mrs. Simmons, the Mariemont Elementary principal. There are a few examples of Asian and Hispanic descent. For example, Jin Lǎoshī and Seniora Timmerding. But there are only a few instances.

(Mariemont Elementary Staff; PHOTO BY LANGE)

 

(Terrace Park Elementary Staff; PHOTO BY LANGE)

 

(Mariemont Junior High; PHOTO BY LANGE)

 

(Mariemont High School Staff; PHOTO BY LANGE)

Mr. Ferry said, “it would be great if we had a more diverse staff… [because it would give] students a broader idea of the society they are going into.”

Some feel that the lack of racial diversity is not preparing students for the real world. A world where in 40 years, according to US Census Bureau calculations from 2012, will be 43 percent white. And for those under 18, the majority of them will be Hispanic, as seen in the graph below.

(Population Statistics; BY WILLIAM H. FRAY https://www.brookings.edu/opinions/census-projects-new-majority-minority-tipping-points/)

So why isn’t the lack of racial diversity being fixed? The answer, quite simply, is that people of color aren’t applying to Mariemont.

Those who are interested in applying for a job at Mariemont apply through a program called Applitrack. According to Dr. Renner, about 30-50 people apply for each position, and he then chooses the best applicants without the knowledge of their race.  

But Dr. Renner said, “I’ve never interviewed a minority candidate, although I would love to.”

According to administrators, there is little they can do if minorities aren’t applying.

Which leads some to wonder: why are non-white people not applying? 

Dr. Renner’s theory is minorities do not want to go to a school where they are underrepresented. He said, “if I were a person of minority, I would feel compelled to work at schools with people that are in similar situations as mine.” If it is lack of representation of the students, it would make sense. Since according to the Public School Review in 2016, the student population is 94% white, compared to the state average of 71% white. 

But some believe Mariemont is diverse as it is. Mr. Sugarmann, for example, said, “we have a diverse staff, diversity comes in different ways.”