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Inclusion & Belonging

BGA Inclusion and Belonging

No matter where you come from, who you are, or what your background is, there is a place for you here. We believe our community is made better by perspectives from different races, ethnicities, genders, cultures, social classes, and lifestyles – and that all are equally important.

At BGA, we define diversity as a commitment to recognizing, respecting, and celebrating perspectives that differentiate us as individuals while bringing us together as a community. Elevating the model of equity and inclusion at Battle Ground Academy goes beyond simply preparing our students with the skills and empathy needed to be leaders and citizens of an increasingly diverse world. We believe it is essential to our mission and to the values we hold dear. 

Nothing can stop the power of a committed and determined people to make a difference in our society. – Sen. John Lewis

Student Diversity Leadership Committee

Youth are playing a significant role in the civil rights movement sweeping the nation, and research shows that diversity and inclusion initiatives are most successful in schools where students feel as though they have license over the changes being made. In response, and in line with BGA’s strategic plan and our commitment to creating informed citizens, we formed a Student Diversity Leadership Committee. The diverse group of Upper School students were selected through a rigorous application process, and they work with Dr. Michelle Arnold in four distinct areas – community engagement, education/curriculum, student programming, and student and family support – to:

  • Spread awareness and knowledge to students and faculty while acknowledging the nuances of identity and the intersections of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, ability, religion, and age. 
  • Create an inclusive culture at BGA.
  • Connect underrepresented students with student leaders and the administration. 

2022-2023 Student Diversity Leadership Committee

Front row (left to right): Paige Arnold, Ashlyn Patton, Alexa Ammerman, Courtney Crabill, Claire Coco, Mia Hawkersmith, Ann Gentry Lambert, Richa Patel
Back row (left to right): Christian Thompson, Jeremiah Rhames, Sydney Carroll, Taylor Arnold, Jackson Rowley, Anna Sgarbi, Junho Lee, El Sweet, Amaria Gillispie
Not pictured: Keira Jenkins

Inclusion & Belonging Updates

Recent BGA Graduates Named Tom Murdic Scholars

BGA Class of 2022 graduates Zachary Flores, A.J. McClemore, and Sean Williams have been awarded the Tom Murdic Educational Scholarship by the African American Heritage Society of Williamson County. 

Read More about Recent BGA Graduates Named Tom Murdic Scholars
BGA Students & Faculty Explore Mary Sibande Exhibit at the Frist

Our Office of Equity and Inclusion recently hosted an Upper School field experience at the Frist Art Museum in downtown Nashville. Led by Director of Equity and Inclusion Dr. Michelle Arnold, Head of Upper School Josh Montgomery, and Upper School DEI Coordinator Myles Thrash, thirty-three Upper School students spent the day exploring South African-based artist Mary Sibande’s recently installed “Blue Purple Red” exhibit. 

Read More about BGA Students & Faculty Explore Mary Sibande Exhibit at the Frist
BGA Faculty, Staff & Students Attend 2021 Tearing Down the Walls Conference

Over the summer, BGA faculty, staff, students -- and even some recent alumni -- attended the 2021 Tearing Down the Walls Conference for independent private schools. Throughout the conference, faculty and staff participated in interactive sessions on equity, antiracism, inclusion, and community, while students participated in their own program designed to identify and develop the qualities necessary to become leaders and bridge builders in any environment.

Read More about BGA Faculty, Staff & Students Attend 2021 Tearing Down the Walls Conference

Inclusion & Belonging Team

Michelle Arnold

Michelle Arnold

Director of Inclusion and Belonging, Admissions Associate
Monica Frazier

Monica Frazier

Director of After School Programs, LS Inclusion & Belonging Coordinator, Spanish Teacher
Angela Gist-Dowlen

Angela Gist-Dowlen

MS English, MS Inclusion and Belonging Coordinator
Myles Thrash

Myles Thrash

MS/US Learning Support Specialist, US Inclusion & Belonging Coordinator, Varsity Girls Basketball