District Navigation

Main Navigation


Equity and Inclusion

Vision: Promoting a culture of inclusive excellence for students, staff, and families

 The Olentangy School District believes in promoting an environment of inclusive excellence for all of our students, staff members, and families. In order to achieve this goal, we emphasize the following beliefs, values, and actions:

  • We strive to ensure structures, processes, and opportunities meet the needs of all students.
  • We recognize that our success is integrally linked to how well we value, engage, and affirm the rich diversity of our students, staff, families, administrators, and community members.
  • We focus on ensuring access to educational opportunity, cultivating student success, and fostering high-quality learning.
  • We believe in active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity and inclusion - not the delivery of isolated initiatives.

MEET THE team      

Mikela Thomas, District Diversity Coordinator

Mikela Thomas, Assistant Director of Equity and Inclusion

Mikela is a wife and mother of three.  She has been an educator for 14 years and has held leadership roles in OLSD as a member of the Building Leadership Team, Diversity Liaison, and K-12 District Diversity Chair.  She is a doctoral candidate at North Central University and will receive her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership. As a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated,  Mikela has a passion for diversity, inclusion, cultural awareness, and social justice.

Dr. Lewis headshot

Dr. Stephen Lewis, District Equity and Inclusion Supervisor 

Dr. Lewis and his family have been residents of the Olentangy district since 2007. He and his wife, Pamela have three children. “Dctr L” as he is affectionately known by his students has served as the Orange High School Diversity Liaison for the past six years, as well as on the District Diversity Committee since its inception in 2010. He is passionate about creating positive school spaces that support the teaching and learning of all students with the skills necessary to compete in a global economy.  

Heather Cole

Heather Cole, District Diversity Coordinator

Heather has been in the district since 2001; the first 13 years serving as an elementary educator in first, third, and fourth grades. She currently lives in Westerville with her husband Michael and two sons Maxton and Zeke. Heather is passionate about her work with students, families and community members in breaking down barriers through relationship building, authentic conversation, and mindful listening.

Shannon Griffen, K-12 Diversity Chair

 Shannon Griffin, K-12 District Diversity Chair

Shannon has been working in education for over 10 years and holds a masters in Educational Leadership. She is passionate about diversity, inclusion and anti-bias education. She hopes to transform student, teacher and community relationships by providing resources and support for teaching tolerance, encouraging conversations around tough topics, and engaging in social activism. Additionally, as a fourth-grade teacher, mother and all-around book lover, she recognizes the power of representation and diversity in literature. Shannon is a wife and mother of three boys.


In 2010, Olentangy Schools formed a Superintendent’s Diversity Committee made up of passionate community members and staff which began addressing some of the most pressing issues facing students in our district. The committee spearheads conversations, recommendations and efforts around diversity, equity and inclusion that are necessary to facilitate maximum learning for every student.  Based on the committee’s early recommendations, a Diversity Coordinator was hired for the 2012-2013 academic year.  

Additionally, diversity liaison positions were created to support staff and students in every building. This structure allows the district to meet needs at the local level as well as to create programming and initiatives system-wide.  With steady growth, changing demographics and a strong commitment to the work, the district hired a full-time administrator to oversee the equity and inclusion department and initiatives throughout the community.



  Mikela Thomas 
  Assistant Director of
        Equity and Inclusion
        (740) 657-5068

 Dr. Stephen Lewis 
Equity and Inclusion Supervisor
      (740) 657-4386

Heather Cole
District Diversity Coordinator
     (740) 657-5052

 Shannon Griffin
K-12 District Diversity Chair
     (740) 657-3032




District logo

Diversity Committee 

Building Diversity Liaisons icon


ONE Community Conference

ONE Community Conference 

Equity and Inclusion action plan

Equity & Inclusion Action Plan  

Calendar icon

of Events  

Stay Safe. Speak Up! logo

Stay Safe. Speak Up! Student Hotline  

Twitter logo

Follow us on Twitter