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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      

Peter Stern head shot

Peter Stern, Assistant Director of Equity and Inclusion

Mr. Stern has been with Olentangy since 2016. Prior to this role, Peter spent twelve years as an elementary principal. His other educational experiences include teaching middle school math and science as well as being a middle school assistant principal. He is passionate about building meaningful relationships and working collectively to ensure inclusive excellence. He lives in Westerville with his wife and two daughters.

Noah Valentine headshot

Noah Valentine, Supervisor of Equity & Inclusion 

For the past seven years, Mr. Valentine has worked in Higher Education at Purdue University.  While at Purdue, Noah served in Residence Life and as chair for the DEI Committee.  Mr. Valentine is passionate about meeting individuals where they are to help them along their journey of inclusive excellence.  Originally from Chillicothe, Noah is excited to be home and closer to family. He currently lives in the Olentangy school district with his wife and kids.

Heather Cole

Heather Cole, Coordinator of Equity & Inclusion 

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 Mickens , K-12 District Diversity Chair

Shannon has been working in education for over 15 years, starting as a 4th grade classroom teacher and is currently a gifted intervention specialist. She is passionate about ensuring that all staff, students and families feel seen, heard and valued. She has a love for picture books and recognizes the power of representation and diversity in literature. Shannon currently lives in Lewis Center with her rescue dog, Nora.


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.



  Peter Stern
  Assistant Director of
        Equity and Inclusion

 Noah Valentine 
Supervisor of Equity & Inclusion 
      (740) 657-4386

Heather Cole
Coordinator of Equity & Inclusion 
     (740) 657-5052

 Shannon Mickens
K-12 District Diversity Chair
     (740) 657-4600




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