Several of our Middle School students traveled to England during summer 2023 as part of a three-week global immersion program with Independent Schools Cultural Alliance.
Inclusivity and Multiculturalism
We aspire to be a school community that values and practices the tenets of diversity, equity, inclusion and justice for all as well as one that practices the NAIS Principles of Good Practice for Equity and Justice. Our community is on a journey to grow and learn together to create a sense of belonging for all.
For Muslims around the world, Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan. The Shehata family spoke with our pre-K4 students about how they celebrate Eid with their loved ones. During Eid, families share a meal together, enjoy sweets and show kindness to one another. Students also learned that Eid is celebrated when the moon is a crescent shape, so they painted and decorated wooden cutouts shaped like crescent moons, stars and lanterns.
In Global Connections classes, pre-K students recently wrapped up their unit on Mexico with a fiesta! Students reviewed what they learned during the unit, sang songs in Spanish, read a fun rhyming book, made sombreros and even had the chance to try tortilla chips with salsa and queso.
Second and third graders learned about Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr in their Global Connections classes. Ms. Glass taught students the importance of the holidays, and students watched a video about fasting and celebrations.
In their Global Connections classes, pre-K students spent time learning about Mexico. Ms. Glass told students about a famous Mexican painter named Frida Kahlo.
During their Global Connections unit on Indonesia, second and third graders learned about the art of batik, which involves using wax and dye to decorate fabric. Utilizing resources in the art room, students then had the opportunity to create their own batik patterns using Elmer's glue and paint.
As they wrapped up their unit on Germany, fourth and fifth grade Global Connections students learned even more about the country from someone who actually lives there!
Pre-K4 students were full of joy and enthusiasm as they celebrated Holi! The Hindu festival signifies the triumph of good over evil and includes drenching friends and family in color. Everyone had so much fun celebrating!
To celebrate significant American Black poets, authors and activists during Black History Month, our eighth grade English students have been learning about Langston Hughes, Amanda Gorman and Walter Dean Myers. Students read and studied their poetry and researched facts about their lives.
Spring break 2023 was an exciting time for nearly a dozen Upper School students, who had the opportunity to visit France and Italy with their classmates.
The Upper School's Social Justice Club sponsors an essay competition in recognition and celebration of Black History Month each year. This year, the theme was Celebrate Diversity and Inclusion, and club members expanded the competition to include artwork and poetry.
Kindergarten and first grade students spent time learning about the Aboriginal people as part of their unit on Australia! The Australian Aboriginal people have such a rich culture, which includes a special type of art they make by using dots. Australian animals and other symbols are covered in dots that tell stories. Students enjoyed trying out the technique and making their own dot art.
Second grade students celebrated Black History Month with their annual program. Through several songs, students honored the lives of eight Black Americans who made a difference in music, inventions, sports and science.
In Global Connections classes, fourth and fifth grade students recently discussed the idea of culture. They talked about obvious and visible parts of culture, like food, festivals, flags and hobbies. They also discussed the parts of culture that lie beneath the surface, like concepts of time, beauty and respect.
Our fourth grade students are celebrating Black History Month with a scavenger hunt. Using photos and quotes on a bulletin board, students are learning more about the philosophies and ideologies of famous Black Americans, including Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Arthur Ashe and others.
Director of College Counseling Mary Hunter Hardison '01 visited Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans. She met with an admissions representative who shared information about Xavier as well as other historically Black colleges and universities.
As part of the Lunar New Year celebrations, Middle School geography students took some time to teach our third graders about the holiday through crafts and the traditional dragon dance.
Sixth grade history students channeled their creativity to showcase everything they learned during their unit on immigration. They designed board games, made paintings, wrote fictional journal entries, put together scrapbooks and more to reflect the three phases of immigration they learned about in class: leaving the homeland, traveling to America and assimilation.
Mrs. McGhee's second grade class is celebrating Black History Month by honoring prominent Black Americans with their Wall of Fame. It features photos and biographies of several Black Americans past and present, including George Washington Carver, Misty Copeland, Martin Luther King Jr., Michelle Obama and more.
Sixth grade history students created collaborative posters as part of a short study on Martin Luther King Jr. They read about his life, peaceful protests and what he believed in. Along with creating the posters, students wrote about what they believed in and what they were willing to sacrifice for that belief.
Third graders recently visited the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts to attend a performance of Orisirisi: Moonlight Stories. The show celebrates Africa and explores traditional stories of African heritage with Orisirisi drumming, dance and call and response.
NSA's Upper School Chorus had the unique opportunity to perform at the most magical place on Earth all while celebrating cultural unity through songs of inspiration, hope and respect.
In Global Connections classes, second and third graders wrapped up their winter celebrations unit with a Lunar New Year party!
Our second graders took some time to reflect on all the awesome attributes of their classmates! Each student made a paper plate that said "I am...," and their classmates filled the plate with unique traits. It was a powerful and personalized reminder of all the wonderful qualities each student possesses.
Ahead of the holiday break, Lower School and Middle School students learned about the Jewish festival of Hanukkah. Children bonded with each other while playing the traditional holiday game of dreidel.
Kindergarteners helped showcase winter holidays around the world during their "December In Our Town" performance. Family and friends watched as students from both campuses performed songs that celebrated Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Las Posadas and Christmas.
Our pre-K3 students celebrated Kwanzaa by making necklaces using the symbolic red, green and black colors of the holiday. They also created their own kinaras, which include the seven candles that represent the seven principles of Kwanzaa.
Our Art I students are learning about the history of gyotaku prints. The traditional form of Japanese art began more than 100 years ago as a way for fishermen to keep a record of the fish they caught. The relatively simple black ink prints later developed into an art form that added rich colors and environmental details.
In their Global Connections classes, kindergarten and first grade students spent weeks learning about birthday traditions around the world. Students then celebrated the different customs during a big birthday bash, which featured decorations made by each class, coloring, cupcakes and more!
Pre-K3 students learned about Hanukkah from kindergarten teacher Ms. Harris. She read "The Night Before Hanukkah" and talked about Hanukkah traditions, including lighting the menorah and spinning the dreidel. Students then made their own menorah craft.
As the holidays approached, Middle School students learned about the seven principles of Kwanzaa.
Pre-K students at our Harbour View campus decorated a Christmas tree featuring ornaments handmade by pre-K4 mom Stephanie Sledge. The tree's theme is "Your Light Makes the Season BRIGHT!" It celebrates diversity around the world by recognizing the celebrations of many cultures.
Seventh grade art students learned about abstract expressionism while studying the work of American sculptor and landscape architect Isamu Noguchi. Noguchi started his decades-long career in the 1920s.
During Native American Heritage Month, Mrs. Brothers '82 introduced her seventh grade students to string art. Native American tribes created string art pieces filled with symbolism and images that portray history, stories, traditions, prayers and visions.
Second and third graders learned about maps and globes in their Global Connections classes. As a way to summarize their learning, students created art pieces with Mrs. Mistr during their art classes.
In their unit on harvest holidays, fourth and fifth grade students learned about mid-autumn festivals celebrated in Asia.
In their Global Connections classes, fourth and fifth grade students learned about harvest festivals around the world and how they all connect to gratitude.
During Native American Heritage Month, our Lower School students and faculty helped assemble a bulletin board to educate others about Native American culture.
Students, faculty and staff wore yellow on November 14 in recognition of World Kindness Day, a global celebration that promotes the importance of being kind to each other, to yourself and to the world.
Middle School students celebrated Día de Muertos, or Day of the Dead. The holiday is a day of remembrance for those who have died.
Special thanks to the Amin family for sharing their Diwali traditions with pre-K4 students!
On Oct. 19, students celebrated Unity Day, which is the signature event of National Bullying Prevention Month. Students, faculty and staff wore orange in recognition of the event.
As we continue to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, Upper School teacher Danielle Candra has been incorporating the accomplishments of Hispanic scientists into her lessons.
During Hispanic Heritage Month, third graders at our Harbour View campus learned about Hispanic culture and baked a traditional tres leches cake together. Many teachers commented how delicious the hallways smelled!
Ms. Rivas' Spanish I classes are learning more about countries around the world! Each student chose a Spanish-speaking country to research and presented that information to their peers.
Ms. Hoffler's pre-K4 students marked Hispanic Heritage Month by learning about Frida Kahlo.
Some of our youngest Saints marked International Day of Peace in their Global Connections classes. Students took part in a collaborative art activity and discussed how to promote peace.
Seven Upper School students from Spain are studying at NSA this year through a cultural immersion program called Pursue Languages.
On the first day of Hispanic Heritage Month, Ms. Rivas and her seventh grade students celebrated Mexican Independence Day.
Nansemond-Suffolk Academy has launched a new program this year for our youngest Saints.
During the second week of school, students in Ms. Carole and Ms. Ashley's pre-K3 class worked together to make a friendship wreath. Each student put their hand print around a poster to create a circle of friends.
As Hispanic Heritage Month approaches, Latin teacher Slavic Dudkovsky explains to Upper School students why Spanish culture can be seen around the globe. He also shared what modern day Spanish culture looks like using photos and information from his summer trip to Spain.
On February 3, Suffolk Sister Cities International hosted the opening reception for the 33rd Annual Young Artists and Authors Showcase at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts. Each year, the showcase encourages youth from around the globe to express the mission of Sister Cities International through original artwork and literature.
The Virginia Diversity Network is sponsoring a virtual career fair on February 26 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. to support educators from historically underrepresented groups who are interested in working in independent schools.
The College Board is hosting an event, "Real Talk: HBCU Edition," on Wednesday, March 2, and Thursday, March 3, at 7:00 p.m. for students who are considering a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) but aren't sure which one is right for them.
In 2022, Lunar New Year begins on February 1, and our Saints are learning about traditional decorations and food that hold special meaning for the holiday.
The Upper School's Social Justice Club is sponsoring a poetry and an essay competition in honor of Black History Month. Students in grade 9-12 may participate. The deadline for submissions is Thursday, February 18.
Lower School students read books and engaged in activities to celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. They participated in an egg activity to demonstrate that we are all the same on the inside, created birthday cards, discussed what it means to be a peacemaker and much more!
To honor the life and service of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. students are participating in a schoolwide service project to help those in our community affected by homelessness. Socks, gloves and mittens will be collected from January 13 to January 21 in the lobbies of all divisions.
During the cold month of January, third grade students will be thinking warm thoughts about “how to make and keep friends.” The students will define in their own words what friendship means, and they will discuss the qualities that make a person a good friend.
To apply what they have learned in French I, seventh and eighth grade students are participating in a pen pal program with a middle school, Colège Victor Duruy, that is located in Châlon-en-Champagne, a city about an hour east of Paris, France.
On November 15, NSA celebrated World Kindness Day, a global day that promotes the importance of being kind to each other, to yourself and to the world. Students, faculty and staff wore wear yellow and participated in lessons and activities about acts of kindness.
The Day of the Dead (el Día de los Muertos), is a Mexican holiday where families welcome back the souls of their deceased relatives for a brief reunion that includes food, drink and celebration. A blend of Mesoamerican ritual, European religion and Spanish culture, the holiday is celebrated each year from October 31-November 2. Fifth grade students learned more about this holiday in art and worked on creating their very own sugar skulls.
On Wednesday, October 20, NSA celebrated National Unity Day, which is the signature event of National Bullying Prevention Month that was started by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center in October 2011.
The United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Jewish Community Relations Council and Konikoff Center for Learning in partnership with the Old Dominion University Institute for Jewish Studies and Interfaith Understanding, presents a free, afternoon workshop, Unpacking Antisemitism: An Action Based Workshop, featuring author and scholar Dara Horn.
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, kindergarten students began their study of shapes by learning about artist Mercedes Pardo, who was one of the most important representatives of abstract art in Venezuela in the 1950s and 1960s.
After a competitive application process, Cliff Thomas ’23 was one of 50 students selected to participate in the Sister Cities International (SCI) Youth Leadership Summit. The annual conference brings together youth from around the world, providing them with opportunities to develop leadership skills while exploring and addressing global issues.
At the end of June, Upper School Instructor Mrs. Laura Dobrin ’87 attended The Defiant Requiem Foundation’s Schächter Summer Seminar for Holocaust educators.
The Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC) is excited to invite students to participate in a new summer program, the Virtual Institute for Belonging and Equity (VIBE).
Kudos to Becca Duggan ’22, Amanda Lavallee ’22 and Rory Rockwood ’22 for being selected to participate in a virtual art show presented by The Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
Congratulations to Jaden Hawkins ’22 for creating one of the winning logos for the Tidewater African Cultural Alliance’s logo design contest.
Despite the challenges this year, members of the Upper School’s Haitian Awareness Club were determined to continue to help the Maison Fortune Orphanage Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports and educates children at the Maison Fortune Orphanage in Hinche, Haiti.
On Thursday, March 25, Upper School students participated in The Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities’ Diversity Dialogue Day, a one-day high school forum that brings students throughout the Tidewater area together to work closely with their peers from a wide range of ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
In February, the Upper School's Social Justice Club sponsored an essay competition in recognition and celebration of Black History Month. Congratulations to Faith Page '22 for being named the winner!
In Advanced Art, Upper School students participated in The Memory Project, an art exchange program that facilitates the creation and delivery of heartfelt artwork from youth to youth throughout the world, striving to break cultural barriers, bring joy to children facing challenges, inspire creativity and build a kinder world.
In celebration of Black History Month, Pre-K2 students studied Louis Armstrong, the accomplished musician who is widely recognized as a founding father of jazz.
First grade students enjoyed learning about Mae C. Jemison, an American astronaut and physician who, on June 4, 1987, became the first African American woman to be admitted into NASA’s astronaut training program.
On Friday, February 12, fifth grade students enjoyed special treats in celebration of Valentine’s Day and watched the inspirational movie "Hidden Figures."
During Community Time, Upper School students enjoyed learning more about the history and traditions associated with the Chinese New Year, which will be celebrated in 2021 on Friday, February 12.
In honor of Black History Month, second grade students have been learning about the accomplishments of many influential Black Americans through a “Wall of Fame” that is displayed outside of their classroom.
The Virginia Diversity Network is sponsoring a virtual career fair on February 20, 2021 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. to support educators from historically underrepresented groups who are interested in working in independent schools.
The Upper School’s Social Justice Club is sponsoring an essay competition in recognition and celebration of February’s Black History Month.
A gender neutral restroom was created in the Upper School.
Upper School students discussed empathy vs. sympathy in advisory groups. In a follow-up to these conversations, Director of Student Support Services and Upper School Counselor Pannill Titus shared a presentation about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the impact of his teachings.
NSA students across the school launched a service project in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his vision for a “beloved community” in which poverty, hunger, and homelessness will not be tolerated, because international standards of human decency will not allow it.
Lower School students celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday on Friday, January 15.
On Wednesday, October 21, NSA celebrated National Unity Day.
In the fall of 2020, Upper School students started a Social Justice Club.
In October 2020, a reporting system was launched to enable students, faculty and staff to anonymously report anything that violates NSA's Code of Conduct, including acts of bullying and discrimination.
In the summer of 2020, NSA launched the Saints Health and Wellness program.
of NSA's students are students of color
NSA has nearly doubled students of color in the last decade
NSA received an anonymous gift of $100,000 to establish a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Endowment Fund. Please click on the link below to make an online donation. On the giving form, please select Annual Fund and check the box for inclusivity and multiculturalism. We greatly appreciate your support and your commitment to inclusivity and multiculturalism at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy!
- Middle School Instructor
- Head of Upper School
- Lower School Instructor
- Admissions Services Coordinator
- International Coordinator
- Upper School Instructor
- Director of Advancement
- Associate Director of College Counseling
- Upper School Instructor
- Director of Bands
- Upper School Counselor
- Middle School Counselor
- Assistant Director of Advancement
- Kindergarten Teacher
- Lower School Instructor
- Librarian and Media Specialist
- Upper School Instructor
- Assistant Director of Communications and Public Relations
- Lower School Teaching Assistant
- Director of Admissions
- Director of Communications and Public Relations
- Executive Administrator and Inclusivity and Multiculturalism Coordinator
- Assistant Director of Admissions
- Lower School Counselor