Interested in Engaging in Equity Work at WPS?

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    "Working across our differences is the heart of every educator. I am so proud of the different ways Winchester Public Schools provides for our community to engage in meaningful dialogue to bridge our differences and work towards equitable outcomes for all students."

    - Jason Van Heukelum, Superintendent

Engage as a Student

  • The following clubs at John Handley High School (JHHS) are directly involved in developing student leaders and bridging differences.


    Asian Pacific Islander Association

    Asian Pacific Islander Association

    Sponsors: Maria Dibble, Mitch Hoopes, Nadine-J-Hamm, & Lara Maquera

    The Asian Pacific Islander Association's goals are to promote and represent Asian culture and diversity at JHHS, be an inclusive and safe space for Asians, Pacific Islanders, and those interested in APIA, and to help members with school work and support.


    Handley BSU

    Handley Black Student Union (BSU)

    Sponsors: Jeffrey Keller & Chyanna Jones

    The Black Student Union is a club designed to promote inclusivity, including having more students of color in higher-level classes, reducing the number of absences and dropout rates here at Handley, and improving post-secondary education. The Black Student Union's goal is to improve inclusivity at Handley. We want to create this club to bring students of all spectrums together. We hope to establish a safe place for any group to share and learn to improve the community here at Handley. Throughout the school year, we will do community service projects, go to historically black college fairs, and do fantastic fundraising ideas. 


    HEROs Helping Educate Regarding Orientation & Identity Across the Spectrum

    Sponsor: Jacob Sheaffer

    HEROS focuses on spreading awareness and tolerance towards the LGBTQ+ community within the school as well as the Winchester community. All are welcome.



    Latinos Unidos

    Latinos Unidos

    Sponsor: Ileana Escalante & Ruth Espinoza

    Latinos Unidos is a club open to Hispanic students and all others interested in celebrating the many Latino/Hispanic cultures at JHHS. Monthly meetings after school.  Events in school and in the community ---Celebración de Winchester!, Hispanic Heritage Month, Salsa Dancing, Cultural Showcase, and Service Learning.



    Scholars' Latino Initiative

    Scholars' Latino Initiative

    Sponsors: Elizabeth Cranford & Lara Maquera

    Established in the Shenandoah Valley in 2012 as a 501(c)(3) public charity, nonprofit organization, the Scholars Latino Initiative (SLI) creates college opportunities for Latino/ax high school students in its unique programs in Harrisonburg, Richmond, and Winchester, Virginia. SLI helps its talented, aspiring, and determined scholars as they prepare for and apply to college, secure financial aid or additional funding, and anticipate college life. In collaboration with university faculty and high school teachers, SLI offers opportunities such as rigorous academic challenge, leadership development, and supportive mentorships. SLI’s dual enrollment tuition support, computer awards, and college scholarships further empower its scholars as they pursue a college degree.

    SLI was founded by Peter Iver Kaufman in 2001 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Kaufman brought SLI to Virginia in 2008.

    Women with Purpose

    Women with a Purpose

    Sponsors: Randi Jones and Haley Nelson

    Club at JHHS to empower young women, support educational efforts, build positive friendships, and learn from and work with positive women in our community. 

Engage as a Staff Member

  • Deepen Your Equity Impact

    Consider joining a school-based Equity Team. If you are interested in joining an Equity Team, please contact Dr. Veronique N. Walker, Equity and Family Empowerment Coordinator.

    Based on the work of a variety of equity leaders, national thought leaders in the area of equity in schools, our equity dialogues are professional learning opportunities for teachers to engage in structured dialogue around equity. With an intentional focus on inclusion and excellence, our equity approach maintains rigorous expectations for students and staff to achieve equitable outcomes for students.

    With the changing demographics of our community, the priority of bridging our differences is increasingly important. Teachers and staff who participate in equity-based professional development are challenged and inspired to develop culturally responsive environments for students and families.

    Currently, the majority of WPS teaching staff are participating in equity-based professional development. In addition, all of WPS leadership including the school board, central administration leaders, and school building leaders are participating in an equity-based professional development.

Engage as a Community Member

  •  As a member of the Winchester community, we encourage your active participation in being a champion for equity within our schools and community. There are multiple ways for you to be involved:

    • Consider joining our Superintendent's Equity Advisory Committee. This committee is a cross-sectional group that advises key Winchester Public School leaders regarding issues of equity within the school division. If you're interested in being a part of this committee, please email Dr. Veronique N. Walker, Equity and Family Empowerment Coordinator.
    • Connect with Bright Futures, a non-profit supporting economically disadvantaged children in Frederick County and Winchester with food and clothing.
    • Support the Winchester Education Foundation financially. 
    • Volunteer! We are always looking for dedicated, consistent volunteers to mentor students, facilitate reading groups, or simply give 'high-fives' to students on the way into school. If you're interested in volunteering, you can connect with any school principal to learn more. 

    We encourage your engagement and thank you in advance for your support of the Winchester Public Schools.