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Diversity at MCDS

Lower School Diversity Team

Sheika Ganthier and Daria Cirisano

In the Lower School, Sheika Ganthier, JK4 Homeroom Teacher, and Daria Cirisano, Grade 3 Homeroom Teacher, serve as Co-Coordinators to support GIEB values and initiatives in grades PK3-1 and 2-5. In their roles they support colleagues in the work of developing global citizens, and in creating curriculum and classroom practices that are inclusive, equitable, and create a strong sense of belonging for all members of our lower school community - students, parents, faculty, employees, and administrators.
Sheika and Daria work collaboratively with Shana Lindsey, LS Director, Glen Turf, Chief Officer for GIEB, and the LS faculty to use their knowledge and daily connection to the classroom curriculum to grow children's cultural awareness and to support each member of our diverse community. One way they do this is by providing "windows and mirrors" opportunities for lower school students. Through "windows" experiences children and faculty are supported in their knowledge of other cultures; "mirrors" experiences offer opportunities to reflect on their own cultural identities.

More about the team

Sheika and Daria have been involved in a multitude of GIEB related work during their decade plus time at MCDS including attending the People of Color and Global Education Benchmark Group conferences. They are avid scholars and practitioners of global citizenship and belonging as seen through their design of curriculum across grades. In addition, Sheika has completed the prestigious SEED facilitator training program. As homeroom teachers, both use their lens and insights derived from classroom experiences to more fully connect the work of cultural competence and our GIEB mission in meaningful ways for our students.

Lower School
Lower School

Middle School Diversity Team

Laura Maria Rodriguez

Laura joined the Global Initiatives, Equity, and Belonging team in August 2023 as the GIEB coordinator for middle school. She is driven to search out and implement skills, qualities, and experiences that demonstrate an understanding of and ability to support the work of the Miami Country Day School community in increasing multicultural education, global citizenship, and sustaining a diverse and inclusive school community. As a member of the Miami Country Day family,
As a member of the Miami Country Day family, it is It is only through effectively engaging, sustaining, and deepening the dialogue among all the members of our multicultural community that we can move forward in our goal to provide our entire community with the knowledge, skills and experiences to improve and enhance the interracial, interethnic, and intercultural climate at our school and beyond, while also especially attending to the specific and age-appropriate academic and social-emotional performance outcomes for our middle school students. Accepting this position, and constantly keeping in mind that no matter what drives and inspires us, is an honor and a constant reminder that it is paramount to take action to make a difference in our community, and to teach our young people to take care of the world, one person at a time.

Middle School
Lower School

Upper School Diversity

Diversity, Equity, and Belonging are essential to life in the Upper School.

We can have the most advanced curriculum, the best programs, and the most engaging classes, but if members of our student body do not feel as though they belong to this community, our work is that much more difficult. For that reason, the Office of Global Initiatives, Equity & Belonging works tirelessly with our student advocacy groups to plan intentional programs that speak to every student, every day, everywhere.

Creating Awareness, Understanding, and Social Equity

The Upper School is fortunate to have passionate student leaders in the field of DEB work who form the umbrella organization, CAUSE (Creating Awareness, Understanding, and Social Equity). CAUSE and its student-led organization ensure diversity, equity, and belonging programming and education is occurring in the Upper School and on our campus.
CAUSE supports the Miami Country Day School mission to empower our students to be their authentic selves, to celebrate the differences that make us unique, and to honor the bonds that make us one community, every day, everywhere, as developing Global Citizens. CAUSE models and creates forums for difficult, yet respectful dialog, always remembering that through differences we find understanding. Advocacy groups include:
Black Student Union, Students of Color Association, Asian Student Association, Pan-Latin American Network, Gender & Sexuality Alliance, Girl Up, Best Buddies, Zoe’s Dolls, Indigenous Advocates Association, Jewish Student Union, Christian, Student Union, Muslim Student Union

Upper School
upper  School
Upper School
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