The Ethical Culture Fieldston School Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) team is thrilled to announce the addition of their new team member, Angie Pillier, who will serve Fieldston Middle as the DEI Lead and an 8th Grade advisor. Angie has over 10 years of experience working in public and charter schools around New York City. Prior to joining the ECFS community, Angie was the Director of DEI at the IDEAL School of Manhattan for two years and before that, a learning specialist and Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity (SEED) Coordinator at Poly Prep Country Day School.
This month, we sat down with Angie to get to know her better and to learn more about her first few weeks at ECFS.
To begin, Angie shared a few fun facts: She is a mom to 1st and 5th Grade boys and is a native Spanish speaker with Dominican and Haitian heritage; she is also an experienced ballet and flamenco dancer!
What do you think makes the ECFS community unique?
ECFS genuinely values character development, inclusion and equity, critical thinking, and service learning. This community strives to live up to the mission and the values on which it was founded, and that means a lot to me. There’s not some box that is being checked off, but instead, the ECFS mission is something that I can tangibly see being lived out each day.
Tell us a little bit about your onboarding experience. What was your biggest takeaway from Courageous Conversations and/or the Progressive Teaching Institute (PTI)?
My onboarding experience was seamless and comprehensive; this was a new feeling and experience for me professionally. The apparent forethought that went into planning for new faculty and staff was the biggest takeaway from my introduction to ECFS. It was easy to recognize that this process wasn’t put together haphazardly. It took true collaboration amongst colleagues, and it showed. The interactions throughout Courageous Conversations and PTI were candid, emotional, uplifting, and enlightening, and the commitment to the mission was palpable.
What are you looking forward to this year?
I am looking forward to growing my 8th Grade advisory group. As an administrator, it is really important for me to interface with the students, and this role will allow me to do just that. I am also looking forward to working with the DEI team across the School — from students all the way to board members — on different projects. I pursued education to serve varied communities of students and I’m excited to get started.
What do you see as a challenge or opportunity in your new role?
A challenge I foresee is managing the various stakeholders and their interests and concerns. While it will be difficult to connect with everyone, I will have an excellent opportunity to get to know multiple constituents of the ECFS community faster than most folks would have the chance to, which is really nice.
Whom do you look up to?
This is always a challenging question because it depends on which aspect of my life I may be reflecting on. At ECFS, I look up to my current team leader, Russell Marsh. I admire his wealth of experience and knowledge as a social justice advocate and DEI practitioner. In my personal life, I look up to my partner, Alyssa, and my aunt, Sara. They embody a drive and determination to accomplish any goals they set for themselves. Not to mention, they understand what it means to sacrifice certain things to accomplish their goals. They are well-rounded and intelligent individuals, and I am honored that they are a part of my life.
Do you have a favorite spot on campus?
I am still getting to know our campus, so I haven’t picked a favorite spot just yet. Wandering outdoors has been the best way to explore, and I can envision that one of the benches by the Tate Library or the Athletics building will become my go-to spot.