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About Us

Cultural Competency and Inclusion

Current Resources

As a day school located in southern Maine, Berwick Academy engages in cultural competency and inclusion with an appropriate blend of ambition and realism. This work is directly connected to the school’s historic mission of “promoting virtue and useful knowledge to the rising generations.” Both in terms of practical skill and in terms of moral development, we believe the skills and attitude associated with cultural competency to be of the utmost importance to our graduates.

Berwick Academy believes cultural competency is an essential element of "useful knowledge" in the 21st century. Our graduates must navigate a diverse world guided by empathy, understanding, listening, self-reflection, self-awareness, and humility. These habits and skills are formed through engagement with people, places, and ideas from many cultures and multiple perspectives.

Message from the Head of School

Dear Berwick Community,

As we finish out the school year and celebrate our graduates this week, I have found that working for the last couple of days has been a real challenge for me. Like many of you, I was breathless this weekend watching and reading about what was happening all over the country. I am saddened by what it takes to bring the conversation about racial equality to the forefront. I feel so much for our children and recognize our responsibility, even more, to prepare our graduates to lead and participate in positive dialogue and action to further the work.

Berwick Academy condemns racism, injustice, and violence. Our purpose is to ensure that our students understand the past and how they can impact the future. My sadness this week has been that here I am, at 46 years old, in a very similar place to where my father was twenty-five years ago when he was 46 years old. I know that he hoped that my generation would be the one to make the change and, while we still have time, I now look to my children and your children with that same hope.

Cultural competency is at the forefront of our strategic work. As we work with the Board of Trustees to build our next strategic plan, we continue to prioritize this critical work. Please reach out to Michael Buensuceso, Director of Cultural Competency, at mbuensuceso@berwickacademy.org, if you are interested in joining in the conversation. 

With the events in our country present in our minds, we continue the work of supporting our students. We wish we had more time with them this school year to understand and process such a complex reality. If you are looking for resources on how best to support your children and community, please find them at the bottom of this letter. I am proud of our students for their resilience as they search for understanding.

Sincerely,

Jim Hamilton

Statement of Community

Berwick Academy affirms its commitment to creating an inclusive and welcoming community that celebrates the unique qualities of every individual while encouraging active engagement in a diverse world. We strive to support and attract students, faculty, staff, and administrators whose varied backgrounds, including race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, family composition, physical difference, and socioeconomic status strengthen our community. Through our curriculum, extracurricular activities, and community building efforts, we prepare students to become leaders who challenge preconceptions, value difference, and catalyze divergent ideas to realize Berwick’s mission of “promoting virtue and useful knowledge.”

Community Groups

Faculty and Staff Professional Development

Each year, Berwick Academy faculty and staff participate in local and national conferences focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Examples include, NAIS People of Color Conference, AISNE Diversity Conference, Diversity Directions Independent School Seminar, and the National SEED Project.

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Berwick Academy

Berwick Academy, situated on an 80-acre campus just over one hour north of Boston, serves 600 students, Pre-Kindergarten through grade 12, from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. Deeply committed to its mission of promoting virtue and useful knowledge, Berwick Academy empowers students to be creative and bold. Berwick strives to graduate alumni who shape their own learning, take risks, ask thoughtful questions, and come to understand and celebrate their authentic selves. Founded in 1791 and rooted in a tradition of college preparation, our culture of innovation prepares students for a complex and dynamic world.