Campus Life

Building a Culture of Belonging

To strengthen St. Cecilia Academy as a place of belonging that combats racism in all its forms, we have begun an initiative dedicated to Building a Culture of Belonging. This integrated approach flows from our Catholic mission and a recognition of the dignity of each human person made in the image and likeness of God.

Our Plan

Action Items

List of 3 items.

  • Listening and Learning

    During Fall 2020, school leadership gathers an Action Planning Team made up of faculty, staff, alumnae, current and past parents, and community friends. School culture assessment surveys are sent to current students, alumnae, and faculty and staff. Several focus groups with alumnae, students, and faculty/staff are conducted, and results will be culled and shared with school leadership and the Action Planning Team.
  • Identify Top Priorities and Develop Action Plan

    During Fall 2020, the school leadership and Action Planning Team study and assess a summary of data. They identify top priorities that will have the most impact in strengthening school culture and develop action steps around each objective.
  • Implementation

    In late Fall 2020 and Spring 2021, implement a Building a Culture of Belonging plan for SCA and conduct progress reviews (a combination of periodic meetings with ongoing training, coaching, and individual and team action plans for faculty, staff, and students.) To provide a space for student formation around some key concepts and topics related to this initiative, organize Community and Culture Days throughout the 2020-2021 school year.

Action Team Members

List of 1 items.

  • Action Planning Team

    Sister Anna Laura - SCA Principal
    Ms. Grecia Andrade - SCA Alumna 2018: Lipscomb University Junior
    Sister Amelia - SCA Vice-Principal of Academics
    Sister Anne Catherine - SCA and OS Director of Advancement
    Ms. Courtney Barnes - Nashville-based teacher/writer/speaker
    Ms. Piersen Briggs - SCA Alumna 2015; Spelman College 2019
    Ms. Kyla Bursey - SCA Alumna 2020; Rhodes College Freshman
    Mrs. Krissie Betbeze - SCA Personal Counselor
    Mrs. Jennifer Crouch - SCA Director of Communications and Marketing
    Dr. Aaron Howard - SCA Alumna parent; Director of Diversity and Inclusion at FRA
    Ms. Peiton K. Jarmon - SCA Alumna 2015; Tulane University School of Medicine Class of 2025
    Sister John Catherine - SCA History and Religion Teacher; Aquinas College History Professor
    Sister Miriam - SCA English and Religion Teacher
    Ms. Noel Pittman - SCA Alumna 2001; Operations Director for Crothall Healthcare
    Mrs. Margaret Pyburn - SCA Alumna 1993; Director of Student Activities
    Ms. Stacey Riddick - SCA Alumna 2015; Epidemiology Research Associate for the CDC's Community Intervention and Critical Populations (CICP) Task Force
    Mrs. Sara Strobel - SCA Alumna 2001; SCA History Teacher
    Mr. Lito and Mrs. Carmela Tiamson - SCA current parents; RN at Skyline Medical


List of 6 items.

Community and Culture

A new initiative this year, Community and Culture Days at SCA are dedicated to reflecting as a school on the art of living, growing in our ability to relate well with those around us, and building a culture of true community and belonging that is at the heart of our mission. On four different days throughout the year, the entire school will engage in dialogue about important topics. Our goal? To grow in unity, mutual respect, and understanding. In a time when there is a lot more talking than listening and a tendency to dismiss or cancel people just because they do not think as we do, it is absolutely critical as a Catholic school that we model the charity and patience of the Lord Jesus, seeking ways to connect with and understand one another, always mindful of the fact that each one of us is a beloved child of God.

September 2: The Dignity of the Human Person

Incorporating this year’s school theme, “I have called you friends,”  this day focused on building community by sharing conversation around the core of our mission: a recognition of the dignity of each human person, made in the image and likeness of God. This central truth is the foundation for all of our human relationships. When our goal is to respect the fundamental dignity of each and every human person, we get a glimpse into the heart. We are able to treat others with respect and charity, listening, and learning from them even when we have differences.

List of 3 items.

  • The Human Experience

    The story of a band of brothers who travel the world in search of the answers to the burning questions: Who am I? Who is Man? Why do we search for meaning?
    Read More
  • Compassion: The Foundation of Dialogue

    Our special guest, SCA Alumna, Piersen Briggs ‘15, joined our faculty, staff, and students and presented a reflection on Compassion: The Foundation of Dialogue and took extra time for Q & A with our senior class. The day concluded with small group discussions of the documentary in advisories.
  • Discussion

    Schoolwide small group discussions facilitated by faculty advisors

List of 1 items.

  • St. John Paul the Great

    Dear young people of every language and culture, a high and exhilarating task awaits you:
    That of becoming men and women capable of solidarity, peace, and love of life, with respect for everyone.
    Become craftsmen of a new culture, where brothers and sisters—members all of the same family—are able at last to live in peace.

October 27: Strengthening SCA as a Place of Belonging

A new initiative this year, Community and Culture Days at SCA have been dedicated to reflecting as a school on the art of living, growing in our ability to relate well with those around us, and building a culture of true community and belonging that is at the heart of our mission. On three days this year so far, the entire school engaged in dialogue about timely topics that fostered individual and communal growth in unity, mutual respect, and understanding. 

Pictured here, consultant Derek Young addresses the students as part of the implementation of SCA's Building a Culture of Belonging initiative, which strives to combat racism in all its forms and strengthen the school culture so that every girl feels a sense of belonging.
The day included several formation components including:

List of 2 items.

  • Derek Young Discussion

    National Speaker and consultant, Derek Young, addressed the student body about racism and unconscious bias.
  • Civil Discourse

    Senior leaders facilitate advisory group discussions about civil discourse using the Bishop's Resource Civilize It

February 3: Healthy Relationships and Sexual Assault Prevention

The day began with all-school Mass in the Aquinas Center and then focused on education and outreach related to the prevention of sexual assault and human trafficking. Guest speakers from Free for Life International (based in Franklin) spoke to students virtually, and small group discussions focused on healthy relationships and setting good boundaries. The afternoon included fun team-building activities. 

March 31: Healthy Relationships and Sexual Assault Prevention Part 2

SCA hosted its fourth Community and Culture Day on March 31. The day began with all-school Mass and then featured an International Festival, where students prepared booths to highlight the different cultures and backgrounds from which they hail, including Nigeria, Seychelle Islands, South Korea, India, Poland, Mexico, and Lebanon. The afternoon was dedicated to highlighting the dignity of women and to sexual assault education and prevention. Moose Moore, founder of The Vigilance Group (and husband of alum Corinne Morales ’68) ended the day with a self-defense workshop geared especially to women.