Westridge is thrilled to announce the appointments of two, director-level administrators whose work will be central to key elements of the school’s 2020-2025 Westridge Strategic Plan. James Evans will join Westridge as director of teaching and learning, leading faculty development and guiding our ongoing initiatives in academic excellence and innovation as outlined in the strategic plan, including a comprehensive curriculum review of the 4-12 program. Ian Tatum will be director of equity, leading our school-wide diversity, equity, and inclusion programs. Ian and James will join Westridge in July.
“These new positions are central to moving our key initiatives forward. They will provide us with additional expertise and momentum to evolve the strength and relevance of our academic program, ensure that we incorporate educational best-practices, and support our students so that they can be wholly themselves while at Westridge and be prepared for the wider world,” said Elizabeth J. McGregor, head of school. “After national searches for both positions, we are thrilled to welcome such experienced and talented educators to Westridge. Both James and Ian are natural collaborators and mentors and are looking forward to working with one another and their colleagues; they will each add much to our community as leaders and individuals.”
Biographical information for James and Ian is provided below and we look forward to introducing them to the Westridge community next year.
Director of Teaching & Learning: James Evans
James Evans comes to Westridge from The Buckley School in Sherman Oaks where he has taught English since 2003 and served in multiple administrative capacities. He has served as English Department chair since 2016, Social Studies Department chair since 2020, and Mastery Transcript Consortium site director since 2017. Among other projects, Evans has led a trans-departmental task force to address the anxieties and unease caused by the COVID-19 crisis, encouraged anti-racist pedagogy across departments, co-chaired the Faculty Culture Committee and the ongoing task force to re-design the faculty evaluation process. Throughout his tenure at Buckley, Evans has been committed to promoting a student-centered pedagogy that emphasizes process, the importance of self-awareness, and the development of transferable skills. He holds a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Sussex.
Director of Equity: Ian Tatum
Ian Tatum is currently a restorative practices facilitator and serves in various collaborative roles in Urbana School District in Illinois. With over 20 years of experience in education, Tatum has served as an assistant principal, special education teacher, mentor to both teachers and administrators in elementary and middle schools, and teacher-leader in family and community engagement.
As an educational consultant, Tatum has designed professional development for businesses and schools in the areas of culturally responsive teaching, equitable practices within education, and restorative practices. This work stems from a deep belief that student success is created through meaningful relationships, in which all have an opportunity to learn, grow, and strengthen community bonds. He is passionate about racial equity, social justice, and effective teacher practice. He holds a B.S. in Special Education from Eastern Illinois University, and M.A. in Educational Organization and Leadership from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Westridge was introduced to Ian this summer when he led a book discussion on White Fragility with faculty members, and he has since led educational sessions for Westridge faculty and staff, students, and parents.