Shelley Bethel is proud of the steps Noblesville Schools has taken in supporting diversity, equity and inclusion.
“Our school community is made up of many different races, cultures, socioeconomic situations, abilities, preferences and perspectives,” said Bethel, who has been hired to the new position of equality and inclusion coach. “We are much more diverse than many realize. For example, we have over 50 different languages spoken in the homes of our students. It’s critically important for kids to see themselves in their learning if they’re to be successful.
“We all must feel heard, make a connection and relate to what is being taught to truly learn.”
Bethel had most recently been a White River Elementary teacher.
“My ultimate goal is to work towards ensuring every student, family and staff member at Noblesville Schools is supported and respected,” Bethel said. “I want to help other educators and staff grow their expertise in diversity, equity and inclusion by working alongside them. My goal at first will be to listen to the needs of others and begin developing action plans. I’m especially interested in initially focusing on supporting student DEI clubs at the schools and working to create a more diverse pipeline for recruiting future educators.
“I also want to work with the Noblesville Schools district DEI team and the Noblesville Diversity Coalition to develop plans and learning opportunities.”
Bethel has served in various DEI capacities for Noblesville Schools, including as a DEI team leader, school culture chair, DEI professional development planner, curriculum reviewer and Noblesville Diversity Coalition member.
“In my previous role, I did not have the opportunity to solely focus on DEI professional development and planning for staff and students like I will in this new role,” she said. “The main differences and new duties will be I will work directly with teachers and staff across the district to support their growth and development on this DEI journey.”
She said being a part of the district learning department will allow her to support instructional practices, resources and learning experiences at all levels.
“As a coach I will foster relationships and work alongside staff and students to create learning spaces that support, respect and celebrate the diversity among us,” said
Bethel, a Noblesville resident who has 22 years of experience in education, including eight years at Noblesville Schools.
“Shelley is a great choice to lead this effort for us as she’s already been actively involved in our DEI initiatives and is a well-respected educator with strong relationships across the district,” stated Beth Niedermeyer, superintendent of Noblesville Schools,
Bethel noted several DEI accomplishments the district has made, including training all its leaders on implicit bias and racial equity, being founding members of the Noblesville Diversity Coalition; connecting with students at Noblesville High School to create a Black student union and student chapter of NDC; enhancing staff recruiting practices; forming staff diversity committees at each school; reviewing curriculum to ensure it reflects multiple perspectives; and promoting visible DEI messaging in the school buildings.