Jones to become Assistant Head of School for Community and Belonging


Printed with permission of Lacey Wood Photography

Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and Associate Director of Admission Janine Jones poses for her yearbook portrait during the 2022-2023 school year.

Davis Marks

Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and Associate Director of Admission Janine Jones will become the Assistant Head of School for Community and Belonging beginning in the 2023-2024 school year, according to an email sent to parents by President Rick Commons and Associate Head of School Laura Ross on May 25. The administrative position is new and has not existed prior to the 2023-2024 school year. 

Jones began working at the school as Associate Director of Admission in 2015, before becoming Head of DEI in 2017. In the email, Commons and Ross said Jones’ new role will expand her current responsibilities by allowing her to oversee various ways of fostering connection and belonging within the school community. 

“Looking ahead to next year and recognizing our ongoing need for intentional connection and community togetherness, we are pleased to announce that Janine Jones will become Assistant Head of School for Community and Belonging,” Commons and Ross said. “Currently Head of DEI, [Jones] will continue her oversight of that critical area while broadening her focus to include the wide variety of ways we connect and belong at Harvard-Westlake.” 

Jones said while the school is currently addressing issues surrounding DEI, there is a need for creating a cohesive strategy to support the entire community in feeling a sense of belonging and support. 

In addition to the specific and broad focus of our [DEI] work, [Commons], [Ross] and I saw a need for a much broader focus on our community at large and how we feel a sense of belonging, [as well as] an intentional focus on how we connect with and support each other on a daily basis,” Jones said. “As a school, individuals do a good job with individual activities and events and the goal with my new role will be to expand not only upon those pre-existing activities and events but to also create a strategy around them so that we are supporting our entire community, especially students, in the most cohesive and deliberate way.  I look forward to working closely with all students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni and beyond to make this new vision a reality.” 

Visual Arts Teacher and DEI Coordinator Reb Limerick said she looks forward to seeing how Jones will be able to utilize her experience with DEI in a larger role. 

“[Jones] is an incredibly thoughtful leader,” Limerick said. “I’m excited that she’ll be able to share and expand upon her breadth of experience with diversity, equity and inclusion work at a higher level within our community.”

Jones said she plans to continue leading the DEI Department in her new role, but wants to hire additional members. 

“For the immediate future, I will still be leading our [DEI] team but it is my hope to expand the team in the very near future,” Jones said.