Andy Chappell, Head of School at The Derryfield School in Manchester, NH, is pleased to announce that Anela Kruščica has been appointed to be the Director of Equity and Belonging, effective August 2023. After an extensive search that generated a number of highly qualified applicants, Ms. Kruščica rose to the top of the candidate pool as the person to lead Derryfield in this important, mission-aligned work.
A native of Bosnia, Ms. Kruščica “experienced the unspeakable suffering of intolerance” which compelled her “to create a more equitable world.” After leaving her home country, first in Germany and then here in New Hampshire, Ms. Kruščica has dedicated her life to bridging cultural differences and supporting a variety of organizations to promote cultural competence and equitable inclusion through training programs. Currently serving as the administrator for the Office of Health Equity for the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Ms. Kruščica has more than twenty-five years of experience in community engagement and inclusion, serving as a member of the Civic Engagement Workgroup for the New Hampshire Race and Equity Series and as a lead trainer for Diversity and Cultural Competence.
“Ms. Kruščica stood out among the other candidates as someone who has a proven track record of listening, processing, collaborating, and implementing systems and structures that help groups and organizations better align with their mission and core values, especially with respect to issues of equity and belonging,” Chappell shared. “Ms. Kruščica comes highly recommended as someone who brings an empathetic and caring approach to her work with adults and young people, having led training programs, organized workshops, and facilitated group discussions with a wide range of constituents.”
As part of the interview process, Derryfield student leaders had a chance to meet with all candidates, and here is what a few students had to say about Ms. Kruščica: Derryfield’s All School President, Josue Perez ‘23, said “Ms. Kruščica’s resume and life experiences all ring competence and expertise with diversity, equity, and inclusion.” Senior Class Co-President, Jen Pei ‘23, shared that “Ms. Kruščica understands the adolescent perspective and prioritizes the well being of students of color and their families,” while middle school leader, Maddy Solso ‘27, offered that “In just a thirty minute lunch, Ms. Kruščica created an inclusive environment where students felt comfortable.”
Ms. Kruščica will take over for Laura Russell, beloved Middle School History teacher, coach, and advisor, who has served as Derryfield’s Director of Equity and Belonging for the past two years. “Ms. Russell has served Derryfield ably and effectively in the role of Director of Equity and Belonging for the past two years, developing trust among all constituencies, advancing a number of important initiatives, and supporting students and adults in a myriad of ways,” says Chappell. Ms. Russell will retire at the end of the school year.