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Tanasia Lea returns as new DEI director

December 6, 2021

Cheshire Academy has found its new director of diversity, equity, and inclusion in Tanasia Lea, a consultant, professional athlete, and member of the Academy’s Class of 2009.

Lea boasts an impressive resume, having served as a leadership, diversity, and inclusion consultant and speaker since 2018. In her role, she has developed and presented training and programming that guides and elevates individuals and leadership teams, defining and enhancing DEI initiatives for businesses and academic institutions. Lea equips members of communities with the strategies and tools to navigate change and growth. She also worked remotely as a college preparation counselor for Misongi, a nonprofit organization that supports high achieving, promising young leaders in Cameroon, Africa, who are driven to learn and make an impact in their community.

“I am thrilled to return to the community that tremendously contributed to my own personal and intellectual growth,” said Lea. “I look forward to working with colleagues and students to nurture a place where everyone in the community shows up authentically and meaningfully.”

Lea has also been a professional athlete since 2014, having pursued a position as a triple jump competitor in the 2021 Summer Olympic Games, is a two-time reigning national triple jump champion, and worked as an assistant coach at Vanderbilt University assisting with practices and competitions.

Previously, Lea held the positions of research consultant and management support associate at investment company Bridgewater Associates, LP, and as president of the Women of Color Resource Center at Williams College. Lea graduated from Williams College with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, with a concentration in Africana Studies, and earned a certificate from the University of Michigan’s Leading for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Higher Education program.

Tanasia will officially begin her new role in January. She will also serve on Cheshire Academy’s leadership team, where she will provide a strategic vision regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion to faculty and staff from various departments.

Of Lea’s appointment, Head of School Julie Anderson said, “I am ecstatic to welcome Tanasia back to the Cheshire Academy campus as the new director of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Tanasia’s diverse professional experiences will no doubt make positive change within the school community as we continue to ensure that all voices and perspectives are heard, respected, and appreciated. I look forward to the great work Tanasia will accomplish during her time at CA.”

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