News Detail

Fessenden Announces Appointment of Director of Equity and Inclusion

A Message From Head of School Steve Armstrong

I write to you today with news of an administrative appointment at Fessenden. Sami Atif, PhD will join our school community as the Director of Equity and Inclusion beginning July 1, 2020. Dr. Atif will partner with faculty and staff, administrators, students, and parents to lead Fessenden’s efforts to become a more inclusive and culturally competent school.

Sami will join Fessenden having spent his last eight years at Phillips Exeter Academy. Sami began at Exeter as a teacher of mathematics, and this commitment has continued throughout his time there. For the past three years, his primary responsibilities have focused on his role as the school’s Dean of Multicultural Affairs. Sami holds a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Educational Mathematics from Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, as well as a Master of Arts in Applied Mathematics and a Doctorate in Mathematical Sciences from Delaware State University. Perhaps most importantly, Dr. Atif is a student-focused educator who cares deeply for the well-being and growth of all students. He has demonstrated this as a teacher of mathematics as well as through his administrative leadership at Exeter. Sami is excited to begin his new role at Fessenden and to get to know the students, faculty, staff, and parents within our community.

We are fortunate to have Sami join us as the School’s first Director of Equity and Inclusion. As such, he will have a unique opportunity to impact and shape our community. In the years ahead, Sami will provide invaluable leadership as we continue with our mission of being an inclusive and joyful community. Please join me in welcoming Sami to Fessenden.


Steve Armstrong
Head of School
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  • James Albion `75
    Welcome, Dr. Atif. Fessenden is a special place, as you will no doubt discover quickly. My hope is that you will stay away from all this racial separation stuff poisoning our American waters at present, and stick to Dr. King's, "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." Please tell all of us you are helping our Fessenden youth become the "color-blind" generation that will contribute to American excellence. Take care, and I wish you well.
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