Ms. Riordan comes to CWA most recently from the Seattle Country Day School where she taught Spanish. Denise has held teaching roles with a variety of K-12 students while leading and coordinating DEIB work, and coaching cross-country running in independent schools such as Tabor Academy in Marion, MA, and Parish Episcopal School in Dallas, TX. Additionally, Ms. Riordan and her partner co-founded and operate Engaging Across Difference, an organization that provides equity and inclusion training, life coaching, and counseling to individuals and organizations nationally. Her partner, Kimberlee Williams, is also a DEIB practitioner and the Director of Intercultural Affairs at The Bush School in Seattle. Ms. Riordan holds a bachelor of arts in Spanish and Latin American studies from the College of the Holy Cross (MA) and a master of arts in Spanish Language and Literature from Middlebury College (VT).
When asked to elaborate on why she feels she is a good fit for this role at Charles Wright, Denise wrote, “As I read through Charles Wright Academy’s vision and mission, I was struck by its alignment to my own teaching philosophy. I believe that compassion, perseverance, and respect are the cornerstones of DEIB work. If we are to be successful, we must recognize and value differences. As we learn and experience different perspectives, we grow into more empathetic, compassionate, and courageous individuals. I am also a believer in the joys of learning. DEIB work does not have to be difficult. Infusing personal stories and humor into uncomfortable conversations make the work more enjoyable. It is my goal for students and adults to come away from a DEIB conversation feeling more empowered than before.”