Endorsements

Dr. Gene Batiste served at the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) for thirteen years, first as a leader of our professional development programs, then with an expanded portfolio that included equity & justice and leadership development. Gene was one of most requested “road warrior” speakers on diversity and inclusion in independent schools. NAIS always received the highest marks for programs that Gene led because they were inspired and inspiring, well-executed, and meaningful to participants, including NAIS’s People of Color and Student Diversity Conferences, Summer Diversity Institute, Institute for New Heads, Institute for Aspiring Heads, Leadership through Partnership, among others. Gene is a consummate team player, accepting assignments cheerfully and willingly, leading by consensus, impressing everyone with his organizational skills and careful follow-through. There aren’t many people I know more agreeable, cheerful, determined, positive, and thoughtful than Gene.

– Patrick F. Bassett, President, National Association of Independent Schools (2001-2013), President & Senior Consultant, HEADS UP Educational Consulting, Gainesville, VA

For 20 years, Gene Batiste was the national voice of equity and justice in the independent school world. He assisted hundreds of schools, nationally and internationally, as they worked to embrace diversity and inclusivity. Gene’s calm, non-judgmental demeanor makes people very comfortable as they approach this sensitive and sometimes challenging process. We are fortunate that he has made this his life work as he offers himself exclusively as a consultant. His expertise will be invaluable to schools, corporations and companies as they work to make their environments fair, equitable and just. There is no person that I would trust more.

– Marcia Prewitt Spiller, Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs, Woodward Academy, College Park, GA

The three words that come to mind when I think of Gene Batiste are professional, respectful and insightful. Gene came to Shorecrest in May of 2016 to gather information about our community as he prepared to lead a Board /Administrative Retreat in the fall.  His experience as a facilitator combined with his expertise in diversity and inclusion topics allowed him to engage with all constituents in open conversations about the state of our community. Gene made a great first impression. We are all looking forward to working with him in the coming school year.

– Mike Murphy, Headmaster, Shorecrest Preparatory School, St. Petersburg, FL

It was a pleasure and an honor to have Dr. Gene Batiste working with our staff during an all-day workshop focused on the concept and the ideals of diversity and inclusion. Dr. Batiste possesses exceptional presentation skills that captivate an audience and fully encourage participants to think, consider, collaborate and in the end hone in on school-wide and personal realities and accompanying next steps and solutions tied to the themes of diversity and inclusion. Dr. Batiste is skillful and entertaining; kind and considerate; and passionate in his delivery and in his appreciation of independent schools and their strengths and challenges. My staff was receptive to Dr. Batiste from the start and throughout the day-long workshop all in attendance were motivated, excited, thoughtful and committed. Our school’s work with Dr. Batiste was extremely well-received and the decision was made unanimously to have Gene Batiste continue his work at The Winston School of Short Hills this coming fall through workshops and presentations involving trustees, parents and students. We look forward to an enduring and impactful future association with Gene Batiste.

– Dr. Peter S. Lewis, Head of School, The Winston School, Short Hills, NJ

Gene Batiste combines decades of experience working with faculty, staff, trustees and students with his scholarly research on the challenging issues of diversity, leadership, and governance. His genuine interest in and understanding of the multiple implications for creating institutional and personal change provide invaluable assistance. Gene is a teacher at heart, and his balanced approach to educating us as we wrestle with sometimes highly emotional issues is exceptional. He’s earned our respect because of his expertise, empathetic communication skills and commitment to equity and justice.

– Jack Creeden, President School Year Abroad

For 20 years, Gene Batiste was the national voice of equity and justice in the independent school world. He assisted hundreds of schools, nationally and internationally, as they worked to embrace diversity and inclusivity. Gene’s calm, non-judgmental demeanor makes people very comfortable as they approach this sensitive and sometimes challenging process. We are fortunate that he has made this his life work as he offers himself exclusively as a consultant. His expertise will be invaluable to schools, corporations and companies as they work to make their environments fair, equitable and just. There is no person that I would trust more.

– Marcia Prewitt Spiller, Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs,  Woodward Academy, College Park, GA

After meeting Dr. Batiste at the NAIS Institute for New Heads in the summer of 2010, it became abundantly clear that Gene would be a wonderful resource for me.  With a wealth of knowledge about Episcopal school education, and independent school governance in particular, he became my mentor and guide.  He also served Christ Episcopal School as it was working on articulating its beliefs on the topics of diversity and inclusion.  Providing the faculty and staff with two outstanding workshops on these topics, Gene helped us engage in meaningful dialogue that generated a renewed commitment to our philosophy of “instilling an appreciation for the differences in others and creating an enduring sense of belonging,” to all in our community.

– Caroline Chapin, Ed.D., Head of Christ Episcopal School, Rockville, MD

I have been in education for over 40 years and I have had the opportunity to work with a great number of consultants, particularly in the area of diversity and inclusion. I have found Gene Batiste to be one of the most honest, direct, organized, and passionate educators I have ever had the good fortune to know. Gene is someone who truly has a noble purpose in all that he does. He sincerely works to inspire, motivate, and encourage others to become the very best that they can be. His very impressive background is reflective of the journey that all of us take as we go through education. The various roles he has held and the various opportunities he has led have given him a quiet strength as an outstanding speaker and as an incredible writer. He is an active champion of “education” at its best. Here at Flint Hill, we have had him speak to our entire faculty and staff on several occasions for full day workshops on cultural competency. He has presented the best diversity professional development programs I have ever seen at a school. He has actively engaged our entire faculty and staff of over 200 individuals, which has allowed them to feel safe to speak up and share personal, professional, and heartfelt reflections on their own journeys in this realm of diversity and inclusion. His presentations have been authentic, personal, emotional, and exciting. His leadership and active participation in the process have energized our faculty and staff. Evidence of the powerful impact of his time with us has been an ongoing dialogue that continues long after his visits. His charisma, calm, gentle questioning, and deliberate facilitation of a strong program has had an enormous impact on our personal experiences and ultimately, in the exciting journey that we as a school have put before us. Gene is truly someone who is visionary, intentional, and deliberate in his approach. He is strategic in his view and a true gift to our profession. I sincerely hope that other schools will take advantage of the opportunity to work with him in the future.

– John M. Thomas, Flint Hill School Headmaster, Oakton, VA

Gene Batiste is the premier diversity, inclusion, and equity practitioner in the US.   If you need coaching, a full strategic plan or an incredible presentation you can't do better than Dr. Batiste.  He is both a true visionary and a pragmatist who will help you dream big while delivering the details that make your community safer and stronger. 

– Nat Coffman, Ed.D., Head of The Prairie School, Wind Point, WI

We are honored and grateful to have Dr. Batiste on our school's team.  His work guiding our board, training our teachers, and inspiring our students has been an integral part of building SEGL from start-up to nationally-recognized institution.  He is a meticulous planner who also adapts quickly to any situation; he is an empathetic listener who also challenges participants to think in new ways; he is a consummate professional who also creates a relaxed atmosphere for learning collaboratively; he is an experienced hand who also understands the latest issues and debates.  I would not trade Dr. Batiste for anyone else in his field!

– Noah Bopp, Founder and Director, The School for Ethics and Global Leadership, Washington, DC

When Dr. Gene Batiste came on board as Executive Director of what is now the Association of Independent Schools of Greater Washington (AISGW), he made it his business to visit all member schools as well as non-member schools with the goal of strengthening and increasing school participation throughout the Metropolitan D.C. region. Gene possesses a clear understanding of issues our schools face and the importance of banding together in support of our common goals as well as supporting each school’s missions and philosophies. One of Gene’s greatest strengths is his ability to build relationships through networking, engagement, and collaboration. He is an empathic listener, a master facilitator, and a gifted speaker.

– Gerald L. Boarman, Ed.D., Head of School, Bullis School, Potomac, MD

Gene’s leadership in the field of equity, inclusion, and strategic thinking has been instrumental in creating more open school communities. In his work with boards, heads of school, senior administrative teams, teachers, and students, Gene has developed successful frameworks, good governance models, and best practices in diversity and inclusion for independent schools. His efforts have left an indelible impact on independent schools and corporations nationally. I am confident that your institution will benefit from Gene’s experience, expertise, and sage counsel. I could not recommend him more highly. 

– Percy L. Abram, Ph.D., Head of School, The Bush School, Seattle, WA

Gene is a trusted partner and leader. For many years AISNE has turned to Gene to provide intelligent, insightful training to our member schools and to present at our annual conferences. He brings a clear and compassionate voice to the discourse on equity and inclusion in independent education.

– Claire Leheny, Executive Director, The Association of Independent Schools in New England (AISNE)

Dr. Harold (Gene) Batiste is highly knowledgeable and skilled in guiding schools in their unique journey into exploring the complex issues of diversity and inclusion. His gentle demeanor, extensive experience working with leadership in independent schools, and ability to engage teachers and parents in rich dialogue about issues so central to education has supported our administrative team in leading our school into discussions about diversity, inclusion, equity, and justice. In his capacity as advisor, he has helped us to shape our goals and to plan strategically. As a presenter, he has engaged our community in rich, meaningful discussion. I highly recommend Gene's services to schools who are just beginning the journey, and those who are well on their way to an understanding of how the shared exploration of diversity and inclusion can be transformative to school culture.

– Leah Palmatier, Primary School Associate Principal, Washington International School, Washington, DC

As a Director of Diversity and Inclusion at an independent school, I am always looking for resources to extend learning and to engage our school community. Gene Batiste is our best resource for supporting such growth. His personable, engaging style creates a collaborative atmosphere that promotes active participation and reflection. In his daylong workshops with faculty and staff, Gene’s depth of knowledge is apparent in his examination of issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. He uses a facilitation style that allows him to impact the group on collective and individual levels. Our community looks forward to his visits with confidence that we will end the day much further along than when we started. I highly recommend Gene Batiste Consulting to any organization seeking a diversity resource.

– Mia Burton, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Flint Hill School, Oakton, VA

I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with Gene over the past 20 years and have always found his views insightful, practical and based on both research and his experience in working with a broad variety of schools and institutions. I have attended Gene’s workshops and have had him work with groups at Greensboro Day School. He provides well-structured meetings that lead to practical goals and measurable outcomes. Gene is personable, easy to talk with and always arrives ready to listen and help an institution to move forward. I highly recommend him as a consultant.

– Mark C. Hale, Head of School, Greensboro Day School, Greensboro NC

"With Respect", Dr. Batiste's signature salutation and closing phrase, couldn't ring truer to the man who writes them. Gene entered our school community with incredible respect for each individual, respect for our community and respect for our desire to grow and learn around the important work of diversity, equity, inclusion and justice. Gene's genuine interest in learning about our school community positioned him to guide us to develop short and long term strategic plans that we could successfully implement. His workshops with our parents and Primary School faculty left everyone feeling both heard and inspired. Gene is a gentleman, a scholar, a trusted school partner and an incredible resource.

– Melody Meade, Primary School Principal, IB Dual Language Program: Washington International School, Washington DC