Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Director of Diversity, Equity, and Counseling

Shantelle Castle 

DESE Homeless and Foster Care Liaison 

Equity Statement: IACS is committed to cultivating awareness and celebrating the importance and strength brought by multiple cultures and groups, including race, ethnicity, abilities, gender, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, and skin color, among other attributes. Our school community embraces and values the importance of diversity, justice, respect, equity, and belonging.


Shantelle is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW), a Licensed School Social Worker and Adjustment Counselor (SSW/SAC), and a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Educator. Shantelle is currently a Doctoral student at Simmons University, and received her Master’s degree in Social Work from Boston University ’19, and a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell ’17. Shantelle enjoys spending her free time with her two-year-old son and partner, going for walks, traveling, baking and doing orange theory fitness. 

Contact Information: Email: scastle@innovationcharter.org; Phone: 978-649-0432 ext 2200 Fax: (978) 649-6337

IACS Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Goals and Principles



DEI and Counseling Resources

  • Counseling Department

    Counseling Department at IACS

    At IACS, we believe that all students should have access to counseling support at school. We attest that all students should have culturally competent and equitable counseling that meets their individualized needs. Our goal is to assist students in identifying self-regulation, effective communication, supportive problem solving skills, and emotional competency skills to allow for greater academic achievement. Together, we support health equity for all student learners, celebrate diversity, and promote collaboration between students, their caregivers, and other stakeholders in our community.

    To access counseling support at IACS, students can request a counselor check in through our google form found here. Additionally, students whom receive individual or group counseling as part of an IEP or 504 plan will have a service provided as stated in their document, and a school counselor or social worker will reach out to them to schedule their weekly appointment.

     Amanda Curran

    Amanda joined the IACS team as the middle school adjustment counselor in 2020. She received both her B.S. and M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (with a specialization in school & community adjustment) from Lesley University in 2019. Amanda has experience working with diverse populations in a variety of settings including non-profit organizations, schools, and therapeutic centers within the greater Boston area. She strongly believes in the healing power of kindness, community, and connection. In her free time, Amanda enjoys hiking, thrift shopping, bird watching, gardening, and spending time with her loved ones.
    E: acurran@innovationcharter.org
    P: (978) 649-0432 ext. 2234
    F: (978) 649-6337
    Jeneta Mao 
    Jeneta joined the IACS team last year, in September 2022. Jeneta is a social-emotional support staff at IACS. Jeneta studied Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and shortly after graduating she had the opportunity to facilitate behavioral telehealth visits for the geriatric population. Though she found that to be very rewarding, she is excited to be with our IACS community. 
    E: jmao@innovationcharter.org
    P: (978) 649-0432 ext. 2154
    F: (978) 649-6337


    Lynne Sallet 


    Lynne is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and a Licensed School Social Worker and Adjustment Counselor (SSW/SAC).  Lynne received her Masters’ degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Lesley University ’05, and a Bachlors’ degree in Psychology from Wheaton College ’98.  Lynne enjoys spending her free time with her family, her husband and 3 children, and her pets 2 cats and 2 dogs, vacationing, watching movies, playing cards, and puzzling.

    E: lsallet@innovationcharter.org
    P: (978) 649-0432 ext. 2141
    F: (978) 649-6337
      School Psychologists (also listed under Student Service Department)
    image description Eric Graber

    Eric Graber received his B.A in Psychology from Boston University in 2006 and his M.A./Ed.S. in School Psychology from Tufts University in 2010. During his time at Tufts University, he completed school psychology internships at Concord Carlisle High School and in the Lynnfield Public Schools. Eric joined Innovation Academy as our school psychologist in 2010.

    E: egraber@innovationcharter.org
    P: (978) 649-0432 ext. 2223
    F: (978) 649-6337

    Paige Laich

    After finishing her graduate school internship at IACS in 2021, Paige is looking forward to continuing her work here as the high school school psychologist. Recently, she earned her M.A./C.A.G.S. in School Psychology at William James College in Newton, MA. During that time, she completed her practicums in the Concord Public Schools and Nashoba Regional School District. In 2016, she received her B.S. in Psychology on the Neuroscience Track at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA. When not in the building, Paige can be found cooking, painting, or playing with her ferret.

    E: plaich@innovationcharter.org
    P: (978) 649-0432 ext. 2095
    F: (978) 649-6337
  • Equity and SEL Newsletter
  • Homelessness and Foster Care Liaison

    Community Resource List: a list of local community resources for common challenges families may encounter with food security, housing instability, mental health needs, and accessing community based resources.

    Community Resource List in Español, Khmer ខ្មែរ, Português, and Gujarati ગુજરાતી

    McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance
    The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act ensures homeless children and youth have equal access to the same free and appropriate public education as provided to other children and youths.

    Students and families experiencing housing instability or who feel they meet the definition of homelessness should contact our homelessness liaison, Shantelle Castle at scastle@innovationcharter.org or by phone at (978) 649-0432 ext 2200. 

  • IACS Incident Reporting Form

    Community membership is an integral part of IACS.  We believe students learn best when they feel safe to take risks and that students, staff, families, and our larger community share responsibility in making sure our school is an inclusive and safe space for all of our members.   To help us reach that goal, we recognize that our students and families need a forum to report incidents that violate our community norms and school rules.  This includes any safety issue, incidents of bullying, incidents of harassment, incidents of bias or discrimination, or health safety concerns. 


    Please click here for the incident reporting form


  • Land Acknowledgement

    IACS Land Acknowledgement

    The community of Innovation Academy acknowledge the violent history of the land we learn and work on. We acknowledge this land as the unceded territory of the Pawtucket, Pennacock, Wabanaki (Dawnland Confederacy), and Abenaki/Abénaquis Tribes who have stewarded these lands for centuries. To these Indigenous peoples: we stand for you and with you in solidarity. We acknowledge the history of enslavement on our school’s land. The Tyng family colonized this piece of land in the 1600s, and enslaved people of African descent, including Boston and Cornwell Tyng. We will use our privilege of benefiting from this land to support the ancestors of these Indigenous and Black peoples. As inhabitants of this place of learning, we commit to becoming ever more aware of the violent past and to become good allies. We will use our experiences and exploration to make changes within ourselves and our community to prevent repetitions of this history and to work for a more just and peaceful future.

    We credit the research and information gathering to Hope Coleman Plourde, and for using their senior project to provide IACS with information on the history of the land. 

  • Racial Justice Committee

    Racial Justice Committee at IACS, Anti Racism Statement:

    We acknowledge that regardless of one’s own race or ethnicity, we all are at various points along our journey to become anti-bias and anti-racist. We understand that bias can be unconscious or unintentional; therefore, we are committed as a community to being open to continuous self-reflection and revision.

    Y23-24 Racial Justice Committee 


    Leadership Staff Positions:


    Danielle Baerg (Middle School Science Educator
    Shantelle Castle (Director of Equity and Counseling)
    Raks Derival (High School Science Educator)
    Kathy Knapp (MS Spanish Educator)
    Julian Sciolla (HS Music Educator)
    Contact: racialjustice@innovationcharter.org  
  • Restorative Justice, Equity and Culturally Responsive Resources

    Restorative Justice

    IACS affirms the use of Restorative Justice and its practices to increase equity and justice for all students. At IACS we are committed to cultivating a community of connection, accountability, collaboration, and support through the use of restorative circles. Restorative practices are a values based approach centered in equity, inclusion, safety, responsibility, accountability, reparations, healing and reintegration. By using a restorative approach it will allow for IACS students, staff, caregivers and community members to have an increased sense of safety, belonging, and inclusion. 

    At IACS, restorative practices can:
    •  decrease suspensions and exclusionary practices 
    • increase sense of belonging, safety, and responsibility, and can create a deeper sense of community between staff and students
    • provide students with emotional identification language and skills to effectively verbalize and/or communicate their feelings to others
    • improve sense of connection between others
    • provide a cohesive path forward to harm and healing in a community

    The multi-tiered system of restorative practices at IACS:

    Tier 1 includes activities to promote community and connection between staff, students and community members which include:

    • community building circles in advisory

    • guided SEL lessons in advisory and classroom settings 

    • monthly DEI lessons in advisory

    • community meetings

    • cultural potluck

    • community events such as Exhibition Night, Quality Night, etc.

    Tier 2 involves problem solving circles to manage unexpected and challenging behaviors and interactions such as:

    • social conflict
    • challenges in the classroom
    • challenging behaviors from students 

    Tier 3 includes activities that aim to repair relationships, restore harm, and reinstate a safe community, these activities include:

    • Harm circles

    • Accountability plans and projects

    • Harm repair and accountability plans 

    If you have any questions or ideas about Restorative Justice Practices at IACS, please contact the Director of Equity and Counseling, Shantelle Castle or visit this link for more information and resources.

    Restorative Justice at IACS Resources

    Discussing history, challenges and use of restorative justice

    Affective Statements *


    Culturally Responsive Resources

    Culturally Responsive Teaching for ELL, Immigrants and Refugees

    Avoiding Cultural Appropriation in the Classroom

    Leading Together

    Incorporating Social Justice into Curriculum

    Practical Tools for Improving Equity and Dismantling Racism in Schools


    Equity Resources

    Black American History

    Powerful Affirmations for Black History

    “Affirming Black Lives without Inducing Trauma” – Teaching Tolerance

    Your Kids Aren’t Too Young to Talk About Race

    Self-Care Tips for Black People Who Are Struggling With This Very Painful Week

    4 Self-Care Resources for Days When the World is Terrible

  • Social-Emotional Learning and Counseling Resources

    Care Solace is a mental health coordination service for K-12 school districts. Care Solace helps school districts to provide wraparound support for every student, staff member, and family member in need.

    IACS has partnered with Care Solace for another school year (Y23-24). Any member of the counseling department can provide a referral for community-based services on behalf of a student, and parents and caregivers may use this link to search for a community-based therapy or psychopharmacological provider.

    Social-Emotional Tools

    Take a Break Teacher Toolbox

    50 Brain Breaks to Engage Students in the Classroom

    Movement Breaks

    Managing Expectations to Maximize Happiness