Ethics Initiative

The Head, Heart, Hands experience is dedicated to the moral development of LWHS students.


Tim Wise visit
In 2011, after a productive and rich few years under the sage guidance of Jim Bell, the Ethics Initiative entered a "research and re-evaluation" phase. In 2011–2012, we, Rebecca and Anton, assessed our community's needs, while researching and networking with others on how to build an ethical community. Last year, in conjunction with the faculty/staff Ethics Working Group, we piloted programs in adherence with our findings. As part of the work, we continued the process of integrating ethics into the 11th grade U.S. History curriculum; worked with student groups on a project to create a public space for free student expression; created a survey for 11th and 12th graders about personal and academic integrity; organized a day-long visit from renowned antiracist author and educator Tim Wise; and created a one-day curriculum with the entire senior class about establishing long-term friendships with the “First Frame” project, which we hope will be ongoing. Towards the end of the year, we also worked with student leaders to formulate a proposal for a Social Contract. Students initiated a preliminary draft of such a contract, which has already been presented to the administration for their consideration.

Current Goals

This year, the goal will be to extend the schoolwide ethics curriculum into the senior year by implementing a series of workshop discussions for the senior class, driven by the essential question: How do I find purpose and act with compassion and responsibility as a young adult? We will help students delve into ethical discussions in their senior year, and to set them up to lead ethical lives beyond LWHS.

Our continued charge is to remain adaptable and available as resources for pressing community concerns. We hope to make this responsiveness institutional by bringing together faculty/staff committed to ongoing Ethics work and student leaders to hold scheduled group meetings. The idea is that students and adults throughout the community could bring concerns to any member of the core group, and they could be assured that their concerns would be discussed fully. The format for responses and recommendations is still in the making.

Ethics Initiative Co-Chairs

List of 3 members.

  • Erin Merk 

    Department Chair, Yoga, Health & Wellness Teacher
  • Eileen O'Kane 

    World History Teacher
  • Min Yoo 

    Associate Director of Admissions - Outreach and Communications

Lick-Wilmerding High School

755 Ocean Avenue | San Francisco, CA 94112 | 415.333.4021
A private school with public purpose, Lick-Wilmerding High School develops the head, heart, and hands of highly motivated students from all walks of life, inspiring them to become lifelong learners who contribute to the world with confidence and compassion.