Level Up: The Driving Force Behind Dawson’s Schoolwide Through-Line | Roxanne Stansbury | 4 Min Read

By Roxanne Stansbury, Head of School, The Alexander Dawson School at Rainbow Mountain (NV)

Dawson’s school-wide throughline this year is “Level Up.” The power of a community-accepted throughline can cultivate a mindset that encourages a lifetime of improvement, growth and the joys of becoming our better selves. Read more about the intention for this year’s message in this blog.

When I was little, my parents took our family on an annual marathon road trip with all four of us kids arguing in the back of our van the entire way. My dad approached the experience as if it were his chance to win a gold medal for driving straight to our destination with the least amount of stops. Needless to say, there were no opportunities to stop and savor the journey. After exhaustive hours in the car (with no technology), my dad would pull into a Days Inn hotel with a questionable pool in the front and announce, “Get out and have fun.” It was a directive that always puzzled me, as if we could just turn on the fun meter like a light switch. 

Now, as the adult who spearheads my family’s annual road trips, I have tried to improve this “have fun” directive by setting the tone and purpose for our cross-country travels. I begin each trip with a family meeting in which I convey that the upcoming road trip is an opportunity for our family to disconnect from our technology and embrace a presence where we can enjoy the adventures of travel. Everyone has to pick a part of the journey that they are most excited to see and I tell them that the hours on the road will be long, but if we adopt a lens of gratitude for areas unseen, we can savor the journey and not just steamroll to the destination. I guess you could say that I set a throughline for our trips that is rooted in the possibilities of the unknown and capitalizes on the unexpected rainbow or sunset we stumble on in this process. I shift our focus from “we have to be in the car for days” to “we get to be in the car together for days.” 

In my role as head of school at a modern learning institute, I am aware now more than ever of the need for anchors that tether students to a meaningful connection. Generation…

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