Parenting From a Place of Fear | Megan Gray | 8 Min Read

March 8, 2022

There are two universal myths far too many parents believe: One, overall success in life is determined by which college their child attends and, two, experiencing failure is bad for their child’s self-esteem.

I work at The Alexander Dawson School, an early childhood to grade eight independent school in Las Vegas, NV. When the news of the college admissions scandal broke, our school’s administration received a flood of communications from colleagues from independent high schools across the country. Here’s the interesting part: Of the many messages received, none of them expressed shock or surprise. The consensus was you would be hard-pressed to find faculty, counselors, or administrators in any high-performing high school who didn’t see this coming. One colleague shared that when the college counseling team at his elite Massachusetts high school heard the news, they sighed heavily, shrugged their shoulders, and agreed it was business as usual in the private school pressure-cooker.

Dawson is Nevada’s first Stanford University Challenge Success partner school. For the uninitiated, the Challenge Success program was created by Dr. Denise Pope of Stanford’s Graduate School of Education. Dr. Pope was alarmed by the high level of suicides and…

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Megan Gray

Megan Gray is the Chief Communications Officer for The Alexander Dawson School in Las Vegas, NV, where she has worked for more than a decade. Megan, who is a product of the overcrowded Southern California public school system, has developed a deep appreciation for the power and purpose of an independent school education. She is a graduate of the University of Calfornia, Los Angeles, and her career reflects her wide range of interests and experience, as well as the adaptability of a liberal arts education. Before putting down roots at Dawson, Megan worked in communications at Lesley University, as a content creator for the New York Times Digital Company, as a grant writer for The Harvard Museum of Natural History, and as an independent grant writing consultant. At The Alexander Dawson School, Megan is a member of the Head's Council leadership team and oversees all marketing and communications efforts for the School's Advancement Office, and she has won awards for her photography, writing, and magazine design. This is the first time her writing has been featured in a publication for innovative independent school education.