Principal Profile: Lacey Dahl
Meet Lacey Dahl
1. What do you enjoy most about your job?
I absolutely LOVE working with adults and in turn get to watch the amazing things they do with and for our students. Each day is different and I, too, get to be a learner. I appreciate the fast paced nature of my job and enjoy the everyday challenge of leading a school. Every morning, I get hundreds of hugs and smiles...who doesn't love that!
2. Who inspires you?
My teachers, my colleagues, our students, my family. To me, Inspiration is the person who forced me to try something new, look at something through a different lens, conquer a challenge and ultimately make me face myself by pushing me to examine who I am as a person and who I strive to be.
3. What was your first job?
I was 13 and I couldn't wait to get a job and desperately craved independence. My first job was at a little coffee shop in downtown Leadville. My favorite part of my job was building relationships with local customers and getting to meet new people everyday.
4. If you had the opportunity to pursue another career, what would you choose?
This is going to sound crazy.... Forensic Pathologist or Mortuary Science.
5. What's an interest or hobby you have that not a lot of people might not know about you?
I love to cook, eat new foods, travel and go to 80's rock concerts!
6. What's your favorite item on the school lunch menu?
7. Do you have any pets?
Yes, an adorable Cockapoo named Zoey
8. What was your first car?
9.What advice would you give to a college graduate who is entering the field of teaching?
Learn to be a learner and go into every situation with a growth mindset.
10. If you could be any superhero, who would you choose to be?
Bright, vibrant colors and creations fill the hallways at Meadow View Elementary in Castle Rock, while the sounds of Beethoven, Bach, and Mozart flow out of its classrooms. Meadow View Elementary has infused its building with Artful Learning.
“Artful learning is a framework that engages students through an inquiry conceptual-based learning process. Students engage in different learning stages: Experience, Inquire, Create and Reflect. Throughout this process the curriculum is delivered in a highly engaging, arts-based, creative way. Students study Master Artists, their work and their processes to help make connections to the concept that is being studied. It is a highly integrated approach and learners are able to make conceptual connections across all content areas. Students get a unique opportunity to experience and demonstrate their learning in unique and creative ways,” says Lacey Dahl.
Lacey Dahl has been at Meadow View since 2014. She was the assistant principal for two years before becoming the principal in 2016.
“I always wanted to be a teacher. When I was little I would take my mom’s lamp and wrap cellophane around it and create a small projector and then I would use the Vis-a-Vis markers and make up classes and lessons. No one in my family is an educator, but I always knew it’s what I wanted to do,” says Lacey.
After spending several years teaching different elementary grades, Lacey eventually became a middle school principal in her hometown of Leadville. It was the work being done at Meadow View, though, that inspired her and brought her to Douglas County.
“Artful learning is truly amazing,” Lacey adds, “Our Kindergarten classrooms learn about patterns and study Beethoven's 5th Symphony. Students are able to see patterns in the books they are reading, they see patterns in their writing, they see patterns in their relationships and in the world around them. When a five-year-old can explain patterns and say they learned it because of Beethoven it is incredible.”
In the past few weeks, Lacey and her staff were rewarded with an increase in state testing scores. After a year of tweaking curriculum, looking at data and finding a balance, Lacey and her staff found out all of their hard work payed off. The Colorado Achievement and Growth results showed significant improvement in their PARCC and CMAS scores, which was music to their ears.
“It felt so great. We were so happy. We knew we were going to make growth; we all knew it was going to be better. But I could have never imagined it was going to be that high. We celebrated. I got emotional, my staff got emotional. It was amazing. It just felt good. Really, really good,” says Lacey.
The progress in math and reading scores gave Lacey and her incredible staff a much needed boost while showing the community how valuable Artful Learning can be and the positive impacts it can have on students.