Meet the Head of Beginning & Lower School

headshot portrait of head of beginning and lower school dawn isaacs with forest background

Dawn Isaacs, Head of Beginning and Lower School

Dawn encounters a wide range of students In the Beginning and Lower Schools—seven grades in all—but continues to see every child as an individual learner. “Each child is the unit of consideration,” she says. “And we work to know where they are developmentally, and then to give them just the right experiences they need to move onto the next stage.”

For over two decades, Dawn’s work as educator has been focused on beginning and lower school students. She earned her B.A. in Education from Bradley University in Illinois and her master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Maryville University in St. Louis. She has taught kindergarten through 3rd grade in public, charter, and independent schools.

At Catlin Gabel, Dawn was a second grade homeroom teacher for four years, and then served for three years as Head of the Beginning School before the two divisions merged. She became the Head of the Beginning and Lower School in the 2018-19 school year.

They know how to engage in the world, how to wonder and ask questions, how to research and explore, and come up with ideas and solutions. And this lays the foundation for their future learning because now they know how to be a learner in the world, and that they are an active participant in it.

Dawn Isaacs