• 12/5 - NSA Site Council - 6:15pm
  • 12/7 - Super Minimum Day - 11:40am Dismissal
  • 12/14 - Parent Club Meeting - 8:45am
  • 12/15 - All School Field Trip - 10:45am-noon
The Student News Site of North Star Academy

Gryphon Gazette

The Student News Site of North Star Academy

Gryphon Gazette

The Student News Site of North Star Academy

Gryphon Gazette


What's the most important way we can protect the environment, in your opinion?


Sorry, there was an error loading this poll.

Scratch’s Intel Trip
Scratch’s Intel Trip
Jackie K. and Noah K. November 8, 2023
The Bathrooms
The Bathrooms
Sawyer and Alexander November 8, 2023
Mr. Slater’s Busy  Substitute Experience
Mr. Slater’s Busy Substitute Experience
Catherine X. November 8, 2023

Ray Dawley, The Former Principal Of NSA

Ray Dawley, The Former Principal Of NSA

We all know about Ms. Shackel, the principal of NSA. But Ms. Shackel has not been the principal forever. Before her came eight principals, including Ray Dawley.

Mr. Dawley was the principal of North Star from 2003 to 2009, and then he was the principal of McKinley. After this, he worked on the administration team of San Carlos, was the principal at Arundel Elementary, and spent the last five years as a 5th grade teacher at Mariposa. 

“My most powerful memory is the wonderful community that was created there between the staff, the students and the parents,” describes the former principal. “It felt to me that everyone was working together to create the best educational experience for the children. I always felt that this came into focus when we had special events like the plays and special events like grandparents day, the literacy day, all day enrichments, and the lap a thon.”

 Right now Mr. Dawley is taking a year off, and just finished hiking a 200 mile portion of the Pacific Crest Trail! “The section I hiked was part of the John Muir Trail as well, from Lake Thomas Edison south to Kennedy Meadows. I also was able to climb to the top of Mt. Whitney. It took me and my hiking partner 18 days to complete this section. Along the way we saw beautiful vistas from the top of 10,000 foot passes, rushing rivers and streams, wildflowers bursting with colors, golden, rainbow and brook trout, marmots, pikas, birds and deer. We did not see any bears this year. What was incredible to me was how high this section of the Sierra Nevada was. When we were at our lowest point on our trip, we were still 3,000 feet higher in elevation than Lake Tahoe! My favorite part was the amazing views and the awesome people we met along the way.” 

Mr. Dawley’s advice to North Star students is: “I think the most important advice to students is to make as many new friends as you can, try new things in the enrichment classes and enjoy each day as much as you can. ‘No Bad Days’”. 

His advice to teachers is that “If you are not having fun, neither are your students.” To principals, “Get into the classrooms and out onto the yard as much as you can.”

Ray Dawley helped North Star Academy develop into the school it is now. He says, “I learned that building relationships with the students, staff and families was the most important part of my job.” Not only did Ray Dawley grow and change our school, he made sure it would keep developing for many years to come. 

Thank you Mr. Dawley for taking the time to respond to the Gryphon Gazette’s questions!  


View Comments (1)
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Ayla, Copy Editor

Comments (1)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • I

    Ilkay A.Nov 9, 2022 at 11:28 am

    I used to go to Arundel Elementary when Mr. Dawley was principal! I can say I really enjoyed him, he was a very positive and fun guy. I am truly shocked to find that he used to be the principal of North Star!


Loading Creativity...