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When I think about the Lower School experience at Ravenscroft, many wonderful, heart-warming stories come to mind about our students, parents, faculty, and staff. Three words resonate in all the stories and continue to capture our mission at Ravenscroft — learning, leading, and serving.

There is the student who was so motivated and excited about what he was learning in his third grade economics unit of study that he took his small business plan for selling chicken eggs and turned his idea into a reality as a fourth grader– he has started his own business called The Scrambled Egg.

There is the third grade teacher who expanded her skill set beyond the classroom by leading a parent coffee about our Lead From Here initiative and demonstrated for parents one of our experiential lessons on the competency of being cultural inclusive–she even involved hula hoops.

And there is the group of parents that spent their Saturday morning serving our community with their children by building beautiful recycling and trash bins for our campus–and building stronger relationships with each other during the process.

We are extremely fortunate to be part of a community where everyone is considered a learner–adults and children– and we are all committed to growing as citizen leaders.

Our work this year with our youngest Ravens will continue to focus on supporting their personal and collective journeys as they strive to lead successful, happy, and productive lives.  We will encourage the discovery and exploration of their interests, talents, and passions as they learn more about themselves. We will help to expand their perspectives and improve their communication skills as they learn to successfully collaborate with others. And we will challenge them to think beyond themselves in order to serve the greater good of their world.

Lead From Here guides us as we learn and grow together and is integrated into our academic curriculum to ensure the gift of high expectations is given to all learners in our community.  The Lower School faculty and staff recognize that our world is changing at a rapid pace and it is our responsibility to continually reflect on the most effective ways to prepare our students for this complex and interdependent world.


Our guiding question this year for our professional growth is:

How can we further refine and utilize best practices of Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) to enhance and improve student learning across all subject areas?

Best practices of PLCs include (but are not limited to):

1) establishing and implementing standards/objectives for expected learning outcomes;

2) analyzing and using data from formative and summative assessments to guide instructional decisions and determine progress towards expected learning outcomes;

3) and discussing and sharing resources/strategies to differentiate instruction to meet the needs of all learners.


We are excited about some new faculty members who will be joining our Lower School this year and will bring with them new ideas and perspectives. We will also be seeing some familiar faces joining new grade levels due to teachers retiring, families relocating, and positions changing within the Ravenscroft community.

Position Changes

  • Cameron Bolin– private lessons coordinator (she will also serve as the middle and upper school choir director)
  • Joni Keane– fourth grade instructor
  • Denise Simpson– third grade instructor

New Faculty

  • Sarah Chitwood- fourth grade instructor
  • Laura Coffey- second grade instructor
  • Anne Courie-Meulink– pre-K through 5th grade art teacher
  • Mary Royall Hight– fourth and fifth grade music instructor
  • Katie Perkins– pre-K through third grade music instructor
  • Michelle Then– physical education instructor

Please join me in welcoming these new educators to the Lower School faculty. They are passionate, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable, and I am eager for you to meet them. You can review their complete bios on the full list of new faculty and staff sent in the Opening of School mailing.

The 2015-2016 school year promises to be another exciting journey filled with many joys and successes. Please make sure to visit the Hobbs’ Highlights blog to stay informed about all the amazing things going on throughout the year in Lower School and to read some personal thoughts and reflections from myself and other guest faculty bloggers. This blog continues to serve as the main source of written communication with parents and is updated at least twice a month. You can also follow the journey on Twitter @paytonhobbs where I post pictures and share stories of our Lower School adventures.

I look forward to seeing all new Ravenscroft students and their parents on August 18 for orientation and all our returning students on August 19 for the first day of school. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me to discuss any questions or comments you have. You may reach me by phone at (919) 861-2110, ext. 2542 or by email at phobbs@ravenscroft.org.

Enjoy the last few weeks of summer!


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