Lodinews.com

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Teacher Dawn Drake leaves Lodi Unified School District to work for charter school

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Saturday, February 4, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 8:22 am, Sat Feb 4, 2012.

Dawn Drake likes to make clear that she didn't leave public school teaching when she took a job at Aspire. She started at Aspire after 15 years in the Lodi Unified School District.

It was 2000, and the district was in the process of moving away from year-round school. She was a reading recovery teacher at Davis Elementary School, being forced to squeeze a year-round calendar of information into a very short school year.

She enrolled her son, Sam, in kindergarten at Aspire's Vincent Shalvey Academy.

"I was attracted to the small school community and small class sizes," Drake said, ticking off the reasons she favored the school. It had a longer school year and a longer day. Students also stayed with the same teacher for two years.

She volunteered as an art docent in his class and participated in the school community activities.

"Watching instruction and attending school functions got me excited about what Aspire was accomplishing. I was impressed by the collaboration I saw amongst the teachers," she said. "All teachers had high expectations and clear, individualized learning goals for each student. I saw that teachers worked hard, but enjoyed what they did — and I wanted to be a part of that."

Today, she is. Drake teaches second and third grade in a classroom named after her alma mater, Stanford University. She is a firm believer in the Aspire's "College for Certain" motto and embraces value-added teacher evaluations that not only grade her, but her students' performance as well.

Although they are not union members, Aspire teacher salaries and benefits are comparable to Lodi Unified's traditional schools, according to Principal Karla Fachner. Employees receive not only health benefits, but retirement as well through state agencies.

After having what she calls great role models which included her mother, Drake said she wanted to be an educator since she was young.

She grew up in Morada and attended Lodi Unified schools including Tokay High School, where she graduated as the valedictorian.

Drake went on to Stanford, where she earned a bachelor's degree in economics, and earned her teaching credential from University of California, Los Angeles. She lived in San Francisco and taught in Hayward for three years.

She met her future husband, John, and they moved back to Stockton for his job. Today, they have three sons — Andrew, 25, Alex, 21, and Sam, 17 — and Drake is currently in her 30th year of teaching.

"I still love what I do," she said. "Each year I learn more and continually strive to improve."

Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at jenniferb@lodinews.com.

More about

More about

More about

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don't pretend you're someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don't insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.

Welcome to the discussion.

Video

Popular Stories

Poll

Should graduations return to the Grape Bowl?

Lodi Unified leaders are moving Lodi and Tokay high school graduations from the Grape Bowl to the Spanos Center at UOP in Stockton. They cite limited seating, costs and unpredictable weather at the Grape Bowl. But others say graduations at the Grape Bowl are an important Lodi tradition, and one reason many supported renovating the stadium. What do you think?

Total Votes: 218

Loading…

Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists