My name is Sarah Bagley and I’m a founding parent at Rocky Mountain Prep’s first campus, located in southeast Denver. I would like to tell you a little about my experience with Rocky Mountain Prep, as well as with Sara Carlson, the educator who will be the principal of Rocky Mountain Prep Berkeley, which opens in August.
My husband, two children and I live in the Cherry Creek School District, very close to one of the top-rated elementary schools in Colorado. We choose to drive our children 25 minutes twice each day so they can attend Rocky Mountain Prep instead. We’ve been making that daily drive for six years now.
Why have we made this choice? Because not only are the academics challenging and the atmosphere nurturing, but just as important, my two daughters come home every day having experienced things I wasn’t lucky enough to be exposed to as a child.
Recently, for example, my eight-year-old started asking me to buy her a beautiful piece of sequined fabric. She had a very specific idea in mind about how she wanted to use this fabric. We finally found just the right piece, and I asked her what she planned to do with it.
As it turns out, her best friend wears a hijab to school, and she wanted to look like her friend and be like her friend. I found myself explaining to an eight-year-old the cultural significance of the hijab, its history, and why women wear them. I didn’t know a lot of this information, so we went online and learned together.
This kind of interchange occurs frequently in the classrooms and halls of Rocky Mountain Prep. It’s one of the things we value most about the school. I love the diversity that RMP has and celebrates each and every day. It doesn't matter if they're celebrating my Irish kids or the Ethiopian families' holidays. Everyone is treated with equal respect and importance.
The Rocky Mountain Prep staff is wonderful. They help their students learn at a deep level, and they do so with a loving spirit. And Sara Carlson exemplifies that spirit.
If I had to sum Sara up with one word it would be intuitive. She understands and inherently knows what each student needs at any given moment in the day. My older daughter Cathryn had Sara as her second-grade teacher, and I was able to experience the powerful impact of Sara’s intuition frequently.
After Cathryn had been in her class for a short time, Sara could look at Cathryn and see she was on an emotional edge and knew just how to bring her off of it. Whether it was because she was having a growth spurt and needed an extra snack, or she just needed a quiet hug, Sara always seemed to know just what would work at that moment.
Sara is passionate. She believes fiercely in kids and their capabilities and believes in setting high expectations and providing the supporting structures they need to meet those expectations. She also believes in partnerships. She works hard to create a community in her classroom among the kids and a strong partnership with the parents. It's through this community and partnership that Sara is able to reach all kids and help them exceed expectations.
Sara will be a great school leader, and will be a real asset not only to her school but to the North Denver community.
If you’d like to learn more about Rocky Mountain Prep, join us at an upcoming event by RSVPing here.