Joel W. Dixon
I am very much looking forward to joining the team in August and meeting all of you! Working with a group of people to make a difference in students’ lives is one of the most meaningful and rewarding experiences you can have in life, and I feel so privileged to be joining your community of learners. My family and I (wife and 3 young children) are in the process of selling most of our worldly possessions and preparing to move across the ocean to be a part of the team. While I was born in Fort Worth, my family moved to Spain and I grew up at a small international school before moving back to the US for college, but then overseas again to Kenya, and now I’m currently living in the UK.
Throughout my career I’ve had the privilege of seeing a variety of educational models and been a part of various schools but I have always found that the best schools are those that are small and caring, where relationships matter and students are valued uniquely for who they are, where students’ best interests are at the center of decision-making, and where community is important. When schools value their students and promote a culture of appreciating differences and broadening perspectives, then rich learning experiences flow naturally from that. This is exactly the type of school that I feel Northstar is and why I am so excited to be joining the team. I am looking forward to working with you all and helping our school grow and thrive.
I am a firm believer in the fact that we are life-long learners, and we need to model this passion for learning and knowledge to our students in real ways. Just before I became a Headteacher at my last school, I started my Masters in Educational Leadership. This opportunity of studying and working allowed me to use my professional learning to discover what kind of a leader I wanted to be, drawing extensively on the research this course provided me. The professional development opportunities I went on to develop for teachers were rooted in current research and also sought to use the expertise I already had within my faculty.
One of the main things I’ve learned is the huge value of extra-curricular activities, these being vital to the growth and development of children. Over the years I’ve been involved in a multitude of extra-curricular activities, leading and organizing trips to Iceland, Wales, Switzerland, France and Belgium, coaching students and organizing tournaments for both soccer and chess, playing in the orchestra with students during a musical performance, and getting involved in fun activities to raise money for charity. These have been invaluable events for me and the students, further strengthening relationships of trust with students and highlighting the importance of enriching life experiences that can take students out of their comfort zones and teach them something new about themselves.
I firmly believe that it is through observing and appreciating the differences between us that we are able to broaden students’ perspectives and truly give them a holistic education that prepares them for the complexities of our modern world. I’ve heard so many positive things about all of you and it is thanks to you that Northstar has such an amazing reputation and our students achieve such great results. I’ve got a lot to learn about Northstar, and I’m looking forward to learning from and with you in the months and years ahead.
Mission Advisor/Program Development
I am a passionate educator with over 25 years of classroom experience in many public and private school settings. In my fifth year at Northstar School, I was fortunate and proud to follow in Mrs. Jane Hunn’s famous footsteps to become the second executive director of Northstar School. I am a graduate of Arlington High School and attended Texas Tech University earning a degree in education with a reading specialization. Later, I earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from UTA.
At Northstar School, it is my goal to provide an environment where students can be themselves and achieve their academic and personal best. I want to expose them to many different subjects, experiences, and activities, encouraging them to try new things to discover their passions and talents. Each student should feel completely comfortable to be who they are and follow their own individual paths, while still feeling a part of the student body as a whole.
As a “family,” I begin each morning with a positive message for the entire student body. I also teach our daily Leadership Development program, and it is one of my favorite experiences at Northstar. I thoroughly enjoy teaching life skills, leadership skills, study skills, time management, conflict resolution, ethics, etiquette, and team building to the best kids in town who are natural leaders and a joy to work with!
I am married to my high school sweetheart, Scott Odom, and together we have two children, Garrett and Ashley. I am very passionate about many things in my life, but teaching has always been near the top of my list. Even though I am the only educator in my family, I have always known I wanted to teach. I am thankful and honored to be a part of the students’ lives at Northstar School. I strongly believe that the high expectations in Northstar’s small, nurturing environment are the keys to success and make Northstar a fabulous place to teach and learn.
Together, with the most talented staff around, it is my sincere hope to make a positive influence on the development of all Northstar students!
Executive Administrator, Science Olympiad Sponsor, STUCO Sponsor
English Department Head
8-10 English Culinary, Survey of Languages, STUCO Sponsor, Culinary
7,11/12 English, Foreign Language Program, 7/8 Presentation/Writing Lab, 9 Speech
Math Department Head
Calculus I & II, Geometry, Math Team Sponsor
Algebra II, Precalculus
Co-Science Department Head
10/11 Biology, 12 Bionutrition, 10/11 Chemistry, Health
Co-Science Department Head
Life Science, Physical Science, Yacht Club Sponsor
7-10 Environmental Science, Introduction to Graphic Arts, 11/12 Psychology, 4H
Technology Department Head
Applied Physics (SRD I, II, III), Computer Programming, Introduction to Programming, Physics II
Astronomy, 7/8 Computer Literacy
Government, Medieval History, World History, Human Geography, NHS Co- Sponsor
Ancient History, Latin, Yearbook
Fine Arts Department Head
Ukulele, Music Theory
Bass Guitar, Guitar I&II
Choir, Show Choir, Keyboard, Drama
Art Electives, International Travel
Athletics Department Head
PE, Volleyball Coach, Senior Sponsor