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Dave Whorton: Strong character leads to success

June 10, 2014 at 4:27 am

DK-140601-7746The Class of 2014 graduation ceremony on June 2 was filled with reflection, celebration, and a few tears. This year’s speaker, Dave Whorton, holds unique insight into the remarkable education every student receives at Community School.

Parent of Rylee ’20 and Briggs ’18 and husband of Board of Directors member Lisa, Dave has been an advocate for our distinctive brand of education. During his address, Dave shared his thoughts about our school’s balance of skill and knowledge acquisition with an emphasis on character development, and why character might be the most important of all in “the real world.”

Below is the full transcript from his address.

Annie’s Whole Year, In One Big Mash-up Day

June 5, 2014 at 10:26 pm

20140518_124520As I get ready to close the book on my year at Community School, I have been doing a fair amount of reflection. As I look back on my year, I don’t watch long reels of memory tape. Instead, I remember blasts of moments and, with the clarity that distance provides, think about how they fit together. For those who might not know, one of the current musical trends is mash-ups. A mash-up is a song created by weaving multiple songs together. Instead of mixing Beethoven with Luke Bryan, I decided to mash-up my year into one day.

Invention Convention!

May 22, 2014 at 5:58 pm

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When the email hit my inbox declaring Wednesday our First Grade’s “Invention Convention,” it immediately went on my calendar. How cool is it to get the first fifteen minutes of my day to find out what a 6 year old would invent?

Stand and Deliver

January 1, 2014 at 8:58 pm

In this video, juniors and seniors at Community School are participating in a Moot Court on current laws (some from Idaho and some from other states) restricting a woman’s constitutionally protected right to a previable abortion.  Attorney teams of two students present their oral arguments and nine student Justices can interrupt them at any time to have their questions answered.  Students stand and deliver in the same manner experienced by constitutional attorneys and Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Digital Stories Come to Life

December 19, 2013 at 1:00 am

As the Director of Educational Technology, there are many days when I spend too much of my day looking at a computer monitor and not enough with students. But then there are the times when I get to work with kids that remind me why I love working at Community School.

Wild Week!

December 16, 2013 at 9:45 pm

IMG_1184“The subject tried to experience life an hour a day as a bird. The subject lived during that time as she would live in her house, except the subject was on the roof. The subject perched on steep shale sides in search of bird neighbors, saw the world from a higher aspect, felt the breeze the her hair (which the subject called “feathers” during her bird transition) and had the opportunity to just listen–to everything”

A Fall Reflection

November 21, 2013 at 5:56 pm

RQ9A0071As the first trimester comes to a close, it is a time for reflection, not just for students, but also for teachers. We teachers package all that we have taught in tidy, thick exams. We ask students to evaluate our courses online and let us know what they liked and what we could do better. Classes have ended. Instead, kids mill about in the hallways, eagerly drilling each other before each exam, spouting out chemical formulas with confidence or trepidation, repeating important historical dates over and over again, grabbing a passing teacher and asking desperately, “Is the exam hard?” Things are coming to a close. It’s tangible. 

Père Constant and Haiti to Community School and Idaho pommes de terre

November 19, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Imagine having the opportunity to speak French and learn Creole in our school in Sun Valley, Idaho, thousands of miles away from the country of Haiti! Community School French students recently had the opportunity to speak with Father Constant from Haiti, who is the director of the Haiti Micah Project for children.

From Trail Creek to Fenway Park, Lessons in Learning

October 28, 2013 at 11:09 pm

Fifth Grade Trip
or the willingness to engage in a long-term commitment and potential failure with the idea of eventual success, is at the center of Community School’s education. Students recognize that short-term failure does not always mean that they have failed, or that an entire project has failed; failure in the moment simply means that students must try and try again until they succeed.

Community School’s focus on tenacity led to our being selected as one of thirteen schools across the country to be part of the second version of a University of Pennsylvania study of non-cognitive skills at the Duckworth Lab. More will be shared as the study evolves, but Angela Duckworth’s work strikes a chord with me as I root on my beloved Boston Red Sox, leading three games to two in the World Series.


September 24, 2013 at 3:55 pm

photo-2Gunner ’22 makes his desk.   Why?  “Because I need a desk.”

Gunner’s fourth grade class is making their own desks this year.  Not only are they learning math, carpentry and collaboration skills, they will also be the proud owners of their learning environment.


Why are these three words at the core of the Community School blog?  Because it’s what happens every day, at every grade level and in many different ways.

  • Create-Create something, create opportunities, create solutions, create beliefs, create an identity, create a plan
  • Explore-Explore academics, explore nature, explore boundaries, explore yourself, explore understanding, explore your goals
  • Challenge-Challenge your thinking, challenge yourself, challenge each other, challenge your limits, challenge convention, seek a challenge

While there are many other descriptors of a Community School experiences, these get to the heart of our mission. We look forward to sharing what it means to be part of a special school, located in a special place.