Welcome from the Head of School


It is with great enthusiasm and pride that I step into the leadership role at Desert Academy. I have seen firsthand the entire school community’s commitment to Desert’s mission and to growing that beautiful essence we call “Desertness.” I have been inspired by our students’ incredible achievements, brought to tears through their kindness and generosity, and feel eager to share in their vision of a better world. Walking the halls with visitors and friends, I have been proud to show off the high level of expertise, collaboration, and caring of our teachers and leadership team. Desert is a magical place, a school that you can fall in love with and a school that will love you back.

Over the past twelve years in educational leadership, I have discovered that there is great fulfillment in leading a community towards the achievement of a worthy goal. Leadership is service with the goal of inspiring the school community and encouraging all participants to think of themselves as leaders and part of a team. I have learned that, without a culture of care, learning can’t take place. As Head of School, my goal is to lead Desert with mutual trust, purposeful inclusion, and a steadfast commitment to the school’s mission and vision. I will strive to keep excellence and empathy at the center of all I do, through active listening, perspective taking, story telling, humor and compassion.

I am inspired by Kaizen principles: throwing out old fixed ideas about how to do things and how things should work, thinking positively, not waiting for perfection, correcting mistakes as soon as they surface, embracing the question “why,” the wisdom of the collective, and basing decisions on data instead of on opinions. By way of sharing that data, I will send out a “State of the School” update twice a year that will include feedback from a number of surveys we will conduct with our various stakeholders. We will use that feedback to highlight both successes and challenges as well as to inform continuous refinements to our strategic plan. At the end of the day, that information will help insure that every faculty and staff member is supported and nurtured. Optimally, this will mirror the nurturing we, in turn, provide for our students.

I am fortunate, indeed, to lead such a remarkable community to the next chapter of excellence. I look forward to getting to know each and every one of you.

Dr. Yann Lussiez

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