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A Legacy of Love and Dedication: Lisa Ross’s Journey at Graland

By Kat Diez Canseco, Communications Department
The Master Teacher wall in the Georgia Nelson building houses Graland’s history and honors the educators who have devoted 20-plus years to the school and its students. The Master Teacher wall stands as a testament to the enduring commitment and passion of Graland educators who have left an indelible mark on the school and its community, and this year its 72nd Master Teacher will be added, Mrs. Lisa Ross.
Amidst the bustling halls of the Lower School building, you can always count on Mrs. Ross to greet you with the biggest smile and warmest “good morning!” A beloved teacher at Graland, Mrs. Ross began her journey at the school 20 years ago when she accepted a Kindergarten teaching position. Although she never heard of Graland before applying, it quickly became a place where she would dedicate her career to making a difference in the lives of countless students. “It was hidden away in this little pocket, but I’m so glad I found it and got here!” 

Over the past two decades, Mrs. Ross has worn many hats at Graland. When her career first started as a Kindergarten lead teacher, Mrs. Ross expanded her role to include penny harvest leader, volleyball coach, and team lead. Mrs. Ross’s commitment to Graland extends beyond her teaching career, with her own children, Onyx and Bec, being students at the school, influencing her to explore teaching different grades. Mrs. Ross went on to teach Grade 4 for four years and since 2015, when her youngest child moved on to Grade 1, she has been an integral part of the first grade team for nine years. Throughout her journey, Mrs. Ross has collected a treasure trove of memorable moments, with one of her most cherished experiences being the penny harvest project. “It was amazing to bring kids from all grade levels together and see how they collaborated and worked together. They collected change from the whole school, and seeing how motivated they were to then count up the coins and all work together despite their age differences, it was always something exciting to be a part of.”
 
When asked about the qualities or values she appreciates most about Graland, one of the aspects Mrs. Ross recognizes is Graland’s commitment to continuous growth and learning. “The growth that I’ve seen over the years, the push for belonging, the acceptance of all kiddos and all families, all people—that’s not just one singular event, but it is something that helps me to thrive as an educator and gives me promise for what we can continue to do.” Mrs. Ross values the school’s emphasis on evolving and adapting to the needs of both students and educators, allowing her to take risks and explore new avenues in her teaching practice. The supportive environment at Graland ensures that Mrs. Ross never feels alone in facing challenges, as she can always rely on her colleagues and mentors for guidance and collaboration. “I’m so grateful for my colleagues and being able to solve any challenges. I always feel like I have someone to go to and figure out anything I come up against. I’m never working by myself.”

Mrs. Ross’s students have been a constant source of inspiration and influence throughout her career. Each new group of children brings unique qualities, interests, and trends, pushing Mrs. Ross to adapt and grow alongside them. By incorporating her students’ voices into her curriculum, she creates a dynamic learning environment that embraces their individuality and fosters a sense of belonging. “I’m inspired by my students every year! It’s a new group of students each year, and I have to ebb and flow and explore new things because of who they are. I have core values where I want every child to be seen, heard, and valued, and that allows me to do that.”

As Mrs. Ross reflects on her 20-year journey at Graland, she is grateful for the countless opportunities to learn, grow, and make a meaningful impact on her students’ lives. With her unwavering dedication, adaptability, and passion for teaching, Mrs. Ross serves as an inspiration to both her colleagues and the generations of students she has taught. 
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Graland Country Day School

Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1927, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.