For four years, David Gundale has been a leader at Open World Learning (OWL) Community, previously as the school’s program coordinator and assistant principal. He’ll continue that leadership in the fall as the school’s new principal.
Gundale plans to keep working toward making OWL a top Expeditionary Learning school. His top priorities include adding more emphasis on the expeditionary model, as well as a focusing on literacy, writing, math and high-quality student work.
“I am inspired daily by the immense effort and dedication of our staff and students and I’m grateful to continue the work that we have begun together as a community,” he said.
Explaining the Expeditionary Learning model to people outside the OWL school community is a constant challenge, Gundale says. For example, many think the Expeditionary Learning model is about outdoor adventure trips, he explains.
Although Expeditionary Learning emerged out of Outward Bound in the early 1980s, it is much more focused on individual character and community development through academics across school subjects and a focus on students to demonstrate what they’ve learned.
“I am most excited to be able to spend more time working closely with our teaching staff around expedition planning, instructional protocols and examining student work,” Gundale said.
OWL will also have a new home this fall in the former Humboldt Middle School building on the West Side of Saint Paul. The new site will be designed with Expeditionary Learning’s size and growth in mind.
“The physical environment will enhance our program and bring richness to our culture,” Gundale said. “I am really excited to see how students and staff will interact and make the spaces come alive.”
Gundale plans to encourage a collaborative learning environment for staff and students − a place where taking risks and failing are a part of finding successes.
Gundale is even more excited to begin the new year after traveling to Colorado and bonding with other Expeditionary Learning leaders from across the country.
“I left the trip renewed and highly motivated to dig deeper in the Expeditionary Learning work we have begun at Open World Learning Community,” Gundale said. “I can’t wait to share this experience with my colleagues when they return in the fall.”
Education: He attended Gustavus Adolphus College, studying English Literature and Political Science. He then attended Bemidji State University, where he studied Technology Education and earned a teaching license. He received a Masters of Education from Hamline University, where's he currently pursuing his doctorate.
Teaching: He worked as a student teacher at Humboldt High School. His first teaching job was at Washington Technology Magnet School. He then joined the Architecture, Construction, and Engineering Academy at Johnson High School. He completed his administrative internship at Open World Learning School, where he became a program coordinator, assistant principal and now principal.
Honors: He received a Bush Leadership Fellowship in 2008, following his work with SPPS and the Science Museum of Minnesota on the ACE academy and the IDEA Cooperative (Invention, Design, Engineering, and Art), which was a program that supported the development of students underrepresented in STEAM professions (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math).