The Alexander Dawson School at Rainbow Mountain

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The Alexander Dawson School at Rainbow Mountain
Summerlin, Nevada
United States
Type Independent Day school
Established September 2000 (2000-09)
Head of School Carola E. Wittmann, Ph.D.
Faculty 115
Enrollment 520
Student to teacher ratio 8:1
Campus 33 acres (13 ha) in Summerlin
Color(s) Navy and Red
Athletics 8 sports
Mascot Bear

The Alexander Dawson School at Rainbow Mountain is an independent, day school in Summerlin, Nevada. The Alexander Dawson School at Rainbow Mountain provides private, co-educational, secular education to over 520 students from preschool through eighth grade.[1]


In 1996, the Alexander Dawson Foundation decided to open a school in the Las Vegas Valley, the Foundation’s home for more than 30 years. Located on a 33-acre (13 ha) campus in Summerlin, the Alexander Dawson Foundation spent $58 million for the land, the school facilities, the interest expenses on the construction bonds, and in shortfall budget support during the school’s early years. Ground was broken in 1999, and The Alexander Dawson School at Rainbow Mountain opened on September 6, 2000 with over 150 students from kindergarten through fifth grade.[2]

From 2001–2003, the school expanded by adding sixth, seventh and eighth grades to the curriculum. A three-year-old preschool curriculum was added in 2009, and enrollment had grown to over 630 students.[3]



The school has an overall 8:1 student-to-faculty ratio,[4] with students receiving regional, state and national awards and rankings in math, science and engineering and fine arts.[5][6][7] The school offers Spanish in kindergarten through fourth grade, and three languages in Middle School (Spanish, French, and Mandarin).[4][8]

Dawson Bears Athletics

  • Boys and girls basketball, volleyball, flag football, track and field, cross-country and soccer through the Red Rock Athletic Conference[4]
  • Boys and girls tennis through the USTA
  • Girls cheerleading
  • Athletic Conference events include swimming

Financial aid and tuition assistance

  • Over $1 million awarded each year in income-based financial assistance[9]
  • 20 percent of students receive financial assistance[4]
  • Need-blind admissions process


The Alexander Dawson School at Rainbow Mountain is one of three private schools in Southern Nevada with national and regional accreditation. The school is a member of The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)[10] and is accredited by The Northwest Association of Independent Schools (NWAIS).[11] The Early Childhood Education Center, which houses the preschool and pre-kindergarten programs, is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).[12]

Board of trustees[edit]

The Alexander Dawson School at Rainbow Mountain is governed by a Board of Trustees; five Foundation Trustees, Chairman Oz Gutsche, Kimberley Johnston, Hunter Campbell, Pearl Gallagher, Lisa Eyler, and Susan Borst; three volunteer parent trustees — Robert Glaser, Carla Van Kalsbeek, and Mindy Oliveri; and School Trustee Charlie Silvestri, who is a community education leader.

The Board of Trustees holds the school in trust and has a fiduciary obligation to safeguard the institution and its future well-being. According to the Foundation’s charter, the Board’s primary responsibilities include approving the school’s annual budget and maintaining the authority to hire and fire the Head of School. The Board also assists the school in developing long-term strategies and school policies.

Alexander Dawson Foundation[edit]

The Alexander Dawson Foundation is a 501(c)3 charity based in Paradise, Nevada.[13] The foundation supports two schools, this one officially known as The Alexander Dawson School at RM and The Alexander Dawson School CO.[14]

in 1967, Girard B. Henderson created the foundation. 2007 was the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Alexander Dawson Foundation. Mr. Henderson, a successful entrepreneur and philanthropist, dedicated the Foundation to the field of education and named it in honor of his father, Alexander D. Henderson.

In 1970, the Foundation expanded a summer camp it ran in Ward, Colorado, into a year-round school, located eight miles (13 km) east of Boulder, known as The Alexander Dawson School in Lafayette, Colorado. The school quickly became the premier college prep school in Boulder County. Today, the Colorado Dawson School serves as a sister school to The Alexander Dawson School in Summerlin.


  1. ^ In Business Las Vegas, "The List: Private Schools," March 2009
  2. ^ The Southwest View newspaper, "School to Open This Fall," by Judy DeLoretta, Wednesday, March 22, 2000, pg. 1A, 12A
  3. ^ The Las Vegas Sun newspaper, "Alexander Dawson Accepting Preschool Applications" by Becky Bosshart, Friday, March 6, 2009
  4. ^ a b c d
  5. ^ Spring Valley View newspaper, "Seventh Grader Wins Photography Award," Tuesday, April 29, 8008, p. 9AA.
  6. ^ BLVDs Las Vegas Magazine, issue 14, "Alexander Dawson School Engineers," June/July 2009, p. 50-51.
  7. ^ Summerlin SW Home News, Las Vegas, NV, "Dawson School Tops Math Competition," Feb. 29 – March 6, 2008, p. 5A.
  8. ^ Summerlin Southwest Home News, "Schecter, Dawson form rare partnership" by Ashley Livingston, December 5–11, 2008
  9. ^ Las Vegas Review Journal, "Private schools interest grows," by James Haug, Sunday, May 31, p. 1B & 7B
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Alexander Dawson Foundation". Active Cause. Retrieved 2009-09-05. 
  14. ^ "IRS 2007 Form 990" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-09-05. 

External links[edit]