Staff Spotlight - Ms. Olivia Dowd

Ms. Olivia Dowd

Staff Spotlight
January 13, 2021

In this week's staff spotlight,  we feature Olivia Dowd.  Ms. Dowd is one of our music teachers. 

Share something interesting about you. 

I am a huge gear head! I love cars, I love fixing mechanical issues and finding the perfect tool for a job.

What is your teaching philosophy?

Every recorded civilization in history has had a record of music; to be musical is to be human. Music has a certain amount of stigma--lots of people think they're "bad at music" or "can't sing." Singing is just like talking! If you can talk and use inflection, you can sing, you just need practice. Learning music is important, learning how to learn is important, learning to look out for others is important. But more than anything, the North Star of my classroom is that every student is loved, every student is inherently worthy, and every student belongs. Everything else is just a bonus :).

What makes working at Ravensworth so great? 

As cliche as it may sound, it's the people. Teresa Dunbar helps me keep my plants alive; Jenn Anjos is my big sister; Kaitlin Fegan is my better half; Betty Morgan is the left half of my brain, Sheryl Hall is the right; and at EVERY turn, there is someone there to help you. Need help writing an email? Ask Virginia Braser. Want to solve a riddle? Call Joe McGuire! Do you need some ridiculously artistic and sophisticated PowerPoint? Erika Peterson has seven. I started working here right out of college in 2018. I remember during Back-to-School night, a family came up to me (Rodriguez family, Max and Maya are their kids), and despite my nerves, they assured me that no matter what, I knew more than the kids and they could tell I cared, so I'd be fine! I love how supportive the parents and the community are of teachers and of musical events. And our students are some of the kindest kids around, I'm convinced of it. When my lesson isn't going well and I ask for a do-over, every student without fail says, "Of course, Ms. Dowd!" I am so lucky and so grateful to be a teacher at Ravensworth.

Favorite Inspirational Quote

There are so many! I have synesthesia, which means that I can feel and taste words. I can't pick one, so here's a couple: " In books lie the the soul of the whole past time." ""Art is long and time is fleeting." "Behold, the bright countenance of truth in the quiet and still air of delightful studies." "Just say yes to the whole catastrophe." "When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world: 'No, YOU move.' ” (Originally a Mark Twain quote, adapted for Captain America: Civil War)


Hanging out with my cat, Lemon. Reading! I read about twenty books over winter break. Going to the gym or doing hot yoga. Playing the clarinet!