March Alumni Connection

 In Alumni News, General News, Vanguard Blog

Shana Johnston Ravnsborg – Bryn Mawr and Warton Graduate

When planning a career path, it’s easy to think of a straight line from high school to college to a dream job. But as Shana (Johnston) Ravnsborg can attest, that journey is more likely going to be filled with twists and turns.

After graduating from Vanguard in 1992, Shana attended Bryn Mawr College where she received her BA in Economics, completing the four-year degree in just three years.

She spent several years working in corporate finance before returning to school, earning her MBA in Operations and Information Management from the University of Pennsylvania – The Wharton School.

It was at that point that her career took on a more technical flavor, which she now recognizes began at Vanguard. “While I didn’t realize it at the time, I think the small classes in science and math were probably crucial to my staying involved in technology and math,” Shana said. “I’ve had jobs over the last few years that heavily relied on physics and advanced math, which I never would have guessed when I graduated. However, I had a strong foundation from Vanguard that I could leverage at work.”

Shana is currently the Director of Operations at R2Sonic, an underwater sonar manufacturing company in Austin. She is also a consultant for EdTech Action, a group working to establish an education technology incubator in Central Texas.

“I’ve enjoyed being so close to technology because there is always more to learn, and it’s always changing,” she said. “It’s also a lot more fun to try to figure out how to help your company to grow quickly than to figure out how to lay people off because the company is shrinking.”

But STEM is not the only area where Shana feels she got an edge from Vanguard. And she has fond memories of several teachers. “I have to thank Carol Davis for helping me to develop my writing. I never would have made it through my freshman English class at Bryn Mawr without her having pushed me at Vanguard,” she said. “And, Ed Knipper was also a favorite since he was such a character!”

Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 2.22.58 PMShana and her husband, Kevin, have two boys who are not quite Vanguard-age, Dylan is 9 and Brody is 7, but she has some advice for students who are currently attending.  “Find topics that interest you and keep learning,” she said. “Careers – and lives – take paths that we never expected, and I think it’s important to stay open to that. Sometimes the path least expected is the most interesting. Try to remember that when things don’t go how you want or expected.”

Vanguard Bay Area Alumni Hour was Great!  

A small contingency of teachers and staff recently attended a three-day National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) conference in San Francisco. They studied innovative trends in education, how to effectively incorporate technology into the classroom, and methods to bolster the various support systems that the highest quality independent schools require. We are very excited about the information they have gathered and brought back to our school. Investing in our faculty is crucial, as it directly benefits our students. We have already implemented much of what our faculty and staff learned at this conference, and look forward to reaping the benefits of their sharpened skills and knowledge. Vanguard is the only Waco Private School in the esteemed NAIS.

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