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Welcome from Kalyan Balaven, Head of School

Dear Dunn Community,

Tony Dunn was an educational entrepreneur. Our school’s motto encompasses both his spirit and the essence of our school, Ne Tentes Aut Perfice. Attempt not, but achieve.

Last year, we surveyed then met with students, pairing them with a curriculum designer to imagine the courses that best prepared them for the world they were entering. The results were program enhancements that have attracted the largest incoming 9th grade class we have seen in a decade. Courses on NFT’s, race car simulation, and sports media alongside expanded entrepreneurship offerings let students envision their lives after school. A robust speech and debate program culminating in a Santa Barbara county wide Martin Luther King Jr. Speech and Debate Tournament at Dunn School is the quintessential example of Dunn’s thought leadership in the world of education. Finally, our phone has been ringing off of the hook ever since our national commercial spot from the Viewpoint documentary went live. 

Throughout the history of our school, Dunn students have been achieving. In fact, many who have achieved have returned to serve the mission that helped them become the people they are. They have returned as trustees, parents, and members of our professional community.

They, like Tony Dunn, are committed to the idea of the whole student, which is about the journey as much as it is about the result. In recent years that journey looked more different than it ever has.

Humanity is attempting to recover from its greatest disruption in the past century, and even still, we are challenged by an increasing anxiety about permutations of the very virus that caused it all.

Here, we've proactively adopted a series of policies and procedures surrounding COVID-19. You can read more about those protocols by visiting the COVID info page at the Dunn website, including answers to a list of Frequently Asked Questions at the bottom.  

Dunn School COVID-19 Safety Plan 2022-2023

This summer, I welcomed new members of Dunn’s professional community, and in early August, our entire group gathered to prepare for students to arrive. Our work together is centered on building community and bolstering communication, so we can create the culture of doing in a world that is attempting to try.

We are actively building a culture of philanthropy and of student wellness and support. We begin the year with a renewed spirit around new faces and returning colleagues entering new roles. The energy is palpable and the morale is high, our community is thriving. 

We are not just trying to do things here, we are achieving them. In this day and age, in order to serve the whole student, you have to serve all students fully. This means going beyond the tips of the icebergs we share with each other and fully including each other. And this means preparation for life not just college.

After all, whole student is the whole point.

Kalyan Balaven
Head of School

Kalyan Balaven

Head of School


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