• What is a Portrait of an Eagle?

    Portrait of an Eagle is a 21st-century, deeper-learning vision for every student who attends Nixa Public Schools, birth through adulthood. It is our North Star that we promise each student will leave Nixa Schools with the skills and competencies defined in our Portrait of an Eagle. It is our guiding light when making district decisions, including our Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (CSIP), professional learning, curriculum, and activities. Our Portrait of an Eagle is our hopes, dreams, and aspirations for our students, and through our CSIP, we will make those dreams a reality.

    Our Journey

    To ensure our portrait was not just a piece an unused document, we chose to go through a comprehensive process similar to our CSIP when developing our Portrait of an Eagle. We worked with Battelle for Kids, a national not-for-profit organization committed to collaborating with school systems and communities to realize the power and promise of 21st-century learning. In the fall of 2022, we assembled a design team consisting of a diverse group of community members, families, students, and educators. In all, our design team consisted of around 70-80 members, with one-third being students. Our design team was driven by our leadership team, which was made up of building and district leadership.

    Design Team Meetings

    The design team met to examine how the world has changed and the implications of these changes for our students, discuss the competencies students need to thrive today and tomorrow, and identify the competencies that should be part of Nixa’s vision for our community's portrait. The design team also discussed how to make our locally-developed, globally-positioned Portrait of an Eagle a reality for each student. 

    Student Voice

    One-third of our design team was made up of Nixa students, third grade through senior year, from varied schools and perspectives. These students participated in each meeting by sharing their own hopes and dreams for their future and connecting their own experiences to the work. Students were also the driving force of the graphic design process. They worked with a local graphic designer by capturing the design team’s vision on paper. This design is now used for posters, t-shirts, and other Portrait of an Eagle branding.


    The design team started with 35-40 areas and landed on five areas to focus on through their work. After the final five areas were selected, the design team and leadership team determined how Nixa would define them and how they would be demonstrated by Nixa students.

  • We Are Empathetic

  • We Are Confident

  • We Are Adaptable

  • We Are Effective Communicators

  • We Are Critical Thinkers

What’s Next? Our Community!

  • The next part is sharing this information in the buildings and throughout the community. Are you interested in being a Portrait of an Eagle ambassador? We invite all community members who want to invest in the students’ futures to become Portrait of an Eagle ambassadors. If interested, please reach out to Dr. Ashley Copley at ashleycopley@nixaschools.net to be considered for a spot on the ambassador team.