Degrees and Certifications:

University of Texas at Austin, Bachelor of Journalism Texas teacher certification in journalism, government, speech, biology, and middle school science

Ms. Leslie Sanderson




  • Conference Period: 7:15 am daily

    I am available to meet with parents online by appointment first period. Email me at to schedule a date. 

    Microsoft Teams Tutorials: 

    T-Th 12:30 to 12:50 

    To get assistance, students just need to click the link on the weekly assignments page, and then join the meeting in progress with the camera on. (Do not start a meeeting.)

    Because other students may be in the tutorial meetings, tutorial time is only for students. Students need to have their cameras on so I can see who is in the meeting. Parents will need to contact me for a scheduled meeting during my conference time.

    Tutorials are for face-to-face assistance. Students who do not want to turn their cameras on are free to send me a message in Canvas for assistance if they prefer.  

    Group Meetings

    We will have TEAMS meetings as needed, but usually at least once a week. Always check Canvas daily at the beginning of your class period or sometime after school. If there is an attendance assignment for remote students, it must be done by midnight for you to get credit. Go through ALL of the content posted each day.

    About Me

    As a charter member of the Dawson faculty, I began my teaching career in 2007 when Dawson opened in the building that is now Turner. I have advised every yearbook stafff to date, as well as a few newspaper staffs. I have taught photojournalism since that first year, implementing last year's change from one-semester to full-year course. Some years I teach speech or government, which was my minor in college at the University of Texas, where I majored in journalism and completed my teacher certification. 

    I worked in journalism as a reporter, publication designer, science writer and publisher after college, always with the goal of moving into education later. (Journalism and education are in the family DNA.)

    My husband and I have three daughters, two Dawson graduates and one who is currently a percussionist in the Eagle Band. I hope the common experience of being Eagle parents allows me to help parents navigate the high school years with their students. 

    My Teaching Philosophy

    I see my journalism classroom as a lab for life experience. I expect students to be self-starters. I reward effort, improvement and product. But I also hold students accountable for making bad choices about their use of time and resources. I emphasize soft skills like planning, communicating, critique, leadership, collaboration, and meeting deadlines. While I hope for great photographs, yearbook pages and relationships, I am most interested in the processes students go through. I want them to learn from the process. Sometimes this means letting students make mistakes. I clearly communicate the criteria for assignments and the deadlines. But I won't nag. If they don't finish, follow directions, or meet our standards, that is a natural consequences of their choices. Their grades are natural consequences of their actions in most cases. 

    I believe journalism classes are the perfect place for these lessons. While I hope some of my students will choose journalism careers, most will not. However, if they learn to be responsible, independent, collaborative, creative and innovative workers, that's a WIN. If we all have fun at the same time, that's an even bigger win. 


    I am most responsive to email ( Always feel free to remind me if I don't respond right away. During school picture season, senior ad season, deadlines, when my email volume is high, I sometime miss messages. I try to answer parent emails dealing with instructional issues within 24 hours on school days. If it has been longer than that, feel free to reach out again!