c/o Commonwealth Circus Center
8 Brookley Rd
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 U.S.A.


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Ayla Gavins

Board Member

Ayla Gavins is an educational leader, an active spokesperson for democratic, inclusive and whole-child practices in schools and communities. She has a special interest in alternative schools and developing inclusive communities.


At 18 Ayla left the small town life of a Pennsylvania suburb and moved to Boston to attend Boston University’s School of Education. Upon graduation she began six years of teaching in two suburbs of Boston, Wayland and Newton. Her teaching career continued in Boston Public Schools where she taught ages 7-14 for 6 years at Mission Hill School. 

Under the guidance of Deborah Meier she received her school administrative license from the Principal Residency Network. She became principal of Mission Hill, a progressive, inclusive and democratic school, in 2006. She has connected with a global audience of educators through presentations, school visitations, conference participation, online presence and writing.


Ayla was introduced to Circus Up through partnership work between Mission Hill School and Commonwealth Circus School. After seeing the work the staff did with students, experiencing elements of circus arts, and learning more about the vision of Circus Up, she was compelled to get more involved in the life of the organization.


Ayla lives in Dorchester with her husband and cat. She loves reading, gardening, making art, Yoga, Crossfit  and general fitness activities.