UNION COUNTY — Travis Dalton is the Union County Career and Technology Center’s Teacher of the Year
One of the things that drive Dalton is the opportunity to make positive changes in the community. Ever since he started teaching at Union County High School in 2008, he has consistently encouraged his students to challenge themselves and strive to be successful. Whether it is through teaching them business and computer skills or teaching them life lessons, Travis continually motivates his students to become better people.
“I’m a firm believer in leading by example,” Dalton said. “If you want your students to do the right thing, then you must show them a good example every day.”
Dalton also believes in making his students feel cared about while using tough love at the same time; his students know he cares about them as a person and their future success but also believes in holding people accountable.
“We cannot pick and choose who we feel gets special treatment; all students need to know that we care about them and what’s best for them,” Dalton said. “We also need to teach them how to follow rules and why they are important.”
Shania, a previous student, mentioned, “Mr. Dalton’s way of teaching encourages us, as students, to be confident and to think creatively and positively!”
Dalton has also played a critical part in changing how students choose their computer science credit in order to graduate. In previous years, students would have just a few options. But starting this year, students could choose from a variety of courses including Digital Media Marketing, Digital Multimedia and Integrated Business Applications.
“We are trying to expand what we offer to better suit the needs and interests of our students,” he said.
These courses are the building blocks for other courses which help build skills that can lead into careers.
Along with his everyday duties of being a high school business and technology teacher, Dalton is a department chair; is an adviser for FBLA; is working on his National Board Certification; is completing his administration degree; is a 2013-2014 High Impact Teacher Fellow working with Wofford College to create new curriculum for existing and new courses; and is an adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina at Union.
“In addition to performing a valuable service in teaching the dual-enrollment high school classes, he has enabled the university to expand its offerings for the bachelor’s degree programs offered through USC’s Palmetto College,” said USC Union Academic Dean Dr. Stephen Lowe.
At USC Union, Dalton teaches computer science and management courses which are a part of the bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership.
“I see several students every year from the high school go to USC Union to continue their education,” Dalton said. “I want my students to be prepared wherever they go, but if I’m going to get them again I definitely want them to be prepared.”
Kevin Morrow, director of the Union County Career and Technology Center had this to say:
“Travis works hard to find different ways to reach students whether it is directly or indirectly. He has a passion for making changes that create better opportunities for students and their future. He is always willing to stay after school or come in early to help students catch-up or understand the material a little better and he regularly participates in professional development. Just this past year he participated in the Alice workshops at Columbia College and Duke University and the AP Computer Science course at the University of South Carolina. Whatever he does professionally is ultimately to make students better and that’s his main motivation; to give the students of Union County a glimpse of what is possible through hard work, dedication, love and passion.“