By Collin Brooks
Daniel Boone math teacher Curtis Dishner, who is celebrating his 10th year as a teacher at his alma mater, still said that he is learning something new everyday.
“The students keep me on my toes,” he said. “They challenge me as an educator and they help me build on material and instructional strategies. I feel like I’m a better teacher for teaching these kids.”
Dishner, who teaches a majority of the advanced math courses at the high school, earned the Washington County Teacher of the Year for the high school grades and said it was because of his students and peers that he was able to achieve the honor.
“I was humbled and honored when I first heard the news,” he said. “I was a little shocked, but I am certainly honored and humbled to receive the award.”
Dishner taught for two years at Northeast State Community College before he returned to Boone. He graduated salutatorian from Daniel Boone in 2000 and never thought that he would find himself teaching in a high school classroom.
“I didn’t think I’d be teaching at Daniel Boone, but it is certainly an honor,” he said. “It’s a little bit intimidating too, teaching with teachers that I had at one point. But I have certainly learned a lot over the years and it’s been nice to be able to collaborate with those teachers over the years and they have had a great hand in any success that I have had.”
While he is aware that he may not be a student-favorite due to the rigorous instruction in his classroom, he said he gets a good feeling when one of his former students has success at the next level.
“It’s great to see students going through and having a lot of success and them coming back and saying (college) is a breeze because they had the foundation in high school,” Dishner said.
Dishner can credit his teaching career to former teachers greatly influenced him, like Gary Stafford and Judy White.
“Gary Stafford was a great influence to me,” Dishner said. “He was quite rigorous but he taught it in a way that intrigued my interest in the subject.”
Stafford was teaching the same classes that Dishner now teaches and he called it an honor to try and fill Stafford’s shoes.
“I’m certainly honored to be able to practice these skills on a daily basis and it is something that I truly love,” Dishner said. “Seeing students’ success has really helped me to maintain my interest in education and helping others.”