Dayton ISD leaders discuss growth during Rotary Club speech

Dayton High School Principal Geoff McCracken told Rotary Club members: “We are blessed to have great teachers-leaders at DHS in all of our programs. In conclusion, the foundations laid by Mr. Travis Young (former DHS principal) and the continuity of Dr. Jessica Johnson as superintendent has allowed Dayton High School to grow and meet the needs of our students. We sure do have a bunch of great kids and it is an honor for me to serve as their principal.”

While the student population is much smaller than Cleveland ISD, Dayton ISD is still seeing a significant amount of growth year over year. Currently the high school has 1,634 students, more than 100 teachers and nearly 150 staff members when clerical staff, paraprofessionals, custodians and maintenance staff are included.

Dayton High School Principal Geoff McCracken, as the guest speaker for a recent Dayton Rotary Club luncheon, shared those figures, adding, “In two years, we anticipate our student population to be over 1900 students, and that is just with the students who are currently enrolled in DISD. It is not accounting for the growth that is coming.  We are growing and the opportunities we provide our students are growing as well.”

McCracken shared that Dayton High School students can get up to 43 hours of dual academic college credit without ever leaving the DHS campus

“In addition to dual credit, we offer 12 Advanced Placement classes where students can earn college credit by taking the course and passing the AP test.  In addition, this year we have also adjusted our curriculum to help our students be successful on the Texas Success Initiative Assessment (TSIA), which is the College Entrance Exam for Texas Public Institutions of higher education,”  McCracken said.

Career pathways and exploration is another vital part of all comprehensive high schools. 

“At DHS we offer many different CTE classes that can help prepare students for a career.  In partnership with Lee College, we offer technical Dual Credit Classes.  These dual credit classes include Process Technology, electrical, welding, cosmetology and next year we are going to try to add offerings of a Cyber Security program and Logistics program. Dayton High School also offers 4-year pathways in welding, construction, culinary arts, business, audio video, automotive, education and agricultural classes all taught by DHS staff members.  Students in many of these programs have the opportunity to take an Industry-Based Certification Exam or a Level 1/Level 2 certification that will allow them to enter the workforce with prerequisite training and higher paying entry positions,” McCracken said.

Other interesting facts that the DHS administrator covered with the Rotarians included:

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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