Superintendent Speaks at Cockeysville Middle Career Day


There was a special visitor at Cockeysville Middle School’s Career Day last week, but it was a familiar face to students: Superintendent Dallas Dance spoke to the school’s Grade 6 students about his role in the system, how he got to where is today, and his advice for them in planning their own careers. Read on for a sampling of the questions and answers from the event:

Did you always want to be a superintendent? That’s a great question! No, I didn’t—I actually wanted to be a lawyer when I was growing up. When I was in college I took a job tutoring and found that I really enjoyed teaching and helping other people learn. So after college I got a job as a teacher and planned to go back to law school, but then I was promoted to assistant principal and never looked back. Becoming superintendent was never something I specifically set out to do, but it resulted from my work in schools and wanting to help more and more students.

How did you get to be so successful? My grandmother always told me that you have two ears and one mouth for a reason; you should listen more than you talk! I’ve tried to make it a point to listen and to learn as much as I can from those around me, and then use those lessons to improve. I’ve also had some great mentors that have helped me get where I am.

If you weren’t superintendent what would you be? If I weren’t superintendent I’d still be a teacher. I taught high school English for several years and I always say if I wasn’t doing this I’d be back in the classroom.

What is it like to be responsible for so many students? You know, I think it really hit me as I’ve gone to graduations this spring. I shake graduates’ hands as they cross the stage, and as you see the students in their caps and gowns, ready to go out into the world you really feel the weight of the responsibility. But whenever I have to make hard decisions I think about my own son, Myles, and I ask myself what decision I would want for him. If I’m making the same decisions for all of our students that I’d make for him, then I know I’m on the right track.

What’s your favorite part of being superintendent? It’s coming to events like today where I get to talk with students. You are the reason we’re all here. Talking with you all and seeing you learning makes me remember the reason I’m here and the reason I work so hard.

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