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Meet Our Team Monday: Mrs. Dianna Petty

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This week we welcome Mrs. Dianna Petty, South Dearborn alumna and 2nd grade teacher at Aurora Elementary School, to the Meet Our Team Monday spotlight.

Mrs. Petty attended Dillsboro Elementary School and graduated from South Dearborn High School. She went on to receive her Bachelor of Education degree from Northern Kentucky University and her Master of Education degree from Indiana Wesleyan University.

We asked Mrs. Petty about her time at DES and she said that her elementary school years are treasured memories. “I remember friends, as well as my wonderful teachers. I remember Darla Jacobs as my third grade teacher. She always greeted me, and still does, with a smile. I enjoyed second grade with Marlene Dozier and Sallie Streitenberger. I clearly remember trying to slant my letters correctly in cursive for Mrs. Dozier. I now work alongside Sallie Streitenberger, who is a dear friend. I loved my kindergarten teacher Mrs. Judy Rosengarn.”

Mrs. Petty says that she chose to make her career in education because of her love for children. “I enjoyed spending time with kids and the idea of having my own classroom seemed exciting. I enjoy arts and crafts, so the opportunity to design my classroom and create activities for children appealed to me. I wanted the chance to help students learn and grow. I consider it an honor to have a student in my class. For a year, and sometimes longer, I become a member of that student’s family.”

When we asked Mrs. Petty what she enjoyed most about working at Aurora Elementary School, she said that it is the feeling of being “at home” there. “I work with wonderful friends as my colleagues. I see how hard each teacher works to benefit our students and feel a sense of pride each day I go to work.”

As always, we asked Mrs. Petty what her hopes and goals are for the school year. She answered, “My goal for this school year is to make a difference in the lives of the twenty-two children in my class. I become an integral part of their lives. I dry their tears and teach them how to read, write, and spell. I comfort hurt feelings and teach how to work with numbers. The skills I work on will be with my students for the rest of their lives. I strive to prepare my students the best I can for their future.”

Outside of school, Mrs. Petty enjoys spending time with her husband and four-year-old daughter, Stella. “I enjoy reading to Stella and I read myself each evening. I play co-ed softball and enjoy watching the Cincinnati Bengals. I love to paint with watercolor, and work in my flower gardens.”

Mrs. Petty says that her advice for SDCSC students is, “believe in yourself. Don’t let the words or actions of others limit or control your decisions. If you work hard, care about your work, and show perseverance. You can reach your goals. Be responsible for your actions, be honest, and model good character. Above all else, be kind to others!”

Thank you for sharing with us today, Mrs. Petty!

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Meet Our Team Monday: Ms. Kelsie Shock

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Today we welcome Kelsie Shock, Title I teacher at Aurora Elementary School, to the Meet Our Team Monday spotlight.

Ms. Shock attended Aurora Elementary School, as well as South Dearborn Middle School, before graduating from South Dearborn High School. After graduation Ms. Shock went on to attend Ivy Tech Community College where she obtained her Associate of Science degree in Liberal Arts. She is currently attending Indiana University East where she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She plans to move on to obtain a master’s degree in education in the future.

We asked Ms. Shock if she had a favorite teacher during her time at SDCSC, one that made an impact on her career choices, and she answered, “I would have to say that all of my high school English teachers had an impact on my life at South Dearborn. I had Mr. Nobbe, Mr. Zimmerman, Mr. Kinnet, and Mr. Simms. All four made you work hard and encouraged you to give nothing less than your best. I strive to be as strong of an influence as they were for me.”

When we asked Ms. Shock why she chose to make a career in education, she replied, “Actually I feel as if education chose me, as silly as it sounds. I never expected to be working in a school. I was given the opportunity and I accepted it and now I could not imagine myself doing anything different. There is not one student or coworker that I do not love. I am truly blessed to have been given this opportunity.”

Ms. Shock thoroughly enjoys working at AES as part of the Title I team. “I love working in the Title department. I work side by side with three of the best ladies that I have had the pleasure of knowing. I also get to be there for the moment when something truly clicks with a student for the first time, something that they just could not comprehend in the beginning. Seeing that light turn on for them is incredible. I think personally, what stands out about SDCSC is that everyone is here working as a team, and I believe that resonates with the students.”

We know that all of our teachers go into a new school year with a plan and hopes for their students. Ms. Shock’s hopes for the year are simple. “I truly hope that this school year our students learn how special they are. I want them to realize that they can make a difference, no matter how big or how small, because they are successful - every single one of them.”

Outside of school, you can usually find Ms. Shock studying, doing homework, and spending time with her family. “I have three pets: a cat named Willow, a Puggle named Bruce and a Red Tick Beagle named Wilbur. I really enjoy horseback riding, and I was in 4-H for 9 years growing up, although I haven't gotten to ride in a while. My all time favorite hobby would be reading! I love every genre of literature there is.”

Ms. Shock’s advice for the students of SDCSC is simple: “Believe in yourself, even on the worst day. Some days are always going to be better than others, but every day is worth it because at the end of the tunnel you are going to look back and realize how much you’ve accomplished and all the differences you have made. No matter how big or how small, when you make a difference you will remember it for a lifetime. Keep moving and giving everything your all.”

Thank you so much for sharing with us, Ms. Shock! 

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Alumni Spotlight: Mr. Jeremy Dilts

We are excited to introduce you to Mr. Jeremy Dilts, South Dearborn High School graduate and our Alumni Spotlight profile this week.

Upon graduating from SDHS, Jeremy went on to attend Indiana University Bloomington where he obtained his bachelor’s degree. After IU Bloomington, Jeremy moved on to receive his Juris Doctor degree from Indiana University McKinney School of Law. He now enjoys a successful career as an attorney.

We asked Jeremy how SDCSC might have influenced his career path. He replied, “My career path was not a straight line. I was interested in politics, following the Clinton-Bush election my junior and senior years at SDHS (with ample discussion in classes guided by Harley Heim and Nick Redden). I majored in political science at IU and went to law school to become a professor of constitutional law. Instead, while in law school, a job with a litigation-based law firm fell into my lap. Thereafter, I discovered an interest in the actual practice of law. I do still hope to teach when I retire from my practice.”

Jeremy has three children, two of whom have special needs. As a result, he says that he spends a fair amount of his spare time advocating for people with disabilities, both as a board member of a local not-for-profit organization, and through pro bono advocacy work in court. “I spent a few years on the boards of a few statewide organizations as well. I am also the primary fundraiser and contact point for three charitable endowments (two administered by the Dearborn Community Foundation and one by the Ohio County Community Foundation). It is gratifying work, and I encourage all people, young and old, to get involved with causes that are important.” When it comes to leisure activities, Jeremy says he is an avid music fan and runner, loves to read, and is al “all around sci-fi/comics nerd.”

Because he loves to read, we asked Jeremy to share his favorite books with us. He said, “I love the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. I also love The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Watership Down by Rishard Adams, Tender Is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and The Proud Highway by Hunter S. Thompson. There are SO many great books it would be unfair to call any single one my ‘favorite’.”

When asked what his favorite subjects were while attending SDHS, he answered, “
I don’t specifically recall because I am old. However, I remember that I really enjoyed the English classes taught by Mr. Nicholson, Mr. Sims, and Mr. Kinnett.” He says that his time on the swim team (coached by Rick Zimmerman, and later Beth Wheat) hold special memories for him.

Besides his three children, Jeremy also has a grandson, (to which he adds “Yeah, I am THAT old”), and two dogs, Frodo and Pippin. His sister, Jacqueline, is also a SDHS graduate.

Finally, we asked Jeremy what advice he has for current SDCSC students, to which he replied, “Get involved. Whether it is sports or theater, or music, or art, or politics, or social causes (or all of the above!) just GET INVOLVED. Engage yourself and engage your community. You will be better for it, short and long term, and your community and the community at-large will be better for it. Don’t just talk. Act.”

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us Jeremy! 

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Meet Our Team Monday: Mrs. Samantha Geary

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This week we are excited to welcome Mrs. Samantha Geary, an alumna of SDCSC and first grade teacher at Dillsboro Elementary School, to the Meet Our Team Monday spotlight.

Mrs. Geary attended Manchester Elementary School, South Dearborn Middle School, and graduated from South Dearborn High school before heading to Ball State University to obtain her Bachelor in Science in elementary and special education. This is her third year teaching at DES and she says, “I absolutely love it!”

We asked Mrs. Geary about teachers who may have had an impact on her life. She replied, “I have several teachers that had a large impact on me. Some of my favorite teachers were Miss Luhrsen, Mr. Louden, Mrs. Dole, and Mr. Nobbe. They all challenged me to do my best academically and taught me about the importance of having good character. These teachers influenced my love of learning and helped me to become the person I am today.”

She went on to share that she always enjoyed working with children, and often played school with her younger sister, Savannah, during the summer months. “While in college I decided I wanted a job that made a difference. Teaching made the most sense to me. In what other profession could you touch the lives of so many others?”

Mrs. Geary loves Dillsboro Elementary. She says, “The students are wonderful and put forth great effort in their schooling. My coworkers are fantastic! I love the collaboration and support we give to each other.”

Mrs. Geary has the same goals every school year. She hopes that she can help students love learning. “I hope they remember all of the fun activities we do, and above all else, I hope they know how much I care about them.”

Outside of school, Mrs. Geary enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, as well as their beagle. “We enjoy spending time outdoors, specifically playing tennis and swimming. I absolutely love the beach! I don't care where I go on vacation, as long as there is a beach! I also enjoy scrapbooking and crafting.”

We asked Mrs. Geary what advice she has for SDCSC students and she replied, “Never give up. You can achieve anything you put your mind to, through hard work and perseverance.”

Thank you for sharing with us today, Mrs. Geary!

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