Melton retires after 35-year run


Dawn Melton

After 35 years in a schooling environment, she’s finally ready to relax and live her life

Purr: How many years have you been teaching
Dawn Melton: I’ve been in the classroom for 23 years, but I’ve been in education 35 years because I worked in higher education at university level
Purr: When did you decide you wanted to become a teacher?
Dawn Melton: Well, I liked to play school when I was a little girl, made my sister be the student, that was painful. Uh, so I always thought I wanted to be a teacher but I started out as a business major and then my sophomore year I switched to teaching because I do have a love of teaching and helping kids learn, so even though in college I thought I wanted to be a business major I did switch
Purr: How many different subjects have you taught?
Dawn Melton: My first teaching job was sociology, psychology, pacific northwest history, English, speech, research and writing, senior success, and freshmen success, a total of 8 different subjects.
Purr: Was there ever a time where you felt like you wanted to stop teaching?
Dawn Melton: I think that’s a yes in any career, there’s always low points, I’d say not one specific time but when I was a teacher for 7 years, then I was in a university setting for 9 or 10 years, something like that, and then I came here since. I never thought I was gonna come back to teaching, when I did come back there were times when kids wouldn’t work and you really see the potential, and they don’t do their work. I think that’s the hardest part.
Purr: Did you ever feel like teaching wasn’t for you?
Dawn Melton: Actually so yeah, when I went to college, I got my bachelors degree and I didn’t go into teaching right away because I was, you know 22 or 23 and I just felt like, I don’t know if I really wanna do this, so that’s when I went out to WSU and got my masters in Adult Continuing Education and worked at the college level at that time, at WSU. Then later getting my masters degree for that 3 years and working at the college level, I decided I wanted to give teaching a try and I was really glad I did and that was the first 7 years
Purr: What do you plan to do with your retirement?
Dawn Melton: Oh, man. All the things I haven’t had the time to do while working full time. Well I wanna get better at golf, more travel, spending time with my family, more reading, I like to garden and things like that. I actually have a little part time job being director of ministry at our church to help them coordinate those things, and that’s exciting for me.
Purr: Where did you start off teaching at?
Dawn Melton: Up in Newport, Washington was my first job, right after I got out of graduate school.