News and Information from Mr. Dawson
Welcome to Mr. Dawson's Information page. Please check back often to find out what's going on at Stratford!
Hello! Thanks for taking the time to learn a little more about me!
I earned my Bachelor's of Science degree in Music Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2006 and was a reicipient of the Unsung Hero Award and Alexis P. Young Award for Music Education. Upon graduation, I served as the interim band director at Old Orchard Junior High School in Skokie, IL before accepting a full-time position at The Joseph Sears School in Kenilworth, IL. At Sears School, my bands performed at various festivals and venues, but the one that I will remember the most is performing on stage at Orchestra Hall in downtown Chicago, the home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. It was AMAZING and a dream come true! While at Sears, I also had the honor of being awarded the Outstanding Music Educator Award by the Music Institute of Chicago. About my fourth year in, my Superintendent, Dr. Kelley Kalinich, encouraged me to consider administration as a potential career path and it's history from there! I went on to earn my Masters in School Leadership from Concordia University-Chicago and then was hired as an assistant principal at Stratford Middle School, a position I held for two years until being named Principal of Stratford Middle School in 2015.
What else is important to know?
I am a HUGE foodie, a baseball fan (I root for the Cubs but care more about my fantasy team), a music lover (DUH!) and I enjoy adventures and travelling.
I am married to my wife Christina and we have two children, Marly and Henry.
What do you love about your job?
First off, I LOVED teaching music. I loved being able to share my passion for music with kids and seeing the "spark" within them. It was AWESOME! When I made the decision to go into administration, I realized that as much as I enjoyed music, I really enjoyed positive relationships with students MORE. Since then, I've made it a goal to get to know the students at Stratford and form positive relationships with them because THEY'RE WHY I'M HERE! We have TOP NOTCH kids at Stratford and I'm honored to serve them, their parents, and the staff.