By CATHY MOUNCE
Register Staff Writer
For new Robert E. Lee Intermediate School principal Dee Dosher, her journey to Gainesville and education leadership began with a dream to make a difference in the world. With the new school year that started Aug. 26, Dosher is excited to continue that pursuit with the fourth and fifth graders of the Gainesville Independent School District (GISD).
Born in DeQueen, Ark., Dosher did not always aspire to be an educator and originally followed an older brother’s success in business.
“My mother taught music in school and as a family we had many friends and acquaintances who were teachers,” she said. “They all encouraged me to become a teacher but I had always looked up to my brother and thought business was the direction I needed to go.”
Graduating from Baylor University with a bachelor of arts in business which included core classes in business and English, Dosher originally thought she would go into public relations or corporate training.
However, following graduation Dosher ventured into an executive internship at Dillards Department store chain where she became involved with many aspects of the company including merchandising.
“An epiphany occurred as I was sorting out sweaters,” she laughed. “I knew that sorting sweaters was not how I was going to change the world so I chose to do what I was always encouraged to do and that was to teach.”
As an English teacher in the Waco area for ten years, Dosher taught various ages from grades 7-12.
Determined to further her education, she continued her studies at Baylor and received her master’s in curriculum leadership and also obtained a principal certification from Region 12.
Regarding her first year in Gainesville, Dosher hopes to get more parents involved with school activities but realizes work schedules can sometimes prohibit parents from attending different functions. She is looking at other ways that parents can help out.
“We have a soccer goal post that could really use some welding,” she said. “How proud would a student be to say that their father fixed the goal post for the school. There are lots or resources to help our kids that we can expound on. We just need to communicate what our needs are and look outside the box for answers.”
“With superintendent Brasher and assistant superintendent Maudlin, we have great leadership and the future for the GISD is very bright.”
How to better serve students is something that Dosher works on every day. She believes that kids need to learn the meaning of words with an emphasis on verbs to better understand how to respond properly on tests and other situations.
She said, “If a child does not understand what the word ‘describe’ means, how can they know what is expected of them on a test when asked to ‘describe something’?”
“Our goal is to make sure our kids know what is asked of them and to have the tools to be successful. We want them to be great in academic language so that greater understanding leads to better grades and overall success.”
Dosher believes that learning can be fun and wants to instill in her students a love for school and says that her hope is to provide an equal playing field for all of her kids at Lee. Intolerance of any kind is not part of her realm of thinking.
“I am only human and don’t have all the answers,” she said. “But I know that by working together we can find a solution. We have great teachers here and I am here to support them 100 percent. I look for the positive side in any situation.”
Besides her school children Dosher has three daughters of her own: Whitney, 9, attends Lee, Landry, 12, attends Gainesville Middle School and Erin, 18, attends the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.
“My girls are the most important part of life for me,” she said. “But I have about 475 other kids this year who I also consider my own.”
“When she was a teacher, my mother always told me that it was her philosophy to make sure that every child in her class felt special and important,” she continued. “Growing up my dad always told me that some how he would always find a way to pay for my education or to support me in what ever direction I chose to go.”
The legacy of her supportive upbringing, strength of character and compassion for others bodes well for students at Robert E. Lee Intermediate this year. Along with the dedicated Lee teachers, Dosher plans to give all of her kids the support they need and complacency will not be part of her vocabulary.
Although her initial career direction may have altered, Dosher has remained consistent to her original goal of making a difference in the world. She is just doing it one child at a time.