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Danville Independent Schools

Ernest Dunn and family
  • Danville Alumni Stories
Ernest Dunn and family


Several of the Danville Independent School District's leaders are alumni of the district, including Ernest Dunn, director of transportation and facilities. The 1998 Danville High School graduate played football, basketball and baseball while in high school. It's his 19th year working in education, all with the DISD. His wife, Karin Dunn, is also a product of Danville Schools. Keep reading to learn more about him and his Danville Schools story. 

Tell us about your Danville Schools journey. What school(s) did you attend, and what’s a highlight that stands out to you?

I attended Jennie Rogers for kindergarten and first grade. I went to Hogsett for  second through fifth, then on to Bate and DHS.

A highlight that stood out to me is that Danville, while it is a small community, is very diverse. Athletics was a big part of my time at Danville. I grew up wanting to be an Admiral. On Friday nights, I was trying to figure out a way to get to the game no matter where it was being played. Another highlight that stood out was that every teacher expected us to be successful.  

What aspects of your Danville Schools education helped mold you into the person you are today?

My experience in Danville Schools has been incredibly rewarding, especially when it comes to the relationships I've formed over the years. One aspect that stands out to me is the close-knit community within my classes. From the moment I stepped into the classroom, I felt a sense of belonging and connection with my classmates. It wasn't just about being classmates; we were all friends. I was fortunate to be surrounded by teammates and friends who had the drive to be successful. I wanted to do well because everyone that was around me was working hard to do well.  

Beyond my classmates, I also had the opportunity to build strong relationships with my teachers, school staff and coaches. They played pivotal roles in shaping my educational journey and personal growth. One classmate who had the biggest influence on me was my cousin Brooke Dunn. I saw how hard she worked and how dedicated she was to academics, and it made me have to try to keep up with her and all of her accomplishments. Also, if her grade was a whole lot better than mine, our Grandmother would give me a hard time about it. That only happened once!

The support and encouragement I received from my teachers and coaches not only helped me excel academically and athletically but also taught me valuable life lessons that extend beyond the classroom and sports field.

When you think back on your Danville Schools experience, are there specific instances or relationships that stand out to you as having had a significant impact on your success since graduating?

To go along with the support system that I had at home, the support system that I had in the buildings was top-notch. I had so many great teachers and coaches as a student at Danville Schools. Many graduates like myself got to have one of those special Bobby Trumbo "fireside chats" when we needed to get back on track. I know he cared about me and was one of my biggest supporters, and he still is.  

I have been very fortunate to be able to become a colleague of some of my former teachers and coaches. Some of the relationships that stand out from my experience with Danville Schools are my third-grade teacher at Hogsett, Ms. Edmiston, and Mrs. Orberson, who was my fourth-grade teacher.  At Bate, it was Cecille Napier, Tom Riley, Kaye Floyd, Pat Royalty, Cathy Harris; my coaches in football: Kenny Young, Kelvin Turner, Joey Kirk, and Kevin Caudill; along with Richie Lyons, who coached me in basketball. Once I got to high school, it was Nellie McKnight, Patrica Calvert, Patty Boyd, along with Coaches Sam Harp, Jerry Perry, and Ed McKinney. Don Marston would teach me to pay attention to detail. 

As a product of Danville Schools, what advice would you give to a parent who was choosing an education path for their child?

Whether it's in the classroom, on the playing field, or in extracurricular activities, students are encouraged to explore their interests and talents while developing crucial life skills such as critical thinking, communication and collaboration. Encourage their children to push themselves and get out of their comfort zone. The more involved and supported students and parents are in their education, the greater the outcomes will be.  

What truly sets Danville Schools apart is the emphasis on each student's individuality and voice. Every child is seen, heard and valued by all stakeholders within the school community. Whether it's teachers, administrators or support staff, there is a genuine dedication to understanding and meeting the unique needs of every student.

As a product of Danville Schools, what drives you to give back to your local school and/or district?

When Bob Rowland called me out of the blue and asked if I was interested in getting into education, I immediately said yes. I wanted to work in a school system that had students who looked like me and had a positive influence on their lives, like those who came before me.   

This piece is part of an ongoing series telling the stories of our Danville Alumni! We share a new alumni story once a month, and we want YOUR story. If you or someone you know is a Danville graduate and an excellent representative of the Danville community and the idea of #SuccessForALL, whether they live in Danville or not, please fill out the form linked below. You can also show your Danville Alumni pride on social media with the hashtag #DanvilleAlumniStories

Alumni Stories Submission Form

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