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Staff & Student Spotlight

There are so many wonderful things happening at Southwest High School, and this school year, the Positive School Wide Engagement team wants to recognize our hard work and commitment to our jobs and learning. Each week, one staff member will be highlighted in our Staff Spotlight section. When chosen, that staff member gets to choose a student for our Student Spotlight. Be sure to congratulate our staff and student of the week when you see them around! Let's acknowledge the hard work we do! 

Staff Spotlight Week of 10/17/2016

Dan Ferris, originally from Los Angeles, attended the University of Minnesota and received degrees in English, Education, Speech and Journalism. He has had a million jobs, by his estimate, but it was his time working as both a journalist and substitute teacher that led to his career in education. “Teaching was rampant in both sides of my family,” Dan explained, suggesting a genetic predisposition for his love of the profession that has led to a twenty-six-year career working in schools. As a student, he was a high achiever but not necessarily a rule follower. He describes a tendency towards critical thinking rather than blind obedience as characterizing his own time in high school and years as an adult.

In his free time, Dan likes to stay active and travel. Some of his favorite activities include kayaking, biking, and, more than anything, journeying with his amazing wife, Kristi, and their adorable pug Sammy. As for travel, he has been to many of the continents, but treasures the Island of St. Thomas  as one of his favorite spots (he actually worked as a teacher there). Despite traveling a great deal, he has not yet visited Asia and would like to do so in the future, specifically India and Nepal.

Teaching is still a enthralling experience for Dan, filled with challenges, surprises, and rewards. The biggest challenge, besides having to function as a quasi-effective adult, are completing the avalanche of letters of recommendation, scholarship letters, etc. Dan finds this rewarding, but completely exhausting. As Dan says "It is hard to say no to such a terrific bunch of students, but I am working on it. Something tells me that saying "no" will not be a prominent part of my vocabulary."