California Educator

December / January 2017

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 20 of 75

W H E N A S K E D what he likes b e s t a b o u t w h a t h e d o e s , i t t a k e s Jo h n D a l t o n a f e w moments to gather his thoughts, because there are so many things he loves about teaching Digital Filmmaking 1 and 2 at Alameda High School. "I love helping young adults express themselves using video and multimedia technologies. I love helping them tap into their creativity, and helping them explore college and career opportunities. I love igniting a spark in them so they can explore their creative instincts and not be judged. This job makes you feel validated. What could be cooler?" H i s e n t h u s i a s m a n d d e d i c a t i o n earned him the title Alameda Teacher of the Year in 2014-15. At that time, he told local media, "I couldn't feel more e c st ati c, h on ored and humbl ed . It 's unbelievable. It 's really the students that got me here, and this affirms I 'm doing something right by them. My stu- dents have been amazing — and they continue to inspire me." Students are also inspired by Dal- ton . In addition to b eing dedicat ed , charismatic and enthusiastic, he has overcome enormous challenges. When he was a teenager, he came down with a bacterial infection that nearly killed him and required amputation of both legs, his right hand, and his left fingers down to the knuckle. But Dalton never let his physical challenges define him. T h e d o c t o r s w e r e ab l e to cre at e a sp a c e b e tw e e n D a lt o n's f i r st tw o h a n d b o n e s s o h e c o u l d h o l d i t e m s a n d even resume playing the bass guitar. His band is named Angry Amputees (although Dalton is the only one) and has trav- eled th e w orld . O n e of their songs was featured on the soundtrack for the video game Tony Hawk's U n d e r g r o u n d , w h i c h w o n a n M T V V i d e o Mu s i c Aw a r d f o r b e s t soundtrack. e band is now planning a reunion tour. Film became a passion for Dalton. In college he would write short stories in margins and then visualize them as scenes. He took a screenwriting class, and even now, his favorite part of film- making is screenwriting and editing. Dalton started out as a media consul- tant at Alameda High School in 2007, and became a full-time instructor in 2008, teaching T V/media, digital filmmak- ing and multimedia arts, as well as the school's AVID program. Long an advo- cate of career technical education (CTE), he has worked to align his TV/media program with Laney College's film and video classes to create a smooth tran- sition for high school students seeking to fur th er th eir studies. He recently created an advanced digital media film class and has applied for his classes to be "a-g" certified (eligible toward univer- sity admission). Dalton also developed, launched and now manages the public- access television stations NextGen TV Channel 29 for Alameda Unified School District and the city of Alameda. e school community can stay tuned for some exciting changes, says Dalton. "We've had architects look at my class- room over the last week, and using city of Alameda funds matched with state funding, the room will be converted into a public-access TV station managed by the city. My classroom will move next door. And a work experience program will launch for advanced students A Media Master John Dalton inspires students, love of filmmaking By Sherry Posnick-Goodwin Photos by Scott Buschman " I love helping young adults express themselves using video and multimedia technologies. I love igniting a spark in them so they can explore their creative instincts and not be judged." 19 D E C E M B E R 2 017 / J A N U A R Y 2 018 M E M B E R S P O T L I G H T P

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of California Educator - December / January 2017