Dr. Dal Tomlinson, a history teacher at Dixon High School, was recognized as the overall North Carolina Veterans of Foreign War 5th District Teacher of the Year. Tomlinson joined three other Dixon area colleagues in being recognized by the VFW.
Tomlinson has been teaching in Onslow County since 1997 and spent 15 years at DHS.
“First of all let me tell you that it is a great honor to get the award,” said Tomlinson. “I am on the front line of education and I do feel a sincere pride in committing my time and energy to ‘giving back’ to society. Receiving recognition from the VFW, a group who spent real time in the trenches and the front line, has a much deeper and emotional meaning than awards from other organizations.”
Walter Zabicki of VFW Post 9983 said Tomlinson was notable for his work with student groups, which help students better understand and appreciate democracy.
“He has run the program for the past four years,” said Zabicki. “A couple years ago, 30 to 50 kids wrote their essays even while they dealt with Hurricane Florence.”
Tomlinson noted the struggles military dependents can face as students.
“My students and athletes may have one or both parents deployed during part of their high school career, and it humbles me to think that I may be able to help positively guide, advise and mentor those students during the deployment,” Tomlinson said.
Tomlinson also noted the commitment and resilience of dependents.
“Serving as an educator in our military community has exposed the commitment to service that the spouses and children also have,” Tomlinson said. “I truly feel that our service members are heroes, but the children and spouses who must manage the logistics, the politics and the emotions of the deployments are also heroes.”