Staff Spotlight: Mr. Dulac


Linda Lazareanu, Photographer

Richard Dulac, a cherished member of the DHS staff, is retiring as the 2017- 2018 school year comes to an end. Although everyone is sad to see him leave, we all wish him the best as he begins his retirement!


Q~ What is your favorite thing about working at Dakota? (Linda Lazareanu)

A~ My favorite thing about working at DHS has always been the dedicated staff. From the time Dakota opened, the goal of staff has been to provide students with a challenging yet nurturing learning environment, and staff has been consistent in providing this for the Dakota community. (Richard Dulac)


Q~  Any advice for students as they are about to begin another school year. (L.L.)

A~ Enjoy high school, but take school seriously. High school is the time when young people can develop some of the most basic work habits. Knowledge is important for some things, but work habits are skills that take time to develop. A lot of my students believe that they can flip a switch and turn on these skills as any time. Most of the time that won’t work. Skills take practice. So I would advise students to focus on developing those skills which they will hone and be able to use their entire lives. (R.D.)


Q~ Favorite memory from DHS? (L.L.)

A~ My favorite memory of DHS was when we were a small school. Believe it or not, there was a time when we only used the first floor at the main building and there was not a Freshman Center. That small community was wonderful and as a teacher you got to know literally all of the students. (R.D.)


Q~ How long have you worked at Dakota? As a teacher in general? (L.L.)

A~ I’ve been at DHs since it opened. I was one of the group of teachers who was selected from staff at CVHS to move to Dakota. I’ve spent all of my 33 years as a teacher either at CVHS (10 years), and Dakota (23 years). (R.D.)


Q~ Something that you’ve learned about teaching or from teaching over the years? (L.L.)

A~ Teaching is about relevance. I can teach anything in the world, but if my students do not see it as relevant to their futures, they won’t be receptive. (R.D.)


Q~ What was your first job? (L.L.)

A~Not sure if you mean first professional job, first teaching job (I noted that above) or first job ever in my life. My first professional job was as a journalist. I worked as a newspaper reporter, editor, page designer and photographer for two years before going into teaching. My first job ever was working as an usher in a movie theater. (R.D.)


Q~ Something you wish you could have done more in your class? (L.L.)

A~ For my senior students, I wish English 12 had been a class where I could do more to prepare my students for real world experiences. To me, senior year should have a focus on making decisions for the future whether that be college, work or specialized training. I do not think we do enough of that with students in their senior year. Too many students leave high school with little sense of a specific direction and how to get to their goals. (R.D.)


Q~ If you could meet anybody (who has passed away or still alive today) who would you meet and why? (L.L.)

A~ I would like to meet the historical Jesus. There is so much we don’t know about the man, I think it would be fantastic to speak with him about the real story of his life. I know what religion tells us, but I want to know the man. (R.D.)


Q~ Something that you’ve always wanted to do but were never able to do? (L.L.)

A~ I tend to be pretty satisfied with my life. If I really want to do something, I will do it. So I don’t think I have any regrets about not doing something. (R.D.)


Q~ Are you married/ have kids/ have any pets? (L.L.)

A~ I am married, I have two kids ages 25 and 31. No pets now. (R.D.)


Q~ Do you run any clubs, sports, programs, etc.? (Can be here at DHS or outside of the school) (L.L.)

A~ I have advised a number of publications during my career. I was hired to advise the school newspaper which I did both at CVHS and Dakota for many years. I have also advised the yearbook for the first two years when Dakota opened, and I also advised the literary magazine for a couple years at Chippewa. (R.D.)


Q~ Something you feel deserves more recognition and why you feel that way? (L.L.)

A~ As a former journalist, I have always thought that the school newspaper has not gotten the attention it deserves. Students who work for the school paper are not only developing important communication skills, but they are also doing a service to the school and community by reporting on people and events with the school. As such, the school paper is a constant reminder of the role of the first amendment in our democracy. It has never gotten the attention it deserves, and the students who work hard to do the reporting deserve more attention. (R.D.)


Q~ Any plans for when your retirement begins at the end of this school year? (L.L.)

A~ When I retire from teaching, I do not plan on literally retiring. I just won’t be teaching. I might work in construction (I worked as an electrician in my younger days) or find other ways to contribute, but I won’t be just sitting around. I will be moving to the Traverse City area, so I hope to find work outside of education there. (R.D.)


Q~ What do you feel sets DHS apart from other schools? (L.L.)

A~ As a teacher who opened Dakota, I have always felt that the staff sets us apart from other schools. DHS staff have always been committed to putting the needs of students first, being innovative in instruction, and creating a strong community within our school. It has been a wonderful place to work. (R.D.)


Q~ What college(s) did you attend and what for? (L.L.)

A~ For my undergraduate studies, I attended CMU and got a BA in English, and a BAA in journalism. I then earned a Master’s degree in education from Saginaw Valley State University. (R.D.)


Q~ Something that you worried a lot about in the past but can now see was really not worth stressing so much over? (L.L.)

A~ I am not a “worrier” in general, so I don’t think I can come up with something that I have been overly worried about. (R.D.)


Q~ What is your least favorite thing about working that you won’t miss once you go into retirement? (L.L.)

A~ My least favorite thing about teaching – especially as an English teacher – is the paperwork load. Teaching writing is very time consuming because one has to carefully read each student’s work. It takes a lot of time to do that well. I am glad that part of my work life is over. (R.D.)


Q~ What is your favorite thing about working that you’ll miss once you retire? (L.L.)

A~ I love two things about teaching that I will miss: (1) Interacting with students who have a tendency to keep me “young,” and (2) interacting with my friends on staff and I will miss that tremendously. (R.D.)


Q~ What do you enjoy doing outside of school? (L.L.)

A~ I enjoy hunting, fishing and even doing construction work. I guess doing things with my hands is in my blood. (R.D.)


Q~ What inspired you to become a teacher? (L.L.)

A~ I love reading and writing. I love showing others how to do it. What other job includes both? (R.D.)


Q~ Someplace that you always wanted to visit or have visited and loved? Why? (L.L.)

A~ For some reason, I love the mountains. I have been to the Rockies once and found the mountains to be amazing: both beautiful and deadly at the same time. Mountain ranges are so grand one can’t help be awed by them. At the same time, they are not to be taken lightly. Weather and animals must be taken into account if one wishes to survive their time in the mountains. (R.D.)


Q~ Something about you that most people don’t know? (L.L.)

A~ I was a guitar player and singer in a rock and roll band between 2008 and 2013. We played gigs in the metro area until our drummer died of cancer. (R.D.)


Q~ Favorite season of the year? (L.L.)

A~ Definitely the fall. I love the crisp weather and the beauty of fall colors. (R.D.)


Q~ Favorite author, philosopher or anyone like that and why? (L.L.)

A~ I am not a favorites type of person. But I will say that I read and respect many of the leaders of our past and present like Jesus, Gandhi, MLK, Bobby Kennedy and the like. These are people who spoke truth to power and had the best interests of humanity at heart and in mind when they spoke. (R.D.)


Q~ Favorite book and why? (L.L.)

A~ My favorite book is the one I am reading at any given moment. Currently it is the non-fiction book A Higher Loyalty by James Comey. (R.D.)


Q~ Favorite word and why? (L.L.)

A~ This is an interesting question. I have never thought about a favorite word. (so that’s a good question!) I’m not sure I can nail down one favorite word, but if I can use a category of words, I would say that my favorite words are words like “tell me about” or “I understand” or “I hear you.” Those are words which open us up to other ideas and help us to avoid closing our minds to ideas that are not familiar to us. (R.D.)


Q~ Favorite movie and why? (L.L.)

A~ I am a sci-fi fan. I also like action/adventure movies. No specific favorites, though. (R.D.)


Q~ Favorite food and/ or restaurant? (L.L.)

A~ No real favorites. I like variety and trying new things. (R.D.)


Q~ Last book you read? Last movie you watched? What you thought about each? (L.L.)

A~ Book: A Higher Loyalty. It was interesting to get an insider perspective of the workings of government and the executive branch.

Movie: I watch a lot of movies, but none has etched itself into my memory lately. (R.D.)


Q~ What did you want to be when you grew up (as a kid)? (L.L.)

A~ When I was a kid I wanted to be a lawyer and in politics. I started a Poli-Sci major in college, but then realized that my real talent was in writing. So I changed to English and Journalism. (R.D.)


Image courtesy of Yearbook staff