Daniel Dorsett has a reputation for being here, there, and everywhere in his short tenure at Harshman Middle School.
Dorsett’s simple dedication to his craft resulted in receiving the Golden Apple award during a surprise ceremony recently in the band room with his students and peers in attendance. WISH-TV and its broadcast partner at Bailey & Wood Mortgage Lender surprised Dorsett with a $500 cash prize and Golden Apple Trophy.
Dorsett regularly works long into the night as band director, primarily teaching instrumental music. The second-year staff member is rebuilding a band program that was seriously limited last school year due to COVID-19 restrictions when members were not allowed to play their instruments.
During the event, he watched a short video created by the news organization that featured his students and peers discussing his exploits.
“Well, I noticed the students didn’t say as much about me as about their experience with music,” Dorsett. “It’s a honor knowing they have fallen in love with music.”
Ella Hereth, who teaches algebra at the school, nominated her peer for the Golden Apple based on his dedication to teaching.
“He is an incredible teacher and has done so much to rebuild the program in the last few months,” she said. “He’s worked incredibly hard to bring up the skills of our eighth graders, who weren’t allowed to play their instruments last year during the height of COVID-19. They simply love him.”
In addition to his classes, Hereth notes Dorsett runs an afterschool program for students who need more practice time. And, when he’s got a few spare minutes, Dorsett mentors students who entered school with absolutely no previous musical experience. He and his new musical apprentices may be found in hallways or empty classrooms learning new techniques to play their instruments.
And, there have been times Dorsett’s been found teaching algebra when a fellow teacher was out due to COVID-19 protocols.
James Larkin, the school’s principal, has been keeping a close eye on Dorsett for several years.
The pair first met when Larkin was an administrator at Arsenal Technical High School and Dorsett was a high school senior.
“He’s always been a hard-working person passionate about teaching and music,” Larkin said. “It’s not surprising he’s a great band teacher at such a young age.”