Teacher Spotlight: MCC’s Dumas retires after 3 decades. 

February 9, 2021

Scott Dumas with his wife, Kathy.

Teacher Spotlight: MCC’s Dumas retires after 3 decades. 

By Kate Krieger-Watkins, staff writer.

Teacher Spotlight is a presentation of Shelby State Bank, www.shelbystatebank.com with offices in Ludington, Pentwater, Shelby, Hart, Hesperia, Manistee, Montague, Whitehall, North Muskegon, and Fruitport. 

SCOTTVILLE – After 31 years in education, Mason County Central teacher Scott Dumas, has retired. Dumas, a native of Scottville, said school wasn’t always his favorite thing, which, ironically, is what motivated him to become a teacher.

“I started education because I was not a great student in school,” he said. “I had to study more than some to get a good test grade. I worked hard and got assignments done but struggled to get a good grade. I wanted to teach students that work ethic was what was important.”

A graduate of MCC High School, Dumas went away for college and didn’t return right back home after he was finished with his degree.

“I went to high school right here at MCC,” he said. “I was in the first seventh grade class that attended the current middle school. I graduated in 1982 and I went to West Shore Community College for one year. Then I went to Central Michigan University and graduated in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and obtained my master’s in administration from CMU in 1990.”

In 1987, Dumas received his first teaching job after college graduation.

“I taught in Big Rapids from 1987 to 1998,” he said. “I taught fifth grade self-contained. Then we moved back to Scottville in 1997, when my father passed away and Steve’s Bar (which his father, Larry owned) was left to run. I ran Steve’s from 1998-2001, as well as the asparagus farm. Then in 2001, I started teaching at MCC. I first started teaching seventh grade science. In 2003 until 2011, I taught seventh grade social studies. I moved to sixth grade social studies from 2011-2019. Then this year with the COVID-19 interruption, I moved back to where my career started, fifth grade self-contained.”

Dumas said he had worked from, “one crisis to another,” meaning from Sept. 11, 2001 into the COVID-19 pandemic.

Working with the students was his favorite part of education, Dumas said, adding that he wished students could have more time just being kids, instead of having to worry about so much testing that not comes along with education.

“One of my favorite things in education is watching students learn something and actually can go home and say I learned this today,” he said. “Something I would love to change in education today is not teaching to some test. I would love to have schools go back to some ‘old school’ ways of learning. Learning basic math by doing it over and over. Learning language by diagramming sentences. Learn local geography, state geography, country geography and world geography in elementary. Also having elementary students be able to have three recesses a day, morning, lunch, and afternoon. Children learn by playing and socializing with each other. These help a student have a well-rounded education.”

Spending more time with his family is one of Dumas’ number one things that he wants to do during retirement. Leaving a career that he enjoyed for 31 years is something students should look at. He said making sure students do their research and go into something they’re passionate about is key to having a fulfilling career, but he also stated that having a traditional degree isn’t the same as it was years back.

“Today, the advice I would give students thinking of an educational career is to truly do your research,” he said. “The cost of attending college and obtaining a teaching certificate is at the very least 50k plus. The starting salary, benefits and retirement may not allow the new teacher enough income to pay back their loans and still have a decent living situation. I would suggest looking into a trade skill such as plumbing, electrical, flooring, etc. This makes me sad to not encourage a career in education because I truly enjoyed being a teacher. Until college becomes more affordable, I believe we will continue to see a reduction of college graduates with a degree in education.”

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