UCCR Educators Scholarship: Peacebuilders of Tomorrow Award Recipient
Congratulations, and thank you for your contributions in promoting peace and leadership in youth!
Glendale Middle School
Dane Hess successfully completed the mediation and conflict resolution program through the University of Utah. He is highly regarded and contributes greatly at Glendale.
When Mr. Hess came to Glendale M.S., he was a social worker, not a teacher. Glendale had the lowest percentage student performance in the state. He helped with community engagement and dialog and ADR between students and between parents and the school. In the second year, Glendale was “out of risk” and achieved a B+ rating. Mr. Hess went on to become a teacher.
He teaches two courses: Latinos in Action, which is leadership training and teaches Latino identity and community service, and Techniques for Tough Times. He put in a tremendous amount of work, with the help of Leigh Vanden Akker, to establish the Techniques for Tough Times program at the middle school level (grades 6 to 8) . The course focuses on how students engage with each other and the school. One year he had all the 6th graders take the course for a quarter. Over the three or four years he has taught the Techniques course, about 700 students have participated.
Mr. Hess lives in the area and is committed to the students and these programs. He is described as a “big presence” in the school.
Mr. Hess plans to use the scholarship funds to purchase team-building equipment, such as low ropes course equipment. He uses the equipment for activities involving team-building and problem-solving. In these activities, conflicts and problems inevitably arise as the teams work together. Then he draws conversations out of the experience regarding the conflicts and the resolution of the conflicts.