By: MEGAN MCALISTER Pictures by: ETHAN ELLIOTT
Whether you have been in Hickman County all your life or just last week you would still know about Matthew Dotson, the HCHS and District Teacher of the Year for grades 9-12. From his loud and outgoing personality to his guitar playing in class to his wild antics at pep rallies, Mr. Dotson has school spirit to spare and is also a top teacher in the classroom.
Mr. Dotson has lived here all his life, going through the Hickman County School System and graduating in 2005. He remembers his years at HCHS, saying, “I remember having classes in the Social Studies department with Mr. Mike Brown, but back then, I wasn’t thinking about being here as a teacher someday.”
His parents, Susan and the late Roger Dotson, were both Hickman County teachers of 30+ years. He says they have encouraged him over the years with their advice. He says, “Things like standard tests and other things like that change. But the one thing that should never change is how you approach teaching. You have to care and have relationships with your students. Also, have fun!”
Dotson says he didn’t think about teaching until his first semester of college, but he always wanted to be a basketball coach.
A basketball standout who played at Belmont University for 4 years, Dotson returned to HCHS to teach U.S. History, Government, and Contemporary Issues. In his 8 years at HCHS, he has been the Fellowship of Christian Athletes sponsor, assistant basketball coach, and head volleyball coach, leading the team to the title of District Champs in 2013 (the only one in school history) and earned a trip to the region tournament for 4 years in a row.
Students from every group and class know Mr Dotson. His love for this school has remained from his early years.
“The thing I love most about teaching is getting to talk to students about the world and change in the future.”
After being the Teacher of the Year runner up last year, Dotson’s time has finally come. He says he is thankful for the chance to represent his school. “Thank you to all the HCHS staff and students for selecting me. HCHS is a great place to work.”