Editor’s note: Following is a nomination letter for Dr. Bob Dorsett, written by student Jessica Mullins, with help from teachers Patricia Robinson and Kathleen Kelley. Dorsett, a math and science teacher at Meeker High School, was honored recently with a Jared Polis Foundation Teacher Recognition Award.
As a student at Meeker High School for the last four years, I have found Dr. Robert Dorsett to be the most humble, intelligent, informative and caring teacher I have had in my entire educational career. He lives, leads and teaches by example and this helps students in more ways than imaginable. Because Dr. Dorsett would never toot his own horn about any of his accomplishments, I feel as though someone should do it for him. He was graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1971 and later went on to medical school and graduated in 1975. After serving three years in Kenya through the Peace Corps, Dr. Dorsett moved to Meeker to work as a medical doctor at Pioneers Hospital. In 2001, he began his career as a math and science teacher at MHS.
In all of the classes Dr. Dorsett teaches, he gives his all and this certainly shines in his students. He believes firsthand work benefits the learning environment most and this is exactly what he has created in Meeker through his students. Just northwest of MHS’s campus, Dr. Dorsett has developed a research area for his biology students. During class time, he often leads his students to the great outdoors on a nature walk and teaches his students how to collect information about the biotic and abiotic features of this land. In this, Dr. Dorsett has not only collected useful information about Meeker’s soil, plants and animals, but he teaches his students how to assist in conservation acts in their own community and all over the world. In every single one of Dr. Dorsett’s classes, he stimulates his students with direct knowledge and examples, and refers to the textbooks when needed. It has always been clear that he knows the information he teaches us, and his passion in the subjects he teaches is what makes him a remarkable teacher.
Dr. Dorsett has gratefully made teaching his life, and in this he has created passion in many of his current and past students. To motivate desire in his students, he dedicates his energy, insights, knowledge and time. Dr. Dorsett offers help to students at any time, anywhere about any class.
Dr. Dorsett has sacrificed time and personal funds to organize four international trips to various areas through Ecology Project International in his years at MHS. This non-profit organization allows students to travel to three main locations including Mexico, Costa Rica and Galapagos. Each of these locations face serious ecological problems, and with the help of several marine biologists, students collect information about endangered species, which they analyze the data to first understand the problem and then contribute to finding solutions. Clearly, Dr. Dorsett could take these trips on his own, but he has a dream to use his knowledge and skills to improve our world through the youth. He has done exactly this; several of the students who have traveled with him have gone on to study biology or marine biology in college. Because going on these trips costs anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000 per student, Dr. Dorsett has made it easier for students of all economic levels to go on these trips. Each time, he has assisted in raising the money to pay for at least half of each student’s costs, even if that meant the money came from his own pocket. This not only shows a caring community, but a respected and dedicated man.
Though I am a student, it is clear to me how easy Dr. Dorsett makes it to get along with him as a colleague. I have never had firsthand experience as a colleague with him, so for this portion of the nomination I asked the opinion of two other respectable teachers. They both told me “Dr. Dorsett is the reason I teach at Meeker High.” Though it is simple to see why these women would credit him of such a thing, I asked why. Ms. Patricia Robinson, a fellow teacher, informed me of his drive to make the teachers at MHS better than they already are by sharing immense amounts of research. “He thoughtfully presents his newly discovered information at staff meetings and all of the teachers take into consideration his findings and try to incorporate it into their lessons.” I believe that through his passion he inspires other teachers to continue improving their methods and this is exactly what education needs today. Mrs. Kathleen Kelley ended her interview with, “His enthusiasm inspires, questions, teaches. He mentors — and isn’t that the most important collaboration of all?” From the mouths of fellow colleagues, it can be made clear that Dr. Dorsett makes Meeker High School one of the elite high schools of America.
Dr. Dorsett works diligently to be the teacher every student needs, and the colleague every teacher desires. He is innovative in his teaching methods, the way he relates to students and his hands-on goals to give students the skills they need to make our world a better place. The time and effort Dr. Dorsett dedicates into being a teacher at Meeker High School can be reflected in his own words, “This is the hardest job I’ve ever had.” This to me describes a profound teacher.