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Q&A With Valencia Dutton

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Valencia Dutton
Engineering Instructor, Houston Independent School District

Location: Houston, TX United States
Birthday: Dec 21st
Joined: Oct 30th, 2003
About   (request update)
Dr. Valencia K. Dutton-Hall has an undergraduate degree in Architecture from Prairie View A&M University, a Masters of Architecture degree from Prairie View A&M University, and a Doctorate in Education concentrating on Curriculum and Instruction from Texas Southern University. Valencia started her undergraduate studies during the summer before her freshman fall semester in the Architectural Concepts Institute program where she earned her first nine hours of college credit. She earned most outstanding in the AutoCAD class and for the overall program. Throughout her time working towards her bachelor degree, she became a member of the Campus Activities Board (CAB), Fee Allocations Committee, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Panther Advisory Leaders group (PALS), National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMAS), and American Institute of Architectural Students (AIAS). Valencia was also inducted in to Tau Sigma Delta National Honor Society for Architecture in fall of 2000. As a member of many organizations and committees, she was able to become a leader of most. She was the President of NOMAS in 2001, Treasurer of Tau Sigma Delta in 2001, and committee chair and co-chair for numerous events in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Valencia’s most proud moment in undergraduate studies was when she was nominated and chosen as one of 14 students on campus to be in Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities in the spring of 2002. She finalized her undergraduate years by being selected as a contestant in the Miss Prairie View A&M University Scholarship Pageant which would determine if she would continue architectural studies for a Bachelor of Architecture or become a member of the inaugural class for the upcoming Masters of Architecture program. After not winning the pageant, she switched her degree plan so that she would graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture in August of 2002 and enter the inaugural Masters of Architecture Program in which she had been selected by the Dean to enroll starting in the fall of 2002.

Valencia embarked upon the Masters program as an eager student willing to learn as much as possible. She was one of two females in her design class because architecture was a male dominant field. Valencia was also chosen by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority to be a member of the Inaugural Leadership Delta program with General Electric during the fall of 2002 in New York City, New York for four days of leadership training. Once she returned, she knew she wanted to travel more but in an architecture program. Valencia always had aspirations of studying abroad and finally took advantage of a program through the University of Houston as a joint venture for the first time with Prairie View A&M University Architecture Department. Only 3 students from the department attended this program with the University of Houston. The program was based in Saintes, France for 6 months in the spring of 2003 and the students studied architecture in Germany, Spain and France. Valencia and the other two students from Prairie View A&M University were the first African American students to attend the program which was a great accomplishment and pushed her to do her best while there. Once she was back to the United States, she was hired by IDG (Integrated Design Group) Architecture Firm in the summer of 2003 to complete an internship program before graduating with her Masters degree in August of 2003. Valencia was able to complete her undergraduate studies in 3 ½ years and her Masters degree in 1 year which made her the first grandchild to have a Masters degree.

The architectural industry was in a hiring freeze, so Valencia temporarily started working as a substitute in North Forest Independent School District in September of 2003. The temporary position turned into a permanent substitute position in a Computer Technology classroom at Forest Brook High School in December of 2003. In March of 2004, Valencia was hired as a teacher with an emergency permit for vocational industrial education. She continued to work in the district as a Technology teacher; she received training for numerous areas of professional development to help her in the classroom setting. In the fall of 2004, Valencia inherited the young ladies organization and step team called the Pink Diamonds. As an alumnus of the high school, she was asked to be a member of the Homecoming committee in the fall of 2004.

In spring of 2005, she became a Student Government teacher volunteer and received an award at their banquet. Valencia was also chosen as a judge for the History Fair papers for the history department during that semester as well. She completed her teacher certification classes and passed her test on the first time in the fall of 2005. Now she had moved up in the Homecoming committee as the school and organizational queen’s co-chairperson who would check the young ladies attire and make sure that they were appropriate for all Homecoming activities. She received numerous certificates for teacher training and professional development programs during the 2005-2006 school year. Her most important accomplishment during that school year was being selected as the joint teacher for the Engineering Honors Program as the 9th and 10th grade teacher. She was also chosen by Houston Community College and her high school administrative staff to become a dual credit instructor for Technical Drafting in the spring of 2006.

During the 2006-2007 school year, Valencia was accepted to Texas Southern University as a doctoral candidate in Education for Curriculum and Instruction. She was asked again by the Homecoming committee to take on two responsibilities which were to be the chair of the queens and Carnation Ball script coordinator. She was on the Faculty Christmas Party committee, the Girls Week Committee and a tally counter for the Cheerleader Try-Outs during the 2006-2007 school year. Valencia was one of 40 teachers chosen to be trained in the Fred Jones for Classroom Management Skills for Teachers seminar for the district as well. Later on in the summer of 2007, she became an instructor for Robotics in the Upward Bound Math/Science program at Texas Southern University. The students were very receptive to her creative ways of teaching and expressed their love for the class after the awards banquet at the end of the program.

Valencia had a very successful 2007-2008 school year. The Young Ladies Group that she was over won first and second place positions at the Step Shows they participated in and she was able to expose her freshmen Engineering students to two minority Architecture Firms. As the school year ended, she was one of two nominees for Teacher of the Year by her colleagues. The high school she worked for later combined with a rivalry campus to become North Forest High School for the 2008-2009 school year where she is on the Site Base Decision Making Team for deciding the school needs assessment for the school year. She continued to work with the Student Government, Carnation Ball Committee in the same positions, and the Young Ladies organization and step team which was then changed to “The Definitions of Beauty.” Valencia proved to the new administrative staff that she was a team player and all about the students’ education on campus. The Dean of Instruction placed Valencia over the AP Testing where she was in control of the entire two weeks of testing and helping fellow co-workers with the process of making sure all rules were followed throughout the test. As years passed by at North Forest High School, Valencia finalized her doctorate studies at Texas Southern University and became Dr. Dutton in May of 2012. During the 2012-2013 school year she had many accomplishments to add on to her achievement of receiving that degree. Dr. Dutton’s engineering junior chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers had won the Region V Chapter of the Year for two consecutive years, she was named Teacher of the Year for her high school campus and school district, and eight of her senior level students received their drafting certificate because of her dual credit courses that she offered to them on campus. Dr. Dutton recently married in April of 2014 and works in Houston Independent School District at Energy Institute High School after her previous school district was shut down by the state in the summer of 2013. She continues to work as an engineering instructor and has now been named the Teacher of the Year once again at her new campus. She still resides in Houston, Texas, and plans to eventually be a Dean of Instruction while working her way up the ranks to become a Superintendent one day in the near future.
My Interview Question
What are your ultimate goals in life?
Current Whereabouts:
I am currently a Computer and Engineering high school teacher at my Alma Mater. I am working on my Doctorate in Education at Texas Southern University at the time, and hoping to finish in 2010 or 2011.
Education   (request update)
Prairie View A&M University class of 2012
Undergrad Major: Architecture
Campus Organization:
Delta Sigma Theta
Claim To Fame:
- DiscoverE Educator Award Runner-Up (2014) - HEB Excellence in Education Semi-Finalist (2014) - Energy Institute High School Teacher of the Year (2013-2014) Overall biggest accomplishment was becoming a nominee for Secondary Teacher of the Year for the Houston Area Alliance of Black School Educators (HAABSE) for two years in a row as an educator in two different school districts. My first year being nominated, I was in North Forest ISD (2013) and then recently nominated by my current school this year as an educator in Houston ISD (2014). I did not compete for the overall secondary Teacher of the Year in 2014 because I wanted to pass the award on to a new educator this year since I had already won on last year in 2013.
Most Memorable Moment:
My most memorable event in college was when I received my letter to be a participant in the Miss Prairie View A&M University Pageant. I was able to meet a lot of people on campus and in the pageant as well.
High School: Forest Brook High School in Houston, TX class of 1999
I currently work with Houston Independent School District as Engineering Instructor
I have 5 years of experience working in the Teaching / K-12 Education industry.
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