Putting His Experience
Don Dumas grew up in Imperial Beach and graduated from Mar Vista High School in the Sweetwater Union High School District. Economic instability was a common feature of his childhood, but certain lessons were learned that have guided him ever since.
After high school, Dumas went straight to the job market. From fast food, to grocery store stocker, to mail clerk, he learned the value of hard work and collaboration in getting the job done. He brings that experience and knowledge with him to the Southwestern Community College District.
Always a voracious reader, at the age of 23 Don developed a love of history. He learned about the history of Black Americans, Latinx Americans, Native Americans, and working class Americans; in short, he learned the histories of people typically left out of the traditional K-12 curriculum. Dumas felt liberated by this newfound knowledge and was determined to go back to school to teach this history to the young people in his beloved South Bay community. He enrolled at San Diego City College, then Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College before transferring to SDSU. He was a magna cum laude graduate on his way to a degree in history.
His academic achievements earned him recognition as the top history graduate of his class. He continued his studies at SDSU, earning both his teaching credential and a Master’s in the Art of Teaching.
For the last fourteen years, Dumas has been teaching history and coaching boys varsity basketball in the Sweetwater Union High School District, currently serving at Bonita Vista High School. His efforts as a coach guided his team to a CIF Championship in 2016, and a state championship in 2020-2021, and was named California Coach of the Year by Cal-Hi Sports.
In the classroom, Dumas has been the advisor of several clubs and has led his students in too many community service events to list. His focus on empowering his students to be their authentic selves, while also encouraging them to take active roles in their community did not go unnoticed, as Dumas was named San Diego County Teacher of the Year for the 2019-2020 school year.
Don and his wife Carolina, a kindergarten teacher in the Chula Vista Elementary School District, have been married for 16 years and have two sons, ages 14 and 11.