For over 44 years, Dana Trouth has lived his life in service of kids.
From being a science teacher to an athletic director to a program coordinator, Trouth has worn an assortment of hats in the Osseo School District. And now, the 68-year-old from Hanover is proudly walking into retirement.
When he was in high school, Trouth remembers his science teachers as the big reason he chose to enter the education field. However, going into college, he was nominated for the Naval Academy but failed the eye test portion of the physical exam. So he chose to pivot to his other passion: helping kids.
When he got hired in the Osseo School District, his first role was a ninth grade science teacher for 15 years, then went to seventh grade science for 19 years, and has served as Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) coordinator at Brooklyn Middle School for the last 10 years, helping start the program, advising teachers, and bringing in speakers for classes.
In every aspect of education, Trouth strives to impact every kid he crosses paths with. In fact, he said he still keeps in contact with students from his first year of teaching, 44 years ago. “You try to create a difference in their life, knowing that the difference you create isn’t just going to impact them, but it will impact anyone they will come in contact with for the rest of their lives,” Trouth said.
This is why the past year of teaching has been Trouth’s toughest of his career. The COVID-19 pandemic forced him away from in-person learning and interactions with students, the backbone of what he loves. “You can’t make those same kinds of relationships with the kids when you’re not in-person,” Trouth said.
During the summer, Trouth is the lead building supervisor at Maple Grove Senior High and often sits at a table inside Door D. One day, a woman pushed a girl in a wheelchair with special needs up to the outside of Door D. Without being asked, Trouth got up from his chair and with an ear-to-ear smile, opened the door for the girl.
“You try and make a difference in a kid’s life,” he said. “I tell my kids, ‘no matter the act of kindness you do, it’s never wasted.’”