Collegiate Math Teacher Loves Giving Back to His Community

Steven Dinwiddie

(CEDAR HILL, TEXAS) Steven Dinwiddie was a Cedar Hill ISD parent and Cedar Hill homeowner long before he joined the district in the summer of 2021.

“I’ve experienced every part of it,” said Dinwiddie, the father of two Cedar Hill High School Graduates, a Collegiate High School Graduate, and a current Cedar Hill High School junior. “From having kids go here to being a citizen and now a teacher. You get to see all of the different vantage points. I decided to come over to CHISD and see what all of the hoopla was about. I wanted to become part of the community as an educator.”

“Teaching at Collegiate seemed like a good opportunity to challenge myself as a teacher and work with kids who wanted to go from great to excellent academically.”

Dinwiddie, who teaches Honors Geometry, is the 2023-2024 Collegiate High School Teacher of the Year.

He learned of this honor while returning from a training session at The Holdsworth Center in Austin. He was a passenger on the way home and kept receiving congratulatory text messages on his phone.

“To be recognized for what you’re doing is rewarding,” Dinwiddie said. “Teacher is more of a calling because you feel there is a need.”

This is the third time Dinwiddie has received a Teacher of the Year honor – and the first in CHISD.

“It means more because when you get something in your latter years, you understand the time it took to be who you are,” said Dinwiddie, who became a teacher in 2005.

“I wanted to teach so scholars could have someone they could identify with,” Dinwiddie said.

Born in Corpus Christi and raised in San Antonio, Dinwiddie outplayed a teenage Shaquille O’Neal in pickup basketball games at Lackland Air Force Base.

Dinwiddie enlisted in the US Air Force after high school and was stationed at Altus Air Force Base in southwestern Oklahoma. He was a crew chief and aircraft mechanic on C-141 planes.

He played basketball for the Altus AFB team, and later, Western Oklahoma State College in Altus and St. Philip’s College in San Antonio, which is the western-most Historically Black College & University (HBCU) in the United States.

Dinwiddie earned an Associate’s Degree in Computer Science but ultimately chose to become an educator. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio.

He excelled at mathematics but learned in college that many of his classmates needed help with it.

“Mathematics is critical,” said Dinwiddie, who has taught everything from Algebra to Calculus.

He moved to Cedar Hill when his youngest daughter was in Kindergarten. She graduated from Collegiate last spring.

His Honors Geometry Scholars are taking a class as sophomores that most scholars take as juniors.

“With everything they do, they have to explain the answer,” Dinwiddie said. “That will help them become critical thinkers.”

More important than his expertise in mathematics is Dinwiddie’s ability to relate to his scholars.

“The more they know you care, the more they’ll care what you know,” Dinwiddie said. “

With entrepreneurship and YouTube, you can make math relevant very quickly now. Kids change, and as a teacher, you can’t be rigid. You have to understand how that change works.”

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