Middletown North Teacher Spotlight: Daniel Alston


Lion's Roar Staff, Writer

This month’s teacher spotlight focuses on Middletown High School North Educational Technology Specialist Dan Alston who also teaches Innovation and Design.  Mr. Alston has been involved in many new classes including the Video Games Art and Design class.

Mr. Alston has been teaching at Middletown High School North for the past three years and has also served as an assistant coach for the highly successful Lions Wrestling program under Head Coach Matt Sirchio. “Coach Alston is a great person with a positive outlook on life. He is a champion for all students, athletes, and colleagues.  He is a true ambassador for all things Middletown” said Sirchio.

Mr. Alston is known for his positive attitude, passion and ability to inspire his students and colleagues.  Mr. Alston also understand that in order to maximize the students learning experience, that a teacher must also be willing to learn. “I love teaching and learning about creativity, research, design, and technology to empower action steps for students using design thinking” said Alston.

Mr. Alston has been teaching at Middletown High School North for the past three years.

When you walk into Mr. Alston’s classroom, you see many Middletown High School North students who are excited and also having fun creating unique programs connected to the curriculum.  It is clear that Mr. Alston has a wonderful rapport with his students and many of them see him as a mentor.  When asked about Mr. Alston’s source of inspiration, he stated “I have been motivated by my parents, teachers & coaches, and students to become a teacher.  I am just trying to pay it forward and give back what was given to me.”

Within the Innovation and Design Curriculum, students have the ability to develop multidimensional career settings skills that will allow them to prepare for the demands of the global technological economy.  According to Mr. Alston, “The most rewarding aspect of my job is to witness students direct their own learning and transform into young adults seeking to change themselves, Middletown, and/or the world.”  

Mr. Alston believes that allowing students to participate in “design thinking” as a way to find and work through problems is very important.  Locating a variety of solutions using collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking are also critical components to this development.  Mr. Alston helps students develop the requisite skills in new design and technology tools to enable them to learn, prototype, and determine the best possible solution to relevant, high-interest problems identified in both the local and global community.

Mr. Alston came to the Middletown North community after growing up in the Long Branch community.  Competing as a football and wrestler under legendary Coach Dan George at Long Branch High School, Mr. Alston also pursued his passion in music.  Mr. Alston served as a disc jockey during his Green Wave days, spinning music for parties and events.  After graduating from Long Branch High School, Mr. Alston attended Rutgers University, where he served as a disc jockey for a radio show on WRSU 88.3 FM.  Although Mr. Alston did not graduate from Middletown North, Mr. Alston’s love for the Middletown community goes back to 1976, when Mr. Alston’s mother graduated from Middletown High School North.

Mr. Alston has been a positive influence on the students of Middletown High School North and we thank you for all of your dedication.