As summer vacation begins for Durant High School students, one administration member begins a permanent break from school.
Assistant Principal Dale Perrin chose to retire at the end of the 2013-14 school year. Perrin had been at Durant High for more than 38 years, serving as assistant principal since the mid-1990s.
Perrin was fresh out of Southeastern Oklahoma State University when he came to the DHS.
“I did my practice teaching here and just loved it, always have,” said Perrin.
He began as a football and baseball coach, and quickly accepted the assistant principal role when it was offered to him.
Perrin said he was already in the principal’s office helping with children’s problems anyway, so it seemed like a good fit.
Perrin said he enjoys helping children with their issues and has had several students request that he stay until they graduate.
LoAnn Latona, a business technology instructor at the school, said Perrin arrived at Durant during the second semester of her high-school career and was still there when she came back after college to teach.
He also has been there to guide her children and the children of Principal Cheryl Conditt. Latona said Perrin even coached her daughter’s Little League team.
“She still thinks he hung the moon,” Latona said.
Latona and Conditt commented on how helpful and supportive Perrin has been throughout their time at Durant High.
“It’s going to be a big adjustment for us, not having him here supporting us,” said Conditt.
Perrin said he will miss the staff at the school, referring to them as family.
Perrin said he felt it was time for him to step down and “let someone younger take the reins,” even if he second-guesses the decision at times.
He said he feels the age gap between the students and himself is starting to get to large and would like someone younger to take his place to better connect with and help the students.
Perrin said he hopes whoever takes his place will take on the caring attitude he had for the students and their problems.
“I’m gonna miss it,” he said. “I’ll miss the kids. That’s what keeps you young.”
He said he will remain a school supporter, cheering from the sidelines at games and cooking, and joining in festivities if asked to do so.
“Durant Lions will always be in my heart,” he said.
Perrin will always be in Durant as well. At a small celebration during breakfast recently, Perrin was honored by becoming a permanent part of Durant with DHS students to recognize May 13 as Dale Perrin Day.
“There will always be a part of me in the school system,” said Perrin, adding that this was one of the highlights of his career.
Perrin now will be focusing on his own grandkids and his ranch. With the busy schedule he has kept the past 38 years, Perrin said he missed out on some activities with his older grandchildren but will have time to be with the younger ones.
- Jessica Breger can be reached at (580) 924-4388 ext. 116 or on Twitter @jbreger_news