Dale Dixon: Maintenance technician, Bellefonte Area School District
After gushing about his wife, daughter, job and a second chance at life, Dale Dixon called himself a lucky man. The longtime Bellefonte Area School District employee found himself back at work recently after having to take off months due to quadruple bypass heart surgery in August. But the best part about getting healthy again, he said, was having the chance to walk his daughter down the aisle in October, six weeks after the procedure.
“It was really beautiful,” he said with some emotion, while also showing pictures of his daughter and the wedding.
Dixon has been a district maintenance technician for more than 29 years, traveling daily to all buildings within the district – primarily to install equipment and fix electrical problems such as kitchen equipment, doors and locks, projectors and other interactive classroom features, the elevator at Bellefonte Elementary School and more.
“There’s nothing I look at that I can’t fix,” he said with a laugh, while also explaining that technology has been the biggest change he’s seen in the nearly three decades working at the district.
But he’s not alone. While a staffing shortage has forced the department to work more strategically in order to get done everything they need to, Dixon works among five others with the same mission – three daytime, and one each on the second and third shifts.
Dixon started at the district in 1994 after working for 10 years prior as an electrician at HRB in State College, which is now part of Raytheon. He said he remembers first applying to the district when an announcement was posted for an electrician. The application process, he added, came with a four-hourlong test.
In his free time, Dixon, a State College native, said he enjoys going on cruises with his wife Cindy. Usually departing from Baltimore, the two often head south for warmer weather. He also enjoys drag racing – a sport he was involved in for about seven years, but retired from about 10 years ago.
Having raced a 1977 Dodge Warlock, Dixon often raced at Beaver Springs Dragway. It allowed him the opportunity to race in other contests including a Northeast regional race with others from across the East Coast at the York US30 Dragway. During a Mother’s Day event, his wife even had the chance to race in an event that was only for moms – placing second in her first-ever race during the first-ever time she was at the track.
Drag racing is a type of motor racing with an objective to be the first to cross a set of finish lines. It usually involves vehicles racing two-at-a-time on a track about 1,320 feet long.
*By Brit Milazzo, public relations director, BASD