At River Oaks Middle School Daniel Fairburn stays busy.
The 28-year-old teaches keyboarding, computer applications and entrepreneurship. He has assisted in coaching girls’ volleyball at the school and just finished up baseball. He is a coach for boys’ basketball – the team just won their third basketball championship in a row. The Summerville resident is on the school’s PBIS committee and was voted Rookie Teacher of the Year last year.
While he is in his second year teaching he is also working to become a certified teacher, meaning he gets to teach and learn how to teach at the same time.
Fairburn is at school from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on a daily basis – but he is loving it.
Fairburn was born and raised in Lima, Ohio and attended Bowling Green State University in Ohio, majoring in sports management.
His mother was a teacher. Growing up, he might have considered the profession as well, but he loved playing sports and wanted to be in the sports industry.
He ended up working for a minor league baseball team in Ohio before transferring to Savannah, Ga. to work with a different team.
Eventually working 160 games out of the year took its toll on Fairburn, who decided to move to the Summerville area with his now-wife Jennifer.
Fairburn enrolled in a program called PACE – Program of Alternative Certification for Educators – through which he is going to become a certified teacher.
He has been at River Oaks for four years, starting off as a substitute teacher and then an ISS instructor. He is now in his second year teaching keyboarding, computer applications and entrepreneurship.
“I think it’s exactly where I’m supposed to be,” Fairburn said.
Fairburn said his hardest experience with teaching thus far has been observing students who are overall good kids, but end up making a mistake or two that costs them their spot at school.
“They get expelled or go to an alternative school and then down the line you start hearing things about them,” Fairburn said. “It’s hard to see that happen to some kids.”
On the flipside, Fairburn loves seeing his own students succeed, and his best experience teaching comes watching students pass the final exam.
“Computer applications is a high school class for middle schoolers, and it is good to see when a big percentage of them are passing the final exam so they can go to high school with one credit,” he said. “You get a smile on your face when you see them do well and pass that test.”
Professionally, Fairburn hopes to finish PACE and obtain his official teacher’s license. He has dreams of being a high school coach – maybe even an athletic director. His main goal is to become an administrator.
Outside of the school Fairburn enjoys playing golf. This June he will have been married to his wife Jennifer for one year. Jennifer is a math teacher at River Oaks. The couple has no children but Fairburn said his life goal is to grow old with his wife and raise a family.
For fun Fairburn likes to go on dates with his wife; they enjoy going to dinner and movies. They honeymooned in Jamaica and have plans to put money away so they can one day travel back.