The beat of Lemont High School

Denise Dalton, a suspected robot, denies claims

Contrary to popular belief, Denise Dalton is not a robot. Every student at Lemont High School knows, or has at least gotten many emails, from Denise Dalton, Student Services Chair. 

While most students have heard of Dalton, not many know her personally or know what her job at LHS is. “My official responsibility is, I oversee the programs and people who work with students outside the classrooms, so counselors, deans, the nurse… our goal is to remove any obstacles or barriers that kids are facing that get in the way of them doing well in class,” said Dalton. 

Besides sending emails, Dalton has many other responsibilities. “A lot of my time is spent in meetings, our student services team gets together every other week to talk about students that we’re concerned with whether it’s grades, behavior, attendance, those types of things,” said Dalton.

Dalton said, “No day is the same, which is what I love about my job.” 

Dalton has been helping LHS students long before COVID-19, Youtube, or even iPhones. “I started working here in 1993. I started in the social studies department, became a counselor, and then ended up taking this job, but I’ve only worked here, I’ve never lived in Lemont but this has been my only adult job,” said Dalton.

Growing up in Palos Heights, Dalton always knew what she wanted to do with her life. Dalton said, “I always knew that I wanted to be a highschool counselor. When I was in high school, I had some major emotional issues, so I was kind of a hot mess. I knew in high school that this is what I wanted to do, so teaching was just kind of a way to get my foot in the door at a school… I love teaching social studies, it’s really fun, but this was always what I wanted to do.”

Besides working at school, Dalton also has a family. “I have three boys, my oldest is twenty two, I’ve got twins that are eighteen, I love them, they’re hilarious, they make me laugh and… they’re nuts,” said Dalton. 

While Dalton is passionate about counseling, she is also an avid Disney fan. “Growing up, that’s where we did our family vacations, so I was raised to think I was going to be a Disney princess, and I’ve done that to my boys. My parents had a condo not far from Disney World so that was where we did our family vacations,” said Dalton. 

“I love all that stuff, it’s all pixie dust and happiness,” said Dalton. 

With the mass amount of emails Dalton sends every day, most would assume she enjoys sending them, but that is not always the case. Dalton said, “What I like is just being able to get information to students… I know it’s a pain and, you know, I’m spam, but sometimes that spam is important, so I just want to make sure that everything gets out.”

“Every once in a while somebody will respond to me and be like ‘Wow that was really helpful!’ and that makes my day. It’s not the best part of my job, but at least I can get information out there,” said Dalton. 

Many students theorize that the staff who regularly send emails are artificial intelligence, but this real life meeting with Dalton confirms that this theory is false. “No I am not, I’m a real life person! I feel like Pinocchio, ‘I’m a real boy!” said Dalton.

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