Oxford grad helps shape education in Michigan

Less than 2 percent of this nation’s population holds a doctoral degree, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Now, Gregg Dionne, a 1993 graduate of Oxford High School, can officially call himself a member of that prestigious group.

Currently residing in Lansing, Dionne recently received a doctorate in education leadership from Western Michigan University.

Gregg Dionne, a 1993 OHS grad, holds his doctorate following his graduation.
Gregg Dionne, a 1993 OHS grad, holds his doctorate following his graduation.

Dionne, who works as the supervisor of curriculum and instruction for the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) in Lansing, spoke on his accomplishment.

“It feels really good. My education taught me a lot about being a researcher and about myself as a person,” said Dionne.

But, as with any accomplishment worth striving for, Dionne said he faced his fair share of challenges while in school.

“I was not the best student when I was younger. I didn’t apply myself or get serious about education until later when I was working towards my master’s degree,” he explained.

“I didn’t have the passion for learning and just didn’t see the relevance of the classes I took until I reached that level and saw how each of the subjects really applied towards what I wanted to do.”

According to Dionne, his decision to pursue a career in educational administration did not come to him right away. “I spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out what I wanted to do,” Dionne said.

First, Dionne spent two years working as a carpenter while pursuing his undergraduate at Central Michigan University. He also worked as a social worker for about five years before attending graduate school.

As a first-generation college student, he eventually decided to pursue a career in education, listing his grandmother as his top inspiration. “My grandmother was very proud that she got all six of her kids through (high) school and (she) instilled the importance of education in me at a young age. Plus, I watched her volunteer in schools,” Dionne recalled. “I think education is the most noble cause a society can undertake.”

He worked as a school administrator for five years before starting as a consultant at MDE in 2010.

As an Oxford High alumn, Dionne offered a few words of wisdom to Oxford students who are currently hitting the books.

“I would say to do what you love and be passionate about it. Persistence and discipline are both incredibly important when it comes to doing well in school. I know a lot of people have a Ph.D, but I spent a lot of time working towards this and it paid off. And, if I can do it, anybody can do it,” Dionne said.


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