The Dawson County School System has officially announced that the new AgriScience Center, scheduled to open next fall at Dawson County High School, will be named the Dawson County Schools Roger D. Slaton AgriScience Center, in honor of late board member Roger Slaton.
According to Superintendent Damon Gibbs, the decision to name the new building after Slaton is a fitting way for the school system to honor him and the mark he left on the county and its schools through his extensive service with the Board of Education.
“Mr. Slaton served the children of Dawson County as a board member for 36 years,” Gibbs said. “Mr. Slaton was involved in almost every aspect of our district; his legacy is one of dedication and service to the children of this community.”
The decision to approve the construction of the new AgriScience center in the first place was in large part thanks to Roger Slaton and his strong support of teaching agriculture in the schools, Gibbs said.
“He supported our arts, athletics, academics, and had a special interest in the area of agriculture,” Gibbs said. “He was a supporter of the FFA and was a leading supporter of our decision to build this new facility.”
Barry Slaton, Roger Slaton’s son, said that his father was very supportive of all aspects of the school system in the county, but that agriculture and the Future Farmers of America (FFA) group always held a special place in his heart. He added the AgriScience center was a pet project of his father’s, and while he won’t be here to see the project finished, he would be ‘incredibly honored’ to have it named after him.
“It was his baby to have it built,” Slaton said. “Of course he had no idea they would name it after him, but it is quite an honor and we feel very blessed and thankful that the school board decided to do that in his memory.”
Dawson County Board of Education members voted to officially approve the name at the board’s meeting and work session on Tuesday, Aug. 10. Barry Slaton, along with several other family members, were present for the approval of the new name, and he said that the moment it was made official was very special to him and his family.
“All the board members have been good members of our family for years; Elaine and he had been on the board together for many many years so she made sure we were there and it was just a very nice moment,” Slaton said. “We’re very thankful that that happened.”