The student news site of Tunstall High School

Hailey Reebals

Mrs. Dallas reflects on her favorite part of being a substitute bus driver is seeing students from a different perspective, literally.

The other side of Mrs. Dallas

March 4, 2016

Tunstall High is home to many extraordinary teachers, and Mrs. Denise Dallas is one of them. Not only is she an English teacher, but she’s also a hardworking woman outside of school.

Most of the food that is cooked and prepared in her home is grown right in her backyard. She farms a number of animals and foods including sheep, chicken, meat rabbits, green beans, swiss chard, lettuce, salad, tomatoes, eggplant, and herbs. She has a surplus of 40 chickens and rabbits. Her strategy for planting is “whatever I decide to put in the ground,” she says.

Even her makeup is made from scratch.  Mrs. Dallas lives by the maxim, “I never put anything on my body that I wouldn’t put in my body.”  She makes her own eye shadow and other makeup products.  Everything is entirely natural and stored in glass jars, leaving her skin clear and radiant. She doesn’t wear foundation, only a base which she makes out of organic potato starch. Her mascara is made from activated charcoal, beeswax, and coconut oil. The chapstick she wears is homemade with beeswax and honey.

Mrs. Dallas steps in to drive bus 39.
Hailey Reebals
Mrs. Dallas steps in to drive bus 39.

Mrs. Dallas is also a substitute bus driver who drives when the full-time bus driver is sick or is on vacation.  The first year substituting she describes it being very nerve-racking because it was new to her. “The kids make it a lot of fun for me,” she says.

“The super cool thing about driving a bus is that whole picture of the students in the rearview mirror. It is really special seeing them in a different capacity and driving them home. I have to say, I have really enjoyed seeing another side of my kids.”

Before deciding to become a teacher, or a substitute bus driver even, she was a graduate from Averett University. She grew up around the Tunstall district and she just loves the people and community. Her answer to why she chose Tunstall was pretty straightforward, she said “Why not? It is already the best place to be!”

Her hobbies include spending time with her boys, riding her horse, exercising, camping, gardening, and generally playing outside. She said she doesn’t usually have any free time. “It is all go and sleep,” she says.


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    SchiannMar 8, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    Mrs. Dallas is very nice. She actually had to drive me home a few days ago! She was so sweet and took us all home safely! I enjoy her as my substitute bus driver when needed. She is very amazing and just loves everyone!