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Define Your Future: Navy Education Success Story

Navy sailors taking tests at desks.

Retired Navy Master Chief and Troops to Teachers (TTT) participant and mentor, Dennis Bye never envisioned a future in education. After tours onboard the USS Independence and with Patrol Wing FIVE, Bye pursued his bachelor's degree in business studies, thinking that it would be useful when he eventually retired, which he did in 2002 after 27 years of Service. Though Bye enjoyed his position with the Military Entrance Processing Station, the call to serve as an educator became too strong to ignore. After offering his resignation, Bye secured a position as a teaching assistant at his local school district while taking education courses at night. He then embarked on an eight year journey toward his goal of becoming a school administrator, eventually obtaining a master's degree in educational administration and his New York state certification.

After successful appointments at various schools in New York's Capital Region, he was hired as Gloversville High School's new Associate Principal in July 2013. Bye credits his motivation with the indelible impact a school administrator made on him when he was struggling with disciplinary issues in high school.

"I had it in my head that I wanted to be like the Assistant Principal that saved me from being expelled," Bye said.

In his new role at Gloversville, Bye will be charged with improving the high school's dropout rate—one of the highest in the Albany area. With an impressive track record, including reducing the suspension rate at Troy School 2, Gloversville's administration has commended Bye's approach to discipline. "He has the management skills and attention to detail to help the high school—and entire district—achieve its goals," stated Superintendent Michael Vanyo.

Bye has also been praised for his ability to empathize with at-risk students and the environmental factors presenting a barrier to their education. These accolades come as no surprise to the TTT organization. Like his fellow TTT participants, Bye possesses the discipline, experience with diversity, and leadership skills that differentiate him from civilian educators. With 17,000 participants who have successfully transitioned to teaching through the program, TTT continues to make a positive impact on classrooms around the country. Bye advises, "Nobody else decides your future but you; decide on your goal, and go get it." Drawing from a career marked by perseverance, Bye notes that this advice is just as valuable to veterans who are just beginning their transition to teaching.

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