Giving Day: Dionel Waters

Dionel Waters

DBU Alumnus Dr. Dionel Waters currently serves as a principal in Arlington, Texas.

Throughout his career, Waters has taught in several different states, as well as in Australia. After his fifth year of teaching, he made the decision to become a principal.

“I received my formal principal certification training from DBU, which I loved because I was educated by current principals who were able to connect theory with practice. As a result, I have had the privilege of leading schools at both elementary and secondary levels, in addition to teaching at the collegiate level as an adjunct professor of education.”

Waters attests that the best part of working as a principal in the public education system is being in a position to serve others, especially children.

“I am a firm believer that to whom much is given, much is required,” Waters explained. “I hold myself accountable for doing all that I can do to help our world through education, while utilizing my gifts to ultimately give the glory to God in the end. My favorite thing about being a part of the public education system, in light of the Gospel, is knowing that I have been placed here to serve others, especially children. One of my favorite scriptures is Proverbs 22:6 ‘Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it’ (KJV). The Christ-like attitude of having a servant’s heart in education was one of the main things that attracted me to DBU. As a result, I have taken that same mindset into my work each day while asking myself ‘who among us was voiceless yesterday that needs MY voice today?’”

In the public education system, there are a variety of ways one can exhibit an attitude of servanthood. Waters, someone who has had the opportunity to work as a principal of Title 1 schools at both elementary and secondary levels, states that serving students in need is a personal honor.

"The Christ-like attitude of having a servant’s heart in education was one of the main things that attracted me to DBU."

“Many of my students come to school each day with the burden of getting their basic necessities met, in light of their daily academic pressures,” Waters shared. “As principal, it is my responsibility to create an environment where they feel safe and academically successful. I look forward to providing that ‘safe haven’ for all of my students, despite the personal struggles they may endure outside of our school.”

To those working or aspiring to work in the educational system, Waters advises a focus on the relational aspect of education, especially within the environmental context of the world we live in today.

“I would challenge and encourage those who are currently working in education and those aspiring to do so, to focus on ways to build relationships with their students,” Waters encouraged. “We are living in a society where negativity, via social media, is more prominent today in comparison to previous years. Students are struggling with so much these days.”

Waters has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education/child development, a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Teaching, a dual master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Business Administration (MBA), and a Ph.D. in K-16 Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. He is also a published author. His book titled Preparing for and Surviving the First 90-Days of Principalship is the product of his love for serving as a principal and preparing aspiring individuals to step into the job.

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About Dallas Baptist University

Dallas Baptist University is a comprehensive Christ-centered university dedicated to producing servant leaders through the integration of faith and learning. With an enrollment of over 4,200 students, DBU's main campus is located in the foothills of southwest Dallas. DBU offers 77 undergraduate programs and 39 graduate degree programs in various fields, online college degree programs, and two doctoral programs. Get more information about Dallas Baptist University ( by browsing our website, emailing, or by calling (214) 333-5172.

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Written by Faith Myers

Faith Myers is a member of University Communications at Dallas Baptist University.