By Megan Smith
School: Stephen T. Badin High School
Department: Media relations liaison as of August 2022; previously the director of admissions for 14 years, and journalism teacher for seven years.
Hometown: Lakewood, OH
Favorite book: “Democracy” by Joan Didion
Hobby: Rooting for the Cincinnati Reds and Cincinnati Bengals
This month’s spotlight is on an individual who has worn many hats during a nearly two-decades-long career in secondary education. Dirk Q. Allen has been a member of the Badin High School family for almost 22 years. Dirk began his journey with Badin in August 2001, when he was hired as the public relations contact and the journalism teacher (see the featured Badin 2002 yearbook photo, where Dirk is pictured alongside the journalism staff, one of whom is a current Hamiltonian contributing writer). In 2008, he transitioned to admissions director, while keeping the public relations post.
Dirk and his family moved to suburban Cincinnati, Ohio from Lakewood, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, in October 1964. After graduating from Princeton High School, Dirk enrolled at Brown University in Providence, R.I., where he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in political science and history.
"My degree is in Political Science and History, but that has had very little to do with my work career,” Dirk explained. “What you learn between high school and the real world are skills to use for the rest of your life. Yes, you may have a college degree in something, but really you are learning how to navigate the world around you. I’ve been fortunate to be able to do that.”
Prior to working at Badin, Dirk was in the newspaper business for 23 years: one year at a weekly paper in Fairfield and 22 years with the Hamilton Journal-News, as a sports writer (four years), sports editor (10 years), opinion page editor (six years), and managing editor (two years).
“I’ve been fortunate enough to have two memorable careers- two decades in the newspaper business and now two decades at Badin High School,” Dirk stated. “One didn’t necessarily have a lot to do with the other, but both enabled me to make a difference and to feel fulfilled by the effort I put into them.”
Beyond the walls of classrooms and administrative offices, Dirk also plays an active role in Badin athletics.
"I’m also the 'Voice of Badin' sports – the P.A. announcer for football, girls’ soccer, boys’ and girls’ basketball, boys’ and girls’ volleyball, and occasionally softball. That’s been a lot of fun."
Badin has experienced a tremendous amount of growth in the last 20 years, and Dirk is happy to share updates and news with Badin students and families.
“One thing I’m certainly proud of is that our student population has gone from about 450 to some 640 in the last dozen years,” Dirk exclaimed. “Our administration, faculty and staff worked hard to enhance what we do at Badin, and the proof is in the enrollment numbers. Our student body has increased every year but one for the past dozen years. It’s nice to have played at least some small part in that increase.”
Although Dirk retired from the admissions portion of his job earlier this year, he will continue to support Badin as the media relations liaison on a part-time basis.
“Being at Badin has been so meaningful to me,” Dirk shared. “I’m happy to continue to play a role in the opportunities for young people moving forward.”
When asked what advice he would give his teenage self, if given the chance, Dirk provided a contemplative response.
"I would tell my teenager self to enjoy high school more and not be so tightly wound. Yes, I was good at school, and I was very involved at Princeton High, but I was way too temperamental and angsty about the high school experience. I’d do it again tomorrow – and try to do it better."