When Lincoln alum Carlesa Dixon (Class of 1999) thought about naming her daughter, one name came to mind—Alanna. It was the name of her favorite teacher who taught her second grade at Charles Rice Learning Center.
Today, Dixon is the girls head basketball coach at her high school alma mater. As coach, Dixon herself is the inspiration for many students she works with.
AlumNow, a Hub feature that checks in with district alumni, took a few minutes to catch up with Dixon to find out what she’s been doing since her days as a stand-out player on the Tigers Basketball Team.
What are you doing now?
I am currently the head girls basketball coach at Lincoln High School where I also teach health. I have been here for four years, and this is my 10th year in education as a teacher/coach.
Briefly list a few of your career and/or personal highlights.
In my first year at Lincoln, I led our team to the Texas 4A State Championship game where we finished as the number two team in the state. I’ve been named District Coach of the Year (twice); created and organized the biggest and most successful alumni pep rally in Dallas ISD with more than 900 people in attendance each year.
What was your favorite subject or activity/involvement in high school?
Basketball was my favorite activity, because I used it as an avenue to earn a free college education and to obtain my degree in criminal justice from Wichita State University (Go Shockers!). Basketball gave me the opportunity to experience and travel the country and world while playing collegiately and professionally.
Who was your favorite teacher?
My favorite teacher was my second-grade teacher Alanna Arenivs at Charles Rice Learning Center. She was so loving, patient, and cool. I actually named my daughter after her.
What lesson did you learn in high school or beyond that has served you well through the years?
I was blessed with the opportunity to grow under the leadership of the late Dr. Napoleon B. Lewis, who instilled the value of hard work and discipline and always striving for excellence in everything I do. I have taken that with me everywhere, and I try to pass it along to the students I encounter on an everyday basis.
What advice, if any, would you offer to high school students today?
The best advice that I could give to students today would be to take advantage of every opportunity they are given to learn something new, and to persevere through the difficult times. I want them to dream big and go for whatever it is that they believe in.
What inspires you?
The thing that inspires me is the desire to bring out the best in each student, player, and person that I come in contact with. I enjoy watching them grow into productive students, players, and people.
College/University and degree earned:
University of Nevada-Las Vegas; Wichita State University, B.S. in criminal justice (2013); currently pursuing my masters in sports education at Concordia University.
If you are a Dallas ISD alum and would like to be considered for an AlumNow spotlight, please complete the questionnaire and submit along with a recent high-resolution headshot. We look forward to catching up with you and sharing your accomplishments.