“And, how would you feel about moderating school dances?” a familiar voice asked Dave Norton ’71 toward the end of his first job interview in 1975. Sitting across the table from Mr. Bernd McDivitt, Dave was instantly taken back to his senior English class and the rich, resonant voice that filled the room with the words of literary legends. Four years later, Dave, now a recent graduate from Towson University, had returned to Mount Saint Joseph for a meeting that would make a greater impact on his life than he could have possibly predicted.
He looked up at his high school English teacher, smiled and shrugged. “Sure, I can do that,” he responded. And with that, Dave was hired as a new math teacher at his alma mater. What came next was a successful and storied career spanning 44 years and positions held in every facet of school life.
Not too long after returning to The Mount, Dave, who had experience as a lifeguard and water safety certifications, was asked by Brother Corby Duffy, C.F.X. to work at Camp Saint Joseph. By the next year, Dave was in charge.
“I loved it; It wasn’t work,” he says. “My philosophy in life stems from family—that’s what I believe in—no matter what I do, it’s taking a group of people working together toward a common goal, getting along together and treating each other with respect. We became a family. In fact, my son, Joe ’05, started going to the camp when he was three years old. My daughter worked there and helped in the office. Joe worked as a junior counselor. That’s just what we did in the summer.”
My philosophy in life stems from family—that’s what I believe in—no matter what I do, it’s taking a group of people working together toward a common goal, getting along together and treating each other with respect.
One summer, registration got up to a whopping 180 campers aged 5-12 years old. “It was organized chaos,” Dave recalls, smiling. “So, we scaled back. The camp was very successful; even to this day you hear alumni telling stories about camp.” In each of those stories, former campers, even those who attended Mount Saint Joseph for high school, would affectionally refer to the camp’s director as “Mr. Dave.”
To the rest of the school, though, he was Mr. Norton, and as the years passed, new titles were continually tacked to the end of his nameplate—teacher, coach, club moderator, administrator, principal. Dave was the first lay teacher to take over the disciplinarian role at The Mount. “The dean of students was probably my favorite position I’ve ever had,” he admits. “It was the hardest, but it was the most rewarding because I was able to help those who really needed the help.”
Dave and former player Gavin Floyd '01, who went on to be a Major League Baseball pitcher for the Chicago White Sox and four other teams.
Dave celebrates with his team after winning the 2004 MIAA Championship.
Dave and former player Mark Teixeira '98, who played first baseman for the New York Yankees and three other Major League Baseball teams.