Forty Under 40: Dustin Seaton

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 1,932 views 

Class of 2018 Forty Under 40 Dustin Seaton Gifted and Talented Specialist Northwest Arkansas Education Service Cooperative

Historian and educator Dustin Seaton wants to help young people envision the world they wish to live in, then develop the understanding and resources to actuate it.

Supporters say he often inspires young people into political activity.

A Van Buren native, Seaton graduated from the University of Central Arkansas in 2006 with a major in history and a minor in interdisciplinary studies.

He has traveled extensively, taught in Pine Bluff, Prairie Grove and Springdale, earned a master’s degree in secondary education and served as a political consultant.

He was a consultant and assistant during Bill Halter’s campaign for lieutenant governor in 2006, and worked full time as Halter’s policy and events coordinator during the 2007 legislative session.

Seaton now organizes gifted and talented (GT) activities for the 16 public school districts in Northwest Arkansas, along with some private and charter schools. He’s had the job since 2017, and the local co-op is the only one of 15 in the state to staff a GT specialist full time. Seaton organizes quiz bowls, chess tournaments and STEM events to challenge students, and he works closely with GT coordinators.

“There’s a myth that GT means you’re high achieving, good at everything,” he said. “In reality, it’s for students who aren’t having needs met in the classroom. They may be bored or needing social and emotional development.”

In 2014, Seaton was appointed to the Governor’s Advisory Council for Gifted and Talented Education. For 10 years he’s served on the advisory committee for the state’s National History Day.

He is managing Denise Garner’s campaign for state representative in District 84, and William Chesser’s bid for Washington County Assessor.

Married with two children, Seaton is on the board of the Washington County Historical Society.