Public PK-12 School District in Dalton, Georgia

Dalton Public Schools News

The Dalton Academy: An Academic and Soccer Powerhouse

AP Capstone & 3DE school wins boys soccer state championship in inaugural school year

TDA soccer team

The Dalton Academy Boys Soccer Team won the Georgia Class A Public State Championship in their inaugural season. 

In its inaugural season, The Dalton Academy boys soccer team claimed the state championship with a resounding 4-2 victory against Drew Charter Academy. This is quite a remarkable accomplishment considering that The Dalton Academy just opened its doors in August  2021 as part of the secondary school reconfiguration process in Dalton Public Schools. The boys soccer team finished with an overall record of 18-2 and went undefeated in region play. This allowed the Pumas to have home-field advantage throughout the state playoffs and play at the new Dalton Stadium, a FIFA-regulation sized artificial turf field, which opened for game play in April. 

Head coach Rury Alvarez said, “We are truly blessed to have a tremendous group of young men who are excellent student-athletes. They work hard in the classroom and on the soccer field. Hard work pays off.” 

The Dalton Academy is a grades 10-12 magnet high school that focuses on service, leadership, and entrepreneurship while featuring the Advanced Placement (AP) Capstone Diploma program as well as Junior Achievement’s 3DE instructional model. With such outstanding programs and academic offerings available, the school is currently experiencing growth with a 10 percent increase in student enrollment for the next school year. Students at The Dalton Academy select a career pathway when they enroll. The career pathways housed at the school include Early Childhood Education, Health Sciences, Law & Public Safety, and Marketing & Entrepreneurship. 

Earlier this school year, The Dalton Academy received the distinction of being named an AP Capstone School by the College Board. The AP Capstone program is known for its academic distinction and is one of the most rigorous college prep programs offered in high school. The program offers flexible student-centered curricula with room for creativity and student input. It helps students become independent critical thinkers and problem solvers while helping them to stand out in the college application process. 

“This program will benefit students and provide more opportunities,” said ninth-grade student Diego Santana, an AP Capstone student. “It will give us an edge over other students when applying for college.” 

Diego Santana signing AP Capstone certificate

The Dalton Academy Principal Matt Mederios looks on as student Diego Santana commits to the Advanced Placement Capstone Diploma program during a signing ceremony for the program’s first cohort.  

The Dalton Academy is the only high school in the Northwest Georgia region to offer the AP Capstone program. Students can complete the AP Capstone program, and earn an AP Capstone diploma, by the end of their junior year. This allows students the flexibility to enroll in dual enrollment classes full-time their senior year and earn free college credits while in high school. The school has already seen a 41 percent increase in enrollment in the AP Capstone program since officially being recognized with the program by the College Board in January.

When the 2022-2023 school year gets started in August, all freshmen that have selected The Dalton Academy as their high school of choice, approximately 150 students, will be the first cohort to engage in the 3DE instructional model. The 3DE model, a product of Junior Achievement, is an innovative instructional model designed to systematically re-engineer high school education. Students engage in competency-based, case methodology focused on academic comprehension and economic competitiveness. The case methodology approach of 3DE strengthens comprehension through application and builds critical and analytical thinking. It also immerses students in the collaborative decision-making process and integrates core content skills to address authentic industry-specific scenarios. 

As a central element of 3DE’s model, case methodology provides ongoing connectivity between classroom curriculum and the demands of the current economy, uniquely engaging our stakeholders in shaping what it means to be prepared for the next generation of work. 

“3DE will provide our students with an interdisciplinary approach so that they make connections with their learning,” said Matthew Mederios, principal at The Dalton Academy. “This will reinforce concepts and make the learning environment more authentic, rigorous, and relevant.” 

“3DE, coupled with our AP Capstone Diploma program, will provide our students with the necessary knowledge and skills to become lifelong learners that are prepared for success in college, career and civic life,” said Josh Deslattes, assistant principal of The Dalton Academy. The Dalton Academy will be the only high school in the North Georgia area to offer the 3DE model. 

“The future is bright at The Dalton Academy with so many wonderful, and successful, academic and extracurricular opportunities that students can take advantage of,” Dr. Mederios said.

“I love being a student at The Dalton Academy,” said sophomore Ayda Hernandez, a former Dalton High School student. “The staff at the school makes us feel like family, and we feel like we are at home. The teachers and administration truly care about us and do everything they can to help us. They are the Dalton difference.”

For more information regarding The Dalton Academy, visit their website at To schedule a tour of the school, please contact Principal Matthew Mederios at

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