Getting Paid in Ticonderoga Pencils

Would you be excited to receive compensation in Ticonderogas?

I recently read a great article on Slate about some students that want to be paid wages in Ticonderoga pencils! According to the article, students in Ipswich, Massachusetts spent 330 minutes trying out a new standardized test that they did not volunteer for. As a result, two-sixth grade classes sent a letter to U.S. Secretary Arne Duncan demanding that he or major testing companies compensate them for their time. They noted that the time they put in, if compensated at minimum wage, would equate to 8,689 Ticonderoga pencils.

Children often make demands of adults that are pretty ridiculous, but in this instance, I believe the students have a pretty good point. What is the harm in these students wanting great school supplies in exchange for the hard work they have put in? I definitely have to applaud them on their choice in pencils. Obviously, these students are pretty smart!

Good luck, kids. I’m rooting for you and will be excited to hear what they say.

Father’s Day Fun

I take great pride in my role as CEO at Dixon Ticonderoga Company, but there’s another role that I take even greater pride in…being a father to my daughter. She is the light of my world, and everything that I do is for her.

The best thing about having a young daughter is she teaches me something new every day. When thinking about the new products I would like to add to our lineup of Prang Art Supplies, I constantly use her as my inspiration. She is the perfect product tester, and you better believe she is brutally honest with her critiques!

With Father’s Day just a couple of days away, I already have the perfect fun and inexpensive activity planned for us to do together. I’ll grab our Prang Markers, print off this fun mustache craft, and spend some quality time with my favorite little girl. Go to DixonUSA.com to find more crafts for you and your kids to work on together on Father’s Day or any other day.

Father’s Day isn’t just for fathers. It’s also for the kids, the moms, the grandparents, the surrogate parents, the foster parents, and the role models. The list goes on and on! Happy Father’s Day to you and all the people dear to you!

Thoughts on Louis Prang

How often does your child come home from school with a new masterpiece? As most parents do, we recognize the creativity of our young Picasso and go about our day as usual.

It’s true, we’re all busy. There is much work to be done and who really has the time to consider the makings of each and every product our children use. But, what if we took the time to learn more about the products, the craftsmanship and the history behind our beloved products?

As the CEO of Dixon Ticonderoga Company, I’m extremely proud of our rich heritage. We’re one of America’s oldest corporations, and can trace our roots back to the American Revolution. However, I’m equally proud of the history of our Prang brand, which is also over 100 years old.

Louis Prang was an American immigrant who truly believed that every child deserved an art education in order to develop their imaginations and freedom of expression. Among his other accomplishments, he was America’s first art educator, and he even invented the Artist’s Color Wheel.

Inspired by the need to teach his young daughter art, he developed non-toxic watercolors, which we continue to produce today with the same care and quality that he intended for his young daughter. Louis Prang’s name is also listed on the Statue of Liberty as an important immigrant who made significant contributions to the United States.

So, the next time my daughter comes home with a refrigerator-worthy piece of art, or when I get a moment to relish in the fact that she has picked up a package of Prang Watercolors, I will say a quick thank you to Louis Prang for creating something that is so important to her, and to me.

Our Popular Prang Watercolors

Our Popular Prang Watercolors

The Importance of Mentorship

I can remember the day perfectly. The day my mentor and college professor, Dr. Barry Duvall, told me to apply up for his program for exceptional business students. When I replied that I didn’t think I would get in, he said, “Tim, who runs the program? I do. Now, are you going to do what I told you or not?” Needless to say, I did apply for the program and got in.

Throughout our adolescent and college years, we meet a variety of teachers that lead us, guide us and sometimes impact us in a way that challenges the person we are and makes us see something even greater. Dr. Duvall did that for me.  In one short conversation he changed the rest of my life.

As a small symbol of gratitude, I have decided to donate $1,500 to his school for a research grant in his honor. Dr. Duvall plans to use this grant to help fund the research where as he will be using our Prang Art Markers to recycle and turn into mixed oil, gasoline, and diesel fuel. I’m very excited to contribute to such a wonderful product life cycle cause such as the important work Dr. Duvall is doing in our society.

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Me with Dr. Duvall

I completed my Bachelor’s Degree then went on to get two Masters degrees and eventually became CEO of a company that is over 219 years old. I can’t imagine where I would be now without Dr. Duvall.  I have had the opportunity to see him recently, and it was a great opportunity to renew my friendship with a man that continues to inspire me each and every day. Thank you Dr. Duvall for being such a terrific mentor in my life in my early development years!

 

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Happy Teacher Appreciation Week

Do you have a teacher that impacted your life that truly changed the way that you see the world?

This week was Teacher Appreciation Week, and as I write this post, I have to pause and reflect on all the fantastic teachers that helped me get to where I am today. One remarkable teacher was Mrs. Flood, my high school English Teacher in Elizabeth City, NC.

I recently learned she passed away. When I heard the news I simply had to do something, this incredible teacher has impacted my life greatly, and because of that I felt the need to donate 100,000 Ticonderoga pencils to my high school in her honor. This week, I had the honor of speaking to the entire high school, to make sure that they understand just how much I appreciate Mrs. Flood for all the things that she did for me.

Teachers, on behalf of your students both past and present, thank you. You are appreciated – each and every day.

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Me at Northeastern High School

 

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Me at Northeastern High School with Mrs. Flood’s Family Members, School Board Representatives, and Ron Payne, Principal of Northeastern High School 

 

Do you Have the Power?

In the past two years, Dixon Ticonderoga Company has given over $30,000 worth of school supplies to teachers through our Prang Power program. If you’re reading this and you’re stumped about what Prang Power is, click here to see my blog post on Prang Power.

Have you signed up for Prang Power yet? If you haven’t, you’re missing out! Currently, almost 100,000 teachers, administrators, and parents are signed up for Prang Power and helping their school earn free school supplies.

Because we want to help even more teachers and schools in need, we’re going to be giving away Prang Power Points. Any current Prang Power Member that signs up their friends, parents, teachers, or administrators as a supporter on Prang Power will earn 5 Prang Power points per new member, up to 50 members. That’s 250 points!

To claim your points, send an email to teachersrock@dixonusa.com with the names and emails of all the new Prang Power members that you would like to sign up!

Introducing the NEW Ticonderoga Electric Pencil Sharpener

An unsharpened pencil has no point. I like this phrase because of its double meaning. Yes, an unsharpened pencil literally has no point, but an unsharpened pencil also is almost worthless, its potential hidden away until someone takes the time to sharpen it.

As the CEO of the ‘World’s Best Pencil’ company, I often get asked about pencils and pencil sharpeners. After all, what makes our pencils the best? I have many answers to that question: the premium wood that comes from reforested areas so you can know you are doing something good for the environment and something good for your writing abilities, the eraser is of a higher quality and does its job better, but the most important thing to most people is the core, which has a special formula to make it less prone to breaking.

Sometimes people do have complaints, but most of the time, the problem lies with the sharpener they’re using. If your pencils are coming out off-balance or broken, it may be time to consider a new sharpener.

I am pleased to announce that Dixon Ticonderoga Company is introducing its first electric pencil sharpener. This pencil sharpener is made with the same Ticonderoga quality that we put into all of our products. It has a powerful motor, and you can be sure that your pencil will be sharpened perfectly.

Click here to read more about our new Ticonderoga pencil sharpener. Check out our new Ticonderoga Pencil Sharpener in our favorite green and yellow below. However, we also have it in black and silver for those of you who prefer a classic look.

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Dixon Ticonderoga Company Named NASSTRAC Shipper of the Year

Dixon Ticonderoga Company had the honor of being named Shipper of the Year for 2014 by the National Shippers Strategic Transportation (NASSTRAC). This is a great honor to all of us at Dixon Ticonderoga Company, and especially to me, with a background in logistics.

I want to begin by recognizing all of our employees at our Macon, GA warehouse for all the hard work that they put in. The work that goes into receiving the title of Shipper of the Year is truly a team effort. I also should distinguish our core carriers whom we have a close relationship with and are a large reason for our success.

With their help, we were able to save almost over $2.0 million in 2013. The largest impact of this is that we can increase our Community Service support while also passing on consumer savings to our loyal customers. Since 2009, we have also donated almost $5 million to the Kids In Need Foundation in pencils alone and we have been a proud supporter of Kids in Need for over 15 years.

Thank you to everyone who has made this great honor possible for us, and who has in turn helped us to give back.

Introducing the NEW Ticonderoga Shaped Eraser

Hello! My name’s Nancy and I’m with the marketing department at Dixon Ticonderoga Company. Tim asked me to write a guest post for the blog, and I decided to write it on my new favorite product, Ticonderoga shaped erasers, in honor of Rubber Eraser Day on April 15th.

Did you know that tax day is also Rubber Eraser Day? Since you can’t “erase” doing your taxes, we have come out with a new Ticonderoga Pencil Shaped eraser. These are the perfect erasers for everything from tax season to back-to-school season.

They look just like our Ticonderoga pencils, right down to the green and yellow ferrules. Best of all, they’re the same great quality that you have come to expect from the Ticonderoga name.

Our Ticonderoga Erasers are the World’s Best Erasers. They do all the things that an eraser should do, the only difference is we do it better than any other eraser. They erase mistakes completely without tearing through the paper to leave a clear, smudge free writing surface.

Click here to learn more about our Ticonderoga Shaped Erasers now. After all, everyone makes mistakes!

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The Importance of Teachers

Education is the key to success in life, and teachers make a lasting impact in the lives of their students.

-Solomon Ortiz

 

Our teachers are our nation’s greatest resource. We entrust them not only with our children’s livelihoods but also our children’s futures. America’s future success depends on our children’s ability to connect with their teachers and truly learn something new and useful each and every day.

One of my goals is always to make teachers’ lives as easy as possible. Whether it is with my own child’s teachers or those of others’, I believe that it is important to support and encourage teachers. If we do not give our teachers the assistance they require, how can we expect those teachers to be able to support our children the way our children require?

One of the ways that we help teachers at Dixon is through free teacher lesson plans. Teachers can visit our website and download lessons to go along with nearly any curriculum, whether you students are studying math or reading. All of our lesson plans are accredited and adhere to state standards.

When we support our nation’s teachers, we also support our nation’s youth. It is imperative that we focus on doing all we can for teachers that they may be better prepared to do all they can for our children.

If you’re interested in checking out our free teacher lesson plans, please click here.