Watts is a Juvenile Court Schools teacher at SCOE's Carson Creek Jr./Sr. High School campus where he works with detained, at-risk students. Carson Creek is located within the Sacramento County Boys Ranch juvenile facility operated by the Sacramento County Probation Department.
In his graphics arts classes, Watts has a weekly art contest where students compete for prizes. The contest teaches students how to work together successfully. He also developed a student teaching assistant program allowing students to earn the right to assist in the classroom, while learning leadership skills and responsibility. In addition, students in the Carson Creek graphic arts class benefit from a partnership with The Arts Institute of Sacramento. Every three months, a representative from the institute visits with students, makes presentations and talks about career opportunities in digital media and design. An entrepreneur program in the class provides graphic arts design services to SCOE staff and the public. The program and its students have created designed logos for several SCOE campuses and projects.
Watts, also named News 10's October 2008 Teacher of the Month, accompanied six of his graphic arts technology students on a behind-the-scenes tour of the television station on December 13.
The students spoke with news team members Dan Elliott, Darla Givens, Jennifer Smith and Kelly Jackson, who gave them advice such as "Find a job you love," "Never stop learning" and "Continue with your education." Teamwork and collaboration were emphasized by News 10 staff, who cited the necessity of working together to create a newscast. Students performed mock weather reports and visited inside the control room.
"The students were very excited about the tour and stated that now they can make the connection between what they are learning in class and what skills are needed to work at a news station like News 10," Watts said.
Daniel Watts was honored at the Sacramento County Teachers of the Year Banquet held on September 3, 2008, at the Sacramento Hilton. During the 2008–09 NBA season all Sacramento County school district Teachers of the Year will be honored during a special halftime ceremony during the Sacramento Kings/Utah Jazz game at ARCO Arena on February 6, 2009.
Tickets for Teacher Appreciation Night, which is presented by Maloof Sports and Entertainment and Intel Corporation Folsom, are available by contacting Sean Sterner, Group Sales Account Manager, at (916) 473-4031.
The Sacramento County Teachers of the Year Program is presented by SCOE in partnership with Maloof Sports and Entertainment, the Intel Corporation Folsom and the Sacramento Scottish Rite Bodies of Freemasonry.