"Dalton is an excellent student," said Katie Cline, who teaches reading. "He's always raising his hand and volunteering."
He loves sports and is a member of the school's safety patrol, monitoring the halls and making sure younger students are following the rules and are where they need to be.
What sets Dalton apart and has generated his following is not just his character as a student, but because of his character as a person.
Dalton was diagnosed with Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma -- a form of cancer -- in late 2010.
In order to show their support for Dalton and to help raise money for his family's expenses this semester, HCES began selling Team Dalton bracelets for $1.
The rubber bracelets are similar to the Lance Armstrong "Live Strong" bracelets, but are camouflage and have "Team Dalton" in italics pressed into the rubber.
"They say Team Dalton because we're all on his team and his fight," said assistant principal Amy Goff. "And they're camouflage, because that's what he likes."
Goff is also Dalton's former 3rd grade teacher and also taught his sister Chessie, who is 14 months older.
Katie Cline, Dalton's reading teacher, initially came up with the idea of selling the bracelets.
"It just started out as something for 5th graders," Cline said. "Then I thought it would be better if the whole school was wearing (the bracelets)...then I thought it would be even better if the whole community got involved."
Since the school began selling the bracelets at the start of school this semester, the demand has outgrown the supply.
"We're now having to order (the bracelets) by the thousands," Goff said.
She said the school is having to order adult and child sizes in order for everyone to "join the team."
"We've had teachers concerned that some students may not be able to purchase (the bracelets), so they came in and ordered class sets with their own money," Goff said.
Cline said the school has raised around $300 so far after purchase and shipping costs.
Goff and Cline said although the $1 bracelets are helping with medical expenses, the intent is to show support.
"He needs to understand that it doesn't matter what he's going through that we have his back and we're going to be there for him," Goff said.
Cline said students are not only buying bracelets, but bringing in pennies and using their ice cream money as donations.
"The biggest thing I've seen is that (Dalton) hasn't really been treated differently," Goff said. "They're still treating him like their best friend."
Cline said one of the most moving instances of support by Dalton's peers came one day during recess when Dalton wasn't feeling well. She said Dalton was sitting on the bleachers while the other students were burning off energy.
"This whole group of boys realized (Dalton) couldn't get up and run and do all the rough stuff like they were doing, so they sat down and hung out with (Dalton)," Cline said. "It is so touching to see how the children react."
Although Dalton has lost his hair due to the chemotherapy treatment, it has not changed his view of his appearance.
Goff said, for example, Dalton was recently chosen as a Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) student. Students chosen as STAR students have their picture taken and are recognized during a school luncheon.
When asked if he would like a new photo taken for the luncheon or if he would like an older photo to be used, Dalton chose to smile for the camera.
"He's very proud of his fight and is not embarrassed by any means," Goff said.
Dalton has a peripherally inserted central catheter -- otherwise known as a PICC line -- in his arm to make chemotherapy treatments easier.
For some, the PICC line could inhibit the ability to perform certain tasks or to take part in certain activities. This is not the case for Dalton.
"They've been teaching square dancing in P.E. and I asked Dalton if he still felt like doing it with the PICC line," Goff said. "He said he still wanted to and that he'd just use his other arm."
The school will also continue their support for Dalton through a different medium. Cline said he will also be the honorary member of the school's Relay for Life team this September.
Dalton and his family
Although most chemotherapy patients suffer weight loss and loss of appetite, that has not always been the case throughout Dalton's treatment.
"I love bacon," Dalton said, smiling ear to ear.
"But lately he's been eating cheese burgers like they've been going out of style," his grandmother Candy McElroy said.
Rebecca Rowe, Dalton's mother, explained his cancer is maintained in his neck and once gone, will likely not come back.
He is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatments and should be finished by late February or early March.
She said everyone from Dalton's teachers and friends, to perfect strangers who have donated everything from meals to disinfectant wipes, have played a role in helping the family during their fight.
"It feels like the whole community is lifting us up," Rowe said.
Rowe gave special thanks to her church, Christ Mission Northwest in Acworth.
"When Dalton started to lose his hair, the church held a head shaving party where 10 people besides Dalton shaved their heads," Rowe said.
To document their journey, Rowe started a blog on www.caringbridge.org. The family has seen support and donations from people across the globe and the blog has seen over 12,000 hits.
"It's really cool to see how big our prayer chain is," Dalton said, "and it's really nice having something to look forward to every night and see how many people out there are supporting me."
Dalton has a U.S. and a world map with stickers indicating the location of his followers and supporters.
McElroy said this has given Dalton something to look forward to at the end of the day, especially when receiving treatments at Egleston Children's Hospital in Atlanta.
However, Rowe isn't the only one communicating about Dalton.
"I like to check my Facebook and see people e-mailing me and answering their questions," Dalton said. "And posting my status. My teachers at school ask how I'm doing, so I usually get on Facebook."
Another supporter of Dalton is family friend Dr. Jeff Esslinger of Cartersville.
Rowe explained Esslinger has made Dalton his "mascot" for the St. Baldrick's Foundation fundraiser -- an event to raise money for childhood cancer.
"This was an opportunity that when presented to us we were very excited to be able to help do something for someone in need," Rowe said.
Dalton will go to the fundraiser on March 13 and will witness Esslinger shave his head to join those who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy treatments.
Dalton said his favorite subject in school is science and every year he participates in Science Olympiad, a national non-profit organization whose goal is to "bring science to life" in schools.
He said a possible career could be entomology -- the scientific study of insects.
"I just like to look at them, and go outside and find them," Dalton said.
"We have a very strict 'no bugs' in the house policy," Rowe said, laughing.
Rowe and McElroy said it was also important to remember Chessie and her role as the big sister.
"We ask that people don't go up and ask 'how's your brother,' we ask they say 'how are you doing, Chessie," Rowe said.
However, Chessie isn't necessarily getting the short end of the stick.
"My husband said something after 42 years of marriage I had never heard him say," McElroy said. "He said 'is the mall still open,' and then we went shopping."
"We've gone shopping a lot," Chessie said, smiling.
Throughout Dalton's fight, he has remained positive and has not let his illness affect his attitude.
"I try to stay positive and not stress about it," Dalton said. "If you stress more, you'll just make things worse. And if you're positive, hopefully things will go your way."
An account in the name of William K. Rowe for minor child Dalton Umphrey is open for donations at Regions bank in Cartersville. The last four digits of the account are 1396 and the phone number is 678-721-1580.
For information on Team Dalton bracelets, contact Amy Goff at Hamilton Crossing Elementary, 770-606-5849