What’s the history between you and the City of Salem?
I’ve been employed by the City of Salem Schools for 35 years. I have worked all of those years at South Salem, and I’m currently the school’s building manager. Over the years, I have worked with five different principals: Mr. Powers, Martha Ratcliff, Joe Coleman, Alan Seibert and Margaret Humphrey. I have learned so much from all of them. One of the things they collectively taught me was how to become a leader.
Talk about your education background. Where did you go to school?
I’m a 1981 graduate of William Fleming High School. History was my favorite subject in school. I also enjoyed the band and learned how to play various genres of music such as classical and jazz. Being in the marching band laid a foundation of music that is still there today.
What is your proudest accomplishment to date?
Living long enough to become a father and grandfather. I have a daughter who is 25-years-old and a granddaughter who is five-years-old. Watching my granddaughter grow up is something that I cherish every single day.
What is your favorite musical instrument?
I’m a drummer. I have been playing the drums since I was eight. I’ve been fortunate to play with a variety of musicians.
What are some things you like to do in Salem?
Playing the drums at Shiloh Baptist Church. I also enjoy playing with friends in our Smokestack Blues Band.
How long have you worked in your current occupation?
I have worked in my current occupation for 37 years. Before that, I worked for Roanoke County Public Schools.
Who are some people that inspire you?
Mr. Landis and Mr. Broadnax – my band directors in junior high and high school. They taught me how to read music and follow my dreams as a musician. I still play in the church and with the band in large part because of them.
What motivates you?
As I have gotten older, I have come to realize that putting my faith in Jesus Christ is my first priority. I can’t do anything without him!!
What does an average week look like for you?
Waking up early in the morning, going to work and taking care of the students at South Salem School. I spend most of my time in the evening practicing with different choirs and with my band. I stay active in my church and really enjoy spending time with my family. We enjoy watching and attending sporting events.
If you could go back and give an 18-year-old David some advice, what would you say?
I would tell myself always to strive to be the best person that you can be in life without compromising your own values.
-Compiled by Shawn Nowlin