Last week the school year started for Hernando County’s teachers and students, but one teacher was not there. Dave Feinberg, a science teacher, who had taught at Nature Coast Technical High School for fifteen years, passed away from cancer this past May. His absence is felt not only by his family, but by the entire school.
On Wednesday, August 19, students, faculty, and staff, along with Feinberg’s widow and two grown children gathered in the NCT school cafeteria to honor his memory. In a moving ceremony, they unveiled a large plaque that will be affixed to a pavilion in the school courtyard. Feinberg used to stand out in this courtyard almost every day to greet students as they entered the campus.
Several administrators at the school choked back tears as they spoke about this respected and beloved educator. He was not just a colleague; Mr. Feinberg was so close a friend to many there that he was like a family member.
Principal Mrs. Toni-Ann Noyes stated, “How did I feel about Dave? I felt love, honesty, dedication, and everything that you can imagine that makes somebody so whole and fills that hole in your heart that you never felt you had. It’s like a puzzle piece. Dave Feinberg fit into my heart. So, I do have an empty spot in my heart.”
Three of the assistant principals also expressed their feelings about Mr. Feinberg.
Gary Buel commented, “Dave was the guy in the courtyard…whether it was morning duty, lunch duty, or pep rally duty. He knew that it was imperative that he be out there to take care of his students. With this [the memorial pavilion], you [referring to Feinberg] will always be a part of our Nature Coast campus.”
“I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity and the time to stand with Mr. Feinberg [on lunch duty]. I could always count on him. It was such a blessing to have the time to spend with him,” remarked Ms. Pam Loder.
On a lighter note, Ms. Josandra Maner commented, “We had great conversations in the morning. We always had a dispute on whether or not it was going to rain. When I thought it was cold, he would say ‘This is not cold.’ He’d be out with his T-shirt on and would tell me, ‘You’re just a Florida girl.’ So we did make good memories.”
According to Mrs. Noyes, Dave Feinberg was defined by his love and compassion for people.
“He always went the extra mile for the students. You could always find Dave
after school helping students. After graduation, they would come back to see him and share their life experiences with him.”
Although Feinberg was a hard-working and dedicated teacher, his family was his priority.
His widow, Fivia, remarked, “David was an adoring, loving husband, father, and
friend! A family man unlike any I have ever encountered. We continue to feel his love in all we do.”
Haydn, Feinberg’s twenty-one-year-old daughter, remarked, “My Dad always
managed to put his family first and he never let a day go by without telling and showing us just how loved we were. He showed me what it is to be family and what it means to be a kind, forgiving human being who embraces their faults and learns from them.”
“With my Dad, I felt love through his actions, through his kindness, and
beautiful existence every day of my life. I will never know a kinder, more
beautiful human soul than my Dad,” stated Feinberg’s twenty-eight-year-old son Logan.
If there is one phrase that can encompass his life, it is one that Mrs. Feinberg stated: “Dave Feinberg was LOVE personified.”
Now, with the pavilion in the courtyard, current and future students, teachers, faculty, and parents will have a tangible reminder of a man who gave so much to his students, his school, his friends, and his family.