The celebration and impact of Dave Feinberg
By SUMMER HAMPTON
Photos by TREVOR BARLOW, Monocle Designs Solutions, HERNANDO COUNTY SCHOOLS, and THE HAGLAND FAMILY.
On Monday, April 20th at 2:15 p.m. a drive-by was orchestrated to celebrate the life and legacy of David Feinberg. This was put together in a matter of days by the Feinberg family, a post from daughter Haydn read, “For those who don’t know, my dad David Feinberg was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 liver cancer this past October. At this current moment, despite an amazing and brave fight against this awful disease, we are not sure how much longer we as a family and community have left with him…….If you are able, this celebration of life will be taking place tomorrow, 4/20, starting at 2:15/2:30 PM and Mr. Feinberg will wave outside his room. Because it is going to take place at Hospice, please refrain from honking or playing loud music given that other patients are also staying here. Feel free to decorate your cars, make posters, show balloons, or whatever is on your heart to honor him.”
After this was posted, the community immediately responded by spreading the word. This resulted in 400 cars full of NCT students, staff, alumni, and friends of the Feinberg’s participating in this event. On the day of the drive-by there was even an expected 80% chance of rain at 2:00 p.m., but in the words of Mrs. Ferlita, senior class coordinator and math teacher, “Our colors are sky-blue for a reason---we will have blue skies. I don't care what the weather says!” And as if she willed the weather with her own words, Monday was a beautiful, clear day ready to be filled with celebration. Almost every car flaunted posters of appreciation and tenderness, with people hanging out of their windows blowing kisses and speaking words of support.
Mr. Feinberg has taught at Nature Coast Technical High School for 16 years and those 400 cars that attended this drive-by, don’t even begin to touch the surface of the impact he has made in Hernando County. Over the years, Mr. Feinberg has extended his love and affection to thousands of students and faculty. Where do you even find the words to describe and honor someone who has touched so many lives and in so many different ways?
Instead of trying to put his unique influence into words of my own, here are some words of kindness from previous students of the Feinberg’s;
Kim Hagland, NCT alumni 2016, recalled, “Mr. Feinberg is just one of those teachers you can tell anything to. You can talk to and hangout with him during lunch and in his office, even if he didn’t want you there. He always looked for the good in his students and is someone I’ve always looked up to. My whole family was extremely close to him, he had all of the Hagland kids in his class one way or another (four generations of sisters).”
Dan Lambert, NCT faculty, said, “Dave made everything better. Whether in the classroom, a sporting event, or any other school event; Dave was there helping, talking, and laughing with everyone. He will be sorely missed.”
Ian Wald has made a Flipgrid for Dave Feinberg, where anyone can make a video message for the Feinberg family. The following quote is from this website, please feel free to check out Flipgrid and share your own memories. Flipgrid.com, the section is called “Drive4Dave.”
Krista Evans, NCT alumni 2013, stated, “I wanted to come on here to tell you guys (the Feinberg’s) how much I love you and how much your support and kindness in highschool meant to me. You guys are the most amazing people I have ever met in my life and Mr. Feinberg, some of my favorite memories are from your class. I love you guys so much and I am sending you so much good energy and love during this time.”
The Feinberg family expressed how grateful Dave is for finding his career. He adored teaching and while he had an overwhelmingly positive effect on the kids of Hernando County, in return, his students made an even bigger impact on him. He is so thankful to have been a part of so many lives. Fivia Feinberg quoted Dave in saying, “How could I possibly be angry when I am so incredibly blessed.”
Dave Feinberg gave his whole heart and soul to his community and family. Fivia stated, “His love of teaching is extraordinary. He has touched so many lives and yet never slighted us as his children or family. This man has loved thousands of students and never, not once, fell short of his own. Haydn and Logan never felt like they had to share him because that's who he is. They have made him so proud. He was a phenomenal father and husband, I have a love story to last a lifetime. More blessed than we? I don't know who.”
Dave Feinberg should be an inspiration to all teachers. He is someone who has changed the lives of so many, through his devoted passion of teaching and understanding of his students. The people he has touched throughout his life are forever changed and grateful for it. Hernando County will honor him and his legacy forever, as his affection and warmth will never fade from our hearts.
Thank you Dave Feinberg.