Have you met Mr. Dave Finfrock? He grew up on an egg ranch and citrus farm in Southern California and discovered his passion for photography in high school. He earned a BA in studio art with an emphasis in photography from Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. Mr. Finfrock has been a teacher at Dawson since 2003 and currently teaches photography, photojournalism, group dynamics, and advisory. Get to know him more in this edition of Teacher Spotlight!
How long have you been a teacher?
Much like my own age, I’ve lost track. I’d say I’ve been teaching for about 20 years, though. All I remember is when I started, my beard was a vibrant red and has since graduated into what I like to call a “wisdom-filled white.”
What’s your favorite thing about teaching at Dawson?
My favorite part about teaching at Dawson is the opportunity to work within a school culture that truly fosters personal discovery and meaningful engagement within the classroom. Also working in a place where I’m well-fed daily by Sage Dining and occasionally experiencing the “veggie-nirvana” that comes from the Ruffin Organic Garden is a close runner up!
What is your biggest goal for this school year?
Each year, I attempt to create a classroom environment saturated in positive reinforcement and wonderment through imagery, with the main goal of inspiring students to generate art they never thought possible.
How did you discover your own Brave Voice?
I am grateful to have parents that dished out unconditional love during my formative years, gave me the freedom to pursue my own academic and professional interests, and encouraged an internal guiding light. That influence and foundation generated a strong platform, allowing me to discover my own voice through photography and teaching.
What is one thing about you that would surprise your students?
During my college days in San Diego, I had thick, blonde, long ‘90s surfer hair and once filled a 100-minute Maxell cassette tape with a compilation of all my favorite electric guitar hard rock solo riffs put together into one seamless song.
What is your favorite thing to do when you aren’t working?
With Yelp as my guide, I absolutely love to venture into the unknown to discover new dining experiences from around the world. If left to my own devices, you’ll find me wandering multicultural markets with boba tea in hand marveling at the amazing foods I can’t wait to try!
What are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of my students--each one is a work of art in their own right. I’m proud of their individuality, self-expression, creativity and never-ending imagination that shines through in their work. I’m grateful for the opportunity to play a small role in their growth as artists and community members. And in those special moments when a former student takes the time to reach out and say, “Hey, you made a positive impact in my life…” This is what I live for.