David Dubin – Wantagh English Teacher, Long-Time Theater Director – to Retire

But He Will Continue to Teach at His Studio Theatre in Lindenhurst


Karen Kawecki, Reporter

The man, the myth, the legend, 57 years young, the original David Dubin has taught English at Wantagh High School for 35 years and will retire July 1. Dubin has been a model for English teachers throughout his entire Wantagh career.

Right after graduating from Colgate University, Dubin began working as an English teacher here in Wantagh in 1981.

He was inspired at an early age by his English teachers because they were able to unlock hidden meanings in what they were reading and how those meanings made him think about his life. He felt as if they knew secrets that he wanted to be in on. Dubin wanted to share these hidden meanings and secrets, so he became a teacher. He loves many aspects about teaching – but his favorite thing is how a piece of literature can have such an enormous impact on kids.

And Mr. Dubin continues to work hard as he enters his final two months of his long, storied teaching career. “There is a natural majesty about him that he doesn’t work for – or necessarily want,” said Mrs. Magnuson, who has taught English with Mr. Dubin for the past 25 years. “So even though he’s ‘one of us,’ it’s shocking to see him sitting in a study hall, photocopying or doing hall duty like the rest of us.”

Dubin had been the voice of Wantagh for 34 years, doing the morning announcements every morning. This was very hectic for him and he could never prepare for his 1st period classes. He decided that he wanted his last year in Wantagh to be a stress-free, organized one, and Mr. Brown thought that Mr. Shapiro would be lively and energetic for morning announcements.

“Mr. Dubin has a unique mystique about him,” said Mr. Shapiro. “He makes close personal connections with students by revealing absolutely nothing about himself.”

“Many students (may be put off) due to his dry humor but I say that’s what makes him truly great,” said Bryce Powell, a W.H.S. senior.
He was also the director of the shows in the Wantagh High School Theatre Department. In his time here, he directed 78 shows.

When asked about how he will enjoy his retirement, Dubin, who earned his master’s degree from N.Y.U., says that he isn’t retiring but will be working harder. He recently bought Studio Theatre in Lindenhurst and that he will continue to teach, just not in a school. Owning his own theater was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up. He is closing one chapter of his life and opening another.

“At his plays you see students from every decade of his teaching,” said Mrs. DeLyra.

Over the years, Dubin has developed a philosophy about teaching,”If you can convince the students that what you have to offer them is in their best interest to have, the job becomes a lot easier, so you as a teacher better know what that is and really believe that the students would be better off knowing what you have to teach them. I do believe students become more interesting if they read more challenging literature. I think my students sense that I believe that, and that makes the job easier.”
“No matter what Mr. Dubin presents to students or how he discusses it, they walk out of his class feeling more enlightened than when they came in,” said his long-time English colleague Mrs. Turner.

After everything Dubin has done for this school, it is a hard goodbye, especially for him. He says, “I am going to miss all of my students and colleagues very much. The most important people in my life right now are in this school and it’s not that easy to walk away from that. I am not leaving because I want to, I have to.”