Is Mr. Dave a Secret Mama Bear?
The secret is finally revealed!
If I had to describe Dave in one word it would be legendary. He is legendary because he is unabashedly and truly himself regardless of who he is with, and he is one of the most supportive and unquestionably good individuals I have ever had the pleasure of encountering. Mr. Dave (or Davette for the elite) will be greatly missed at EABH by students and colleagues alike, if you didn’t know, at the end of the 2020/2021 school year he is moving back to Texas to be near his family, and he will continue to teach at a High School in Austin, his hometown.
When talking about Dave’s goodness, Mr. Túlio Resende, a Portuguese teacher at EABH and a personal friend of Mr. Dave’s put it best: “Dave is huge not only when it comes to his size” (he laughed) “but also when it comes to the amount of space he occupies within our hearts, (...) I find him to be a genuinely good person, this idea that he is good by nature, a concept that dates back to ancient philosophers. Dave transmits this feeling that it’s true, because how can someone be like this (this good)? Is being good just in his nature?”
Mr. Leonardo Botaro, (better known as Mr. B or Bizinho) a Math teacher at EABH and the true owner of Myron Dueck’s teaching book, unawarely corroborated with Mr. Túlio’s theory when he said: “Dave has made me realize that life is too short to hold grudges. He has taught me how to see the best in people, looking beyond their faults!”
Perhaps the answer to Dave’s goodness lies within his heart, as Viktoria Braun (2021 senior class representative) and Henrique Vieira (2021 senior class student and one of Mr. Dave’s personal project advisees) insinuated when they said Mr. Dave possesses a “big heart” and a “warm heart” respectively. All I can say is, Mr. Dave is a momma bear through and through, his goodness, kindness, and his deep care for his students are all examples of that.
When talking about how empathetic he is Mr. Túlio said: “(Dave) has this inclination to care for you, his students and his forever strong advisory kids” and I can concur, to not only the fact that Dave has this deep inclination to care for others, which is exemplified by his secret stash of chocolate for frazzled students and by his handmade ‘emergency packages' for this advisees but to the fact that we, the senior class, truly are his kids and see him as a parental figure.
Henrique Vieira said it best during our interview, when I asked him to leave a short message for Dave he said: “Dave I love you to death man! (...) You are definitely my second father— not only a teacher.” This is a sentiment shared by the entire senior class, who sees Dave as more than just a teacher and advisor, but also as a parental figure and friend.
Mr. Dave’s legacy at EABH is a remarkable one: he will be remembered as the teacher who oversaw the construction of several hydroponic gardens and windmills, led an AP Environmental Science project where the students got to keep pet fishes, and as the advisor that hauled twenty-something blocks of wood from his hometown in Texas to Belo Horizonte so that his advisees could karate chop them in a bonding activity.
In sum, Mr. David Ritchie will be greatly missed by the EABH community, and it is weird to think of the science room without his quotes plastered all over the walls and with the smell of his homemade baked goods. I am certain that I speak for the entire EABH community when I say he will be greatly missed, and we wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.
I have also asked the interviewees and the seniors to leave a short message for Dave, these are be exhibited below together with a message of my own:
1. Mr. Leonardo Botaro (Math teacher at EABH) :
“I’d like to let him know I love him dearly. As a friend and as a professional, working with him for the past 6 years… was not only an honor but the best 6 years of my adult life! Best of luck to you in your future endeavors!
P.S: Bostar is not a verb”
2. Henrique Vieira (Class of 2021):
“Dave I love you to death man! I will make sure to visit you many times throughout my journey as an adult. You are definitely my second father— Not only a teacher.”
3. Mr. Túlio Resende (Portuguese teacher at EABH)
“Eu não consigo acreditar que aconteceu esta pandemia, o que mais me revolta é que nos impediu de ter esta convivência final com ele, que ia ser gigantesca, porque ele é gigante, não só no tamanho, mas no tamanho que ele ocupa no coração da gente, eu acho ele uma pessoa genuinamente boa.”
4. Viktoria Braun (Class of 2021)
“Dave is just so cool. I am so grateful I had the opportunity to meet him and we had the opportunity to have him as an advisor because I don’t think there has ever been one (an advisor) as dedicated and caring as him.”
5. Stephanie Vasconcellos (class of 2021)
“From the bottom of my heart, thank you. I truly wish you the best of luck and hope your future is everything you hoped it would be and more. I won’t say goodbye because as I have mentioned to you before, Viktoria and I will visit you for thanksgiving as long as you will have us. And I hope you will set three extra seats at the table, one for me, one for prince Felix, and one for Jared. Viktoria can sit on the floor :).
6. Ester Ferreira (class of 2021)
Dave, we will never be able to repay all that you have done for us, but we will be forever grateful. you changed my life and I could not have asked for a better advisor, mentor, and friend. thank you for everything! love you!
7. Anne Margalith (class of 2021)
Mr. Dave, you’re such an amazing advisor and I’m gonna miss you so muchhh!! You’re gonna rock your new job and have an awesome time!! Thank you so much for always being there for us and always understanding our concerns, or when we’re tired or excited about something! You always make your best to try to cheer us up!! Thanks for literally everything!! ️
8. Artur Castro (class of 2021)
Dave, we will all miss you dearly. Thanks for being the glue that put us all together, the class of 2021 would be nothing without you!
9. Caetano Chequer ((class of 2021)
Dave, you are a special human being. Despite knowing you for only two years, I can tell why everyone loves you and why you are so special to our class. Thank you for the warm welcome when I joined EABH and for all the assistance during these last two years. I'm super grateful for having the chance to meet you and being able to say you were not only my advisor but also my friend. I wish you all the best in your life because you genuinely deserve it! I'll miss you, buddy!
10. Carlos Eduardo Pinto (class of 2021)
Thank you for everything you did for our class! You and I didn't exactly have the best start to our relationship but I am glad we were able to overcome it. I am sure we are going to continue to be in touch; I look forward to seeing you at the next Penn Relays and possibly make you eat some dust, hahaha.
11. Felipe Moreira (class of 2021)
Mr. Dave, I’m gonna miss you so so much it is hard to tell you what you mean to me and how much I have learned from you. You really are the best teacher and advisor we could ever have and I hope you have fun in Texas at your new school. Forever Strong!!
12. Guilherme Dias (class of 2021)
Dave, thank you for everything you talked to me. Every word, every teaching, and advice. I will miss you a lot.
13. Juan Magalhaes (class of 2021)
Mr. Dave, you were like a second father to me, much more than a teacher! You taught lessons I will take for the rest of my life! And took care of me! Thank you so much!
14. Lucas Leal (class of 2021)
Thank you so much for what you're done for all of us of Mr. Dave, I'll never forget all the moments you spent with us and hopefully, we'll be able to keep in touch and maybe I'll visit you in Texas
15. Pamela Gotschalg (class of 2021)
Hiiii Mr. Dave, I can not thank you enough for what you have done not only for me but for my entire class. I will forever be grateful to have had such an amazing teacher and person in my life. I honestly do not know what I am going to do without you in my life every day. You are truly the best teacher in the entire world. I would have not made it here if it wasn’t for you. Love you sooo much!
16. Pedro Mitkiewicz (class of 2021)
Dave, thank you so much for helping me through this difficult year. Moving is always scary, but having a teacher who I could trust like you meant more to me than you could imagine. You’re a great person and I know you’re gonna do great in the US!
17. Mohammed Alkawaja (class of 2021)
I’m gonna miss you, Mr. Dave! I hope you have a great time in Austin and don’t stop believing in yourself. You’re an amazing teacher and friend to everyone.
18. Sofia Pedrosa (class of 2021)
Dave, thank you so much for everything you have done for our class. As I have said before, you are like a father to us and our best friend. You have taught us so much and I wish I could give back a little of everything you have already done for us. I love you A LOT, I will miss you so much, and I will for sure visit you as much as I can!
19. Juana Merino (class of 2021)
Dear Mr. Dave, moving out of my country was difficult for me, but when I got to school you made sure that I joined the group, made friends, and went well academically. For all that I am eternally grateful and I'm going to miss you a lot in college.
20. Beatriz Mello (class of 2021)
Hi Mr Dave, thank you for being a wonderful adviser and APES teacher! We’ll all really miss you.
21. Ana Helena de Castro (class of 2021)
“Hey, Mr. Dave! You’ve been one of the best teachers I’ve ever had, and extremely trustworthy! Thank you so much for everything, I’m gonna miss ya!
22. Carolina Maia (class of 2021)
Thank you so much for being this incredible teacher, friend, and mentor. I say this with all of my certainty: you are the glue that holds us all together, forever strong! For over 5 years, you've been making our days much more fun with your colorful socks and your cheerful spirit. Never, never change. Keep shining light wherever you go! We will miss you a lot.