By Emily Spalding
When he is not rocking out on the guitar, tinkering on the piano, or banging around on the drums, David Stillman teaches English at Collegiate. When one thinks of an English teacher’s high school years, it is easy to imagine him running the literary paper, winning writing contests, and outshining everyone in English class. However, Mr. Stillman spent most of his high school years focusing more on his passion at the time: music. His desire to play guitar led him to form several bands in high school, and after deciding to pursue a musical career, he, along with his band mates, convinced each of their families to allow them to put off college for a few years in order for them to concentrate on music. All geared up to embark on his musical journey, Mr. Stillman’s dreams of pursuing his desired career were halted when his bass player announced that he would be moving to Alaska. Bandless, Mr. Stillman enrolled at Washington & Lee University where he discovered his love for English.
As an English teacher, Mr. Stillman draws influences from notable writers including James Joyce, William Butler Yeats, Dante Alighieri and Seamus Heaney. While plugged into his iPod, he can be found listening to a wide array of music including the country sounds of The Civil Wars, the Irish tunes of the Frames, and the reggae vibes of Toots and the Maytals, just to name a few. Continuing with the pattern of eclectic tastes, Mr. Stillman selected the vastly diverse group of British philosopher Christopher Hitchens, the poet Seamus Heaney, and Bruce Springsteen to join him at a dream dinner party.
Mr. Stillman is no stranger to teaching high school students, having taught for thirteen years at Suffield Academy in Connecticut and three years at the Windward School in California. In addition to teaching, he has been an active member of the arts programs and served as a swim and water polo coach at his preceding schools. He will coach the swim team this winter season at Collegiate and he also hopes to become involved with the theater and music programs. Mr. Stillman is excited to be back in his native state and to be teaching and getting to know all of his new students in his sophomore English and creative nonfiction courses. And if there is one thing Mr. Stillman’s students will learn is that English rocks