After 23 years at Harvard-Westlake, science teacher David Hinden will be retiring at the end of this school year.
When Hinden first arrived at the school, he only taught Biology and Biology Honors. However, as time progressed, Hinden began to play a number of different roles at the school.
In addition to teaching, Hinden served as the Dean of Faculty, worked with the school’s Institute for Scholastic Sports Science and Medicine, and has headed the workload study for the past dozen years.
Hinden has also created two courses in his time at Harvard-Westlake. He began teaching Genetics and Biotechnology after the school decided to move biology courses to the Middle School. This move allowed Hinden to teach a specialized course in the field in which he received his Master’s degree. Hinden also taught a class in the Kutler Center called “Criminal Law and Advocacy.”
“When the Kutler Center opened, I thought it was a great opportunity to try something different,” Hinden said. “It was interesting to have the freedom to do whatever we wanted to do.” His Kutler Center class also allowed Hinden to put his legal background as an attorney to use.
“I wanted to do something that I thought would be inherently more satisfying than I found what I was doing exclusively in practicing law,” Hinden said.
Hinden also has put this background to use as coach of the Mock Trial and Moot Court teams. He began coaching Mock Trial during his first year after being asked by a student, and began coaching Moot Court only a few years ago. Both teams have won county and national championships under his mentorship.
Nadia Rahman ’15, who took Hinden’s Criminal Law class and participated in Mock Trial and Moot Court, described Hinden as inspirational.
“Mr. Hinden has a subtle epic-ness that you don’t really notice until he delivers an argument you’ve written and makes it sound ten times more convincing,” Rahman said. “Then he gives you your speech back and tells you that you can do the same with a little more practice. He’s the best combination of teacher and lawyer you could have.”
Hinden said that he will miss his students the most. Lucas Hernandez ’14, who had Hinden both for Chemistry and Genetics and Biotechnology, said he felt very fortunate to have had Hinden as a teacher.
“He tries to establish deeper connections with the people around him, both personal and academic,” Hernandez said. “[He is] by far one of the most caring adults I have had the pleasure to know.”
While he has made no concrete plans for what he will do after retiring from what he described as a “dream job for a teacher,” Hinden knows that he will be travelling a lot over the course of the next year.