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In memory of Dave Herz, Academic Community Transition Teacher

Remembering+David+Herz%2C+and+his+impact+on+special+education+students.+Used+with+permission+from+Kelly+Herz
Remembering David Herz, and his impact on special education students. Used with permission from Kelly Herz

The Lynbrook community warmly remembers Academic Community Transition Teacher David Herz, a loving husband, father and role model for Special Education students. Herz passed away unexpectedly on July 1 after enjoying a road trip with his family.

Joining Lynbrook in the 2019-20 school year, Herz inspired his students and cared deeply for their successes. Herz helped his students thrive both inside and outside the school environment, taking them out to bowling alleys for fun, and to grocery stores to plan out their meals for the week. Nurturing strong personal relationships with his students, Herz always looked forward to seeing them each year and embraced the challenge of figuring out how to best meet their needs.

“He was such a happy person, always the life of the party. That’s how I’ll remember Dave — a happy and involved person.”

— Beverly Herz, David Herz’s mother

Outside of teaching Special Education, Herz was very active in the school community, working closely with Viking Buddies, coaching the JV boys tennis team and being the freshman class adviser. He was one of five teachers who supervised the annual Europe trip by prioritizing their safety and sharing stories with them throughout their travels.

“He was a really, really kind and gentle person,” senior Delaina Scott said. “We were on the train to Avignon in France and we talked the entire three hours about how he grew up and how he became a teacher. He had a lot of  really  cool stories to tell.”

After graduating from UC San Diego, Herz met his wife, Kelly Herz, at his first teaching job as a first grade teacher at McKinley Elementary School.  Shortly after, the couple married and welcomed their two children, Maile and Danny. Later, Herz founded the elementary school Success Academy in San Jose’s Franklin-McKinley Elementary School District, where he served as the principal. He taught first and fifth grade as a general education teacher for about 15 years prior to arriving at Lynbrook. Alongside owning a school, Herz achieved his long-standing ambition of opening his own wine-bar restaurant, Pizza Vino, in San Jose. After returning to school in 2017 to earn his Special Education teaching credential, Herz taught Special Education to elementary and high school students.

“He was such a happy person, always the life of the party,” said Herz’s mother, Beverly Herz. “That’s how I’ll remember Dave — a happy and involved person.”

Beyond education, Herz was an avid baseball fan, always sporting his San Francisco Giants jersey at local ballparks on the weekends. Kelly Herz cherises their time together attending Giants games and playing Fantasy baseball — her interests sparked by his. She warmly remembers a baseball game they attended together in Cincinnati, where Herz befriended multiple Giants fans in the stands. 

“He made friends easily, and that impacted my life because I got to meet a lot of cool people that I probably would’ve never met,” Kelly Herz said.

Herz is lovingly remembered for his humor and the countless smiles he brought to his family’s faces. His family treasures the laughter they shared as they played games during family trips. Herz loved to travel whenever he got a chance, and especially loved Mexico.

Maile Herz cherishes her special moments with her father on their vacations — often spending  time during summers camping or backpacking together — and the wisdom he instilled in her.

“He definitely taught me to go for my dreams, because he had many dreams of his own in his life,” Maile Herz said.

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Surya Saraf, Copy Editor
(she/her) Surya is a copy editor and grammar enthusiast. In her free time she enjoys reading thought-provoking novels written by great women, watching films for hours and trying new Italian restaurants.
Katie Chin, Copy Editor
(she/her) Katie is a senior and one of the Copy Editors for the Epic. She is excited for her third year on staff, and some of her hobbies include baking, reading and listening to music. She also loves trying new food, sleeping too much and going to the beach.

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