It has been said “You can never go home.” Don’t tell that to Quitman High School class of 1996 graduate David French.
French was recently named to be Dana Hamrick’s assistant principal at QHS and he couldn’t be happier. “I am so excited to be coming back to Quitman. I am so thankful for the opportunity given to me by Dana Hamrick and Rhonda Turner,” French acknowledged.
French attended Blinn Junior College before moving on to get a bachelor’s degree from Sam Houston State University and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Texas A&M. He received his principal’s certification through Stephen F. Austin State University.
French got his first teaching and coaching assignment at Bryan High School. “My wife (Summer) was teaching art at Bryan High School and she happened to have a conversation with the head coach there, Bob Bellard, son of former Aggie Coach Emory Bellard. That conversation got me an interview and he took a chance on me and the rest is history. I coached there with some really great top level high school coaches,” French said.
Following Bryan, French took a job at Lindale followed by Conroe Oak Ridge. “I only was there one year. We loved it, but it was just too far from our families. My daughter, Gracyn, was two or three years old at the time,” French said. “We were blessed to get back into the Lindale system. Lindale was thinking about starting culinary arts and they were interested in Summer pioneering that program. No challenge is too hard for my wife. She started that program so we decided to come back.”
French credited others for their influence on his life. “I grew up watching my mom give a majority of her life, probably 30 to 40 years to the community, through work at KMOO, the Wood County Democrat and serving in chamber of commerce in Quitman and Mineola,” French said. “Men of character like my dad, Dan Webb, Tony Gilbreath, Robert Linker, Todd Shackelford and Kelly Baird all played a big role in my life. My senior year, Coach Baird made sure I took math and signed me up for his trig and calculus class. I spent every Sunday evening at his house because he had to tutor me. But believe me, it played a huge role in me being able to pass college algebra. Those relationships played a huge role in molding who I am today. Community service has always been a big deal for me. Seeing people involved and invested in their community is important to me.”
French is looking forward to his role at QHS. “I want to build relationships, and 20 to 30 years from now I want someone to be able to say to me the things I say now about Coach Baird, Coach Shack and Coach Gilbreath, all of those men who had such a powerful influence on the man I have become,” French commented. “I want to make a positive influence on people and I want them to understand how important education is and how it is a difference maker which can change your life.”