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Daleville teacher retires after 40 years of service

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 5.16.49 PMDALEVILLE — When David Parkison walked into the halls of Daleville Junior-Senior High School in August of 1974, no one knew that he would become as much a part of the school as the building itself.

Source: The Star Press

Parkison has had a hand in just about everything the school has to offer.

“I have never coached wrestling or the cheerleaders and I’ve never been a sponsor for the juniors,” Parkison said jokingly during an interview. But beyond that, there isn’t much that Parkison hasn’t done.

He has taught dozens of different classes, from seventh-grade Indiana history to consumer economics.

He has coached sports including junior high cross country and junior varsity and freshman basketball.

He drove a school bus for six years.

He even jumped into the administration, serving as assistant principal and transportation director, and then principal 1995-97.

Parkison has offered afterschool tutoring, sold tickets for athletic events, announced at baseball and basketball games and chaperoned many trips to the Indiana Statehouse and Civil War Days in Blackford County.

Parkison started the Daleville Historians Society, a social organization that has gone to the Indy Speedway, Civil War Days and Patterson Air Museum.

The one warning that Parkison has faced is the old saying that longevity builds complacency. In his case, Parkison said, it’s just not true. “I don’t lose sleep over it. If you do your job right then it isn’t true.”

His students say the same thing. For them, Parkison has been a staple for the school.

“Even if you didn’t have him as a teacher, you stopped by to talk to him,” Shelby Wright, an incoming senior at the school said. “He really just wants to help students understand the subjects; he always has a smile on while he does that.”

Parkison enjoys when his students learn not only the subject but something more than just the testing material.

“When they look for advice and they don’t mind me telling them, I tell them,” Parkison said

Parkison feels that the subject he has taught have given students more perspective. At least that’s why he got into teaching.

His favorite thing to do at the school has been teaching history and business because of their practical applications. He is a teacher who not only cares about the subjects but also that his students gain more than just the subject knowledge.

That is who David Parkison is. He came to have a fascination with history after seeing the impact of the Kennedy versus Nixon debates as a kid.

The magnitude and the meaning of that eventually led Parkison to fall in love the history of the presidents, something he loves to insert into his history teaching.

During a reception for Parkison before Daleville’s graduation ceremony on June 6, former students, teachers and athletes came to say thanks.

Fred Thornbro, a former cross country and track athlete of Parkison’s, remembered his coach as someone who, while stern, managed to make his athletes want to follow his lead.

“He would want to make you run extra laps, without ever raising his voice, just by saying ‘Come on, let’s do it.’ We just did. He was just that type of guy,” said Thornbro.

Other athletes realized Parksion had a memory like an elephant, easily remembering what year the student competed and how they placed that year.

The long tenure of Parkison at the school created a unique situation. He has taught the children of his first round of students.

Parkison comes from a family of educators. His mother graduated from Ball State University with a teaching degree in 1935, his brothers all teach, his sons teach and his wife was a teacher in the Muncie Community Schools for 36 years, 26 of those at Southside High School.

“It will be weird coming back next year and him not being here in the hall. He has just always been here,” said Chelsea Neckhardt, another incoming senior who has had Parkison as a teacher.

Parkison said he wouldn’t miss the early mornings of a 5 a.m. wakeup, but he will miss the impact he can have on his students.

His wife said that Parkison isn’t giving up on the community. He plans to remain in Daleville and will still be announcing the baseball and basketball games for some time to come.

During commencement, graduating Daleville seniors congratulated the longtime figure of the school in their speeches, which were filled with emotion and tears.


The Town of Daleville is located in Delaware County where I-69, Ind. 67 and Ind. 32 converge.


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Daleville, Indiana