Hallisey has often paid the Clear Creek ISD teachers a visit around the start of a new school year for a pep talk, he said. He walked into the room to greet teachers several years ago, after Durand had retired from teaching at CCISD, and saw Durand sitting front and center with the other educators; the English teacher had returned to the classroom.
“He just couldn’t stay away from all those kids and preparing them for the life in front of them,” Hallisey said. “Dave’s energy really came to light when he was around young people.”
Those who worked and socialized with Durand remember him for his honest and genuine nature, magnetic personality, deep-rooted faith and passion for education. The League City City Council on Sept. 29 declared March 18—Durand’s birthday—Dave Durand Day as a way to recognize passionate teachers and service-oriented community members.
Durand taught English and photojournalism at Clear Creek High School from 1985 to 2008, then returned to the district in 2014 to teach English at Clear Falls High School. He died June 12 at the age of 73.
Hallisey and Durand have daughters the same age, so the families regularly interacted. The mayor knew Durand to devote himself to his religion and said the Clear Creek Community Church member lived out his desire to be Christlike every day. Durand led a Bible study for coaches at CCISD on Tuesday mornings, Clear Falls English teacher Eddie Youngblood said—and Durand always arrived early.
The educator always had a million-dollar smile on his face, Hallisey said. His demeanor earned him the nickname “Big Daddy,” according to his obituary, and that larger-than-life personality drew students to him.
“He just had that gravitating personality,” Clear Creek Principal Jamey Majewski said. “He had a heart for kids; he cared about his coworkers; he just exhibited kindness at every level you can imagine.”••Durand especially excelled when it came to teaching seniors, said Youngblood, who was the English department chair when Durand got rehired. He was a mentor for young adults headed into the world and for young teachers finding their footing, Youngblood said; both groups of people would seek him out, or he would seek them out himself to talk and give guidance.
He knew how to energize and engage every student, Youngblood added, whether it was through his lessons or by parading around the halls in a head-to-toe knight costume before pep rallies.
Durand was fun, loving and sweet, and he ensured every student’s needs were met, said Wynette Jameson, who worked with him at Clear Creek.
“The kids called him ‘D.’ I called him my friend,” Jameson said in an email. “A bright light was extinguished when he left this planet.”