Learning Specialist & EF Coach
Hi there, I’m David. Born and raised in Southern Indiana, I moved to Los Angeles in 2009 to begin my graduate work in Film and Television Production at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, where I earned my MFA. During my time at USC, I received numerous awards and scholarships, including the James Bridges Directing Scholarship (the most prestigious directing scholarship at USC) and the Alfred P. Sloan Science Production Award. My thesis film “OstrichLand” was an Official Selection at more than thirty film festivals worldwide and won a Jury Prize at Palm Springs.
Before my work at USC, I received my MA in Creative Writing at Ball State University, where I taught English 103 and 104 as part of my Teaching Assistantship. I also helped spearhead “Creative Writing in the Community,” a class that connected English students with underprivileged youth and the elderly to help them tell their unique stories through writing.
In addition to my time as a student at both USC and Ball State, I earned my BA in writing from the University of Evansville, where I also studied abroad at Harlaxton College in England for a semester. I am privileged to have been educated by a wide swath of professors with a variety of teaching styles and approaches to education.
Pre-pandemic, I wrote and directed two feature films, Daylight and Bullitt County, which have streamed on over 100 VOD platforms, including Netflix and Amazon. Post-pandemic, I began working with successful YouTube influencers and video essayists like New York Times bestselling author Lindsay Ellis and Princess Weekes. Our team worked with PBS to create It’s Lit!, a series aimed at presenting literature in a fresh and exciting way. I wrote such episodes as “Beloved,” “Beowulf,” “Ernest Hemingway,” “Kurt Vonnegut,” and “Stephen King.”
When my Stephen King episode became one of the most successful episodes on the channel, I created a YouTube series solely about Stephen King, called The Stephen Kingdom, which I currently host, write, and direct.
My one-on-one work with my students has benefited greatly from my experience as a filmmaker and online content creator. Not only does educational content require various methods of reaching your audience to effectively educate and entertain them, but the sheer practicality of creating content requires extremely high levels of organization and planning, skills that I emphasize with all my students.
No matter what role I’ve played in life—teacher, student, writer, director—I have experienced countless examples of both effective and ineffective teaching, and I have learned that it all comes down to student-teacher communication and working together to find an approach that best suits the student. I believe everyone can enjoy learning, but they must first be empowered to do so.
Thanks for taking the time to learn about me, and I’m excited to get to know you and your learner. With all of us working together as a team, the sky’s the limit!