Not just clownin’ around- North Penn’s Dr. Dave Hall


Knight Crier

Dr. Dave Hall works with a group of students during a recent class period at NPHS.

How did North Penn High School teacher Dr. Dave Hall get into teaching? Surprisingly, it all began with clown college.

As a high school senior, he made the decision to take an acting class. His dream to become an actor was soon to be reality, he believed. This was when his acting teacher recommended that he attend clown college. Not thinking he would be accepted, he thought nothing of it, but he was one of the thirty students accepted out of twenty-two hundred.

“I had no reason to expect getting in. I did…I think not because of my acting skills, but because they want clowns with a big heart, and I fit that well,” Hall explained.

After being accepted, Hall attended the three month long clown college, receiving his BFA (Bachelor of Fun Arts). It was after his graduation in which he realized that acting wasn’t for him.

“It was really fun for me, but it wasn’t the right thing to dedicate my life to,” shared Hall.

Hall decided to go to school to become a teacher. This profession, according to Hall, fit him well, as it involved being a character, though not as much as clowning did. His journey to become a teacher started off with attendance at a  community college. From there, he went on to attend Hampshire College, a non-traditional school, lacking a teacher certification program, so he studied numerous general social science courses. Then, he attended The University of Pennsylvania to obtain his masters to become a teacher.

Submitted Photo
Ask Dr. Hall about his favorite photo, and this is probably his first answer. Dr. Hall with actress Sofia Vergara.

With his Masters Degree in teaching, Hall had multiple job opportunities, North Penn being his best option. At first, he was offered a job in Philadelphia called Youth Build, a charter school that integrates construction skills into their education. If he accepted this opportunity, he was going to teach lessons in multiple classes that connect curriculum to the community-based nature of the school. Although this seemed like the job for him, the director of education could not provide Hall with all of his requests, so he moved on, knowing there was a better opportunity out there.

North Penn High School and Avon Grove High School both offered him a teaching position. After completing back to back interviews, he knew that North Penn was the place for him.

“Avon Grove offered a slightly higher salary, but pay was never my biggest priority,” Hall exclaimed. “The most important factor was if the school allowed me to teach the way I wanted to teach.”

It has been twenty-one years and counting since that decision was made, a decision that Dr. Hall has never regretted.

My favorite part is the students. The students bring out a different kind of creativity in me, a different kind of optimism in me, and that gives me a different kind of energy

— Dr. David Hall - NPHS Teacher

“My favorite part is the students. The students bring out a different kind of creativity in me, a different kind of optimism in me, and that gives me a different kind of energy,” shared Hall. He continued by describing his opinion about public schools, saying “I feel like we are the only place in the community where we all come together…liberal, conservative, christian, jewish, muslim, atheist.”

Not only is Dr. Hall a teacher here at North Penn, but  he is also the adviser for the Rainbow Alliance Club, and serves as the facilitator for NP Talks.

Outside of his North Penn life, Dr. Hall is involved with a lot to keep himself busy. Not only is he a husband and a father, but he is following his dreams day by day. Some examples include his real estate side career, his starting of a non-profit, his school planned trips to the Dominican Republic, and his volunteering around the community, especially for the victims of domestic violence.

In the past, he even was involved with politics. At the age of 26, he ran for state legislature. Raising $150,000 for his campaign, he was ready and excited to serve the people to the best of his ability. When voting came to a close, the outcome didn’t quite end in his favor.

Student artwork on the ceiling tiles in Dr. Hall’s KPod classroom at NPHS

“It was fun. Losing wasn’t fun,” said Hall. “Overall, I am happy the way it ended. I am better off being a teacher who likes politics than a politician who likes teachers.”

Dr. Hall is a jack of all trades, so if you see his name on your schedule in the future, don’t worry, you are in for an amazing experience. Just don’t joke around about clowns…he probably won’t like that.