In Memory of David Post: Father, Husband, Mentor

July 2nd, 2014

Long-time Bishop Lynch High School educator and Empire mock trial coach passes away

David Post will be remembered as a passionate, enthusiastic, and dedicated mock trial coach who changed the lives of his students and shaped their futures.

On July 2, 2014, David Post, long-time coach of the Bishop Lynch Mock Trial Team, lost his battle to cancer.

Empire Mock Trial is deeply saddened by this loss in our Empire Family.

Under Mr. Post’s leadership, the Bishop Lynch Mock Trial Team became a charter member of Empire Mock Trial, attending the inaugural Empire City Invitational in 2007 and every New York City Empire tournament since then.

On October 24, 2014, Mr. Post will posthumously receive the William Hennessy Outstanding Educator Award, an annual recognition given to one exceptional educator.  Additionally, Empire Mock Trial will rename its Spirit of Empire award in Mr. Post’s honor. This annual recognition  is bestowed upon the school that best exhibits the values of civility and professionalism during Empire’s New York program, qualities that Mr. Post held in the highest regard.

“Mr. Post defined my high school experience,” said former student Erin Elizabeth Sweeney. “He is so very loved and appreciated by all in the Bishop Lynch community, but especially by his mock trial family.”

“The David Post Spirit of Empire award will forever honor Mr. Post’s legacy and impact,” said organization President Justin Matarrese.  “He will always be with us.”

COACHING LEGACY

The name David Post has become synonymous with the success, quality, and character of Bishop Lynch Mock Trial.

Fifteen years ago, Post founded the mock trial program at Bishop Lynch High School in Dallas, Texas.

The impact on his students and the effectiveness of his coaching would be realized immediately. In their first year competing, his mock trial students would make it to the Regional Finals, an accomplishment almost unheard of in such a competitive state tournament.

Bishop Lynch would advance to the state tournament four times and placed 4th out of about 280 schools in the Texas State competition in 2005.

In 2007, Post’s team placed 2nd in the Empire City Invitational, and they would have several other top 10 finishes in following Empire tournaments.

“Craftsmanship and the learning process were always more important to him than winning a competition,” said Sweeney, “but somehow that still resulted in a very winning combination.”

In an interview with a student reporter at Bishop Lynch, Post explained that the results of mock trial could be measured by more than wins and losses.

“There’s so much autonomy, and self-starting qualities that you have to have which are all just such important skills in life, that it’s a good opportunity to grow that way,” said Post.

While the team achieved serious success, Mr. Post was sure to create light-hearted moments.

“Perhaps the best mock trial memory I have was when (minutes before a cross examination), Post handed me the list of questions I wrote with some of his ‘minor edits,’” remembers former student Laura Oliver.

“These edits were minor, except for the last question, which was changed to, ‘Excuse me sir, but can you tell the court why someone hasn’t shot you 7 times in the belly, dragged you out into the street, and left you for road kill because of the horrible abomination of a person you are? You scumbag.’

“Luckily, I stopped myself at, ‘Can you tell the court’ when I realized what Post had written.”

Students say he created an environment that struck the perfect balance between hard work and fun, which led to an unforgettable experience.

“Most coaches would just give you notes after a tough round, but he would give you a funny drawing that he did on a napkin,” said former student Laura Shapiro.

“He always made sure that we weren’t afraid to laugh at him, and at ourselves, which made us fearless.”

EXCEPTIONAL EDUCATOR

Students remember Mr. Post’s classroom as a place where they were challenged, empowered, and changed.

“There was no classroom I visited more than his, and there was no course that I worked harder for than the ones he taught me,” said former student Mary Delph.

“He provided so many laughs in and outside of the classroom, and he provided a genuine sense of enjoyment when teaching and coaching that really meant something to his students.”

At Bishop Lynch High School, Post taught AP U.S. Government, AP Comparative Government, American Government, and Mock Trial. He was head of the Teacher Mentoring Program and ran the Academic Excellence Camp for incoming freshmen in the summer. He was also the Men’s Golf Coach.

“His teaching style was anything but ordinary,” said Shapiro. “He taught us to learn through experience.”

It was his own life experience, passion for traveling, and love of education that inspired his students.

“His stories of his adventures around the world never fail to entertain and often leave you thinking about them for a long time to come,” said former student Sabrina DeGenova.

“I never understood politics or why I truly needed to care until I met Mr. Post,” she said.

Others said their involvement in mock trial, and mentorship from Mr. Post, made them decide to pursue a career in law.

“Mr. Post was the first person outside of my family to believe in my dream of becoming an attorney,” said Sweeney. “I consider myself blessed beyond words to have had him in my corner all of these years.”

Post invested an immeasurable amount of time and energy into his students – and spent time with them long after they left the classroom.

“I was proud to become his friend,” said former student Jacob King. “After my graduation [in 2013], he and I would get coffee regularly, and our talks would stretch for hours.”

Student after student recalls their time with Mr. Post as life changing. They left his classroom, and mock trial team, thinking differently about the world, their futures, and themselves.

“He is the type of teacher who sees more in his students than we saw in ourselves,” said Shapiro. “He had a vision for each one of us, and he could often see our strengths much clearer than we could.”

 

Empire Mock Trial extends its deepest sympathies to Mr. Post’s wife, Sue, and two daughters, Sarah and Hannah, along with the members of the Bishop Lynch community who are grieving this loss.  Mr. Post’s legacy will forever live on both at Empire Mock Trial and Bishop Lynch High School.

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