DELAND, Fla. — There are not many students who can say their teacher is a comic strip creator, but some at DeLand High School can in David Finkle’s creating writing course. He uses his passion to inspire them to become the next generation of creative writers.

What You Need To Know

  • David Finkle teaches creative writing at DeLand High School 
  • Finkle has been drawing comics since the third grade 
  • He wants to pass his love of reading and writing on to his students 

To say Finkle has a love for creating comic strips would be an understatement.

“I mean, I set up a studio in my bedroom to draw comics when I was in third grade and I mean, I don’t think I have really significantly stopped drawing comics since then,” he said. “I did them in college for the college newspaper at Stetson. I was in the Daytona Beach News Journal for 18 years, and then I downsized because it was getting a bit stressful. So, I downsized to the DeLand Beacon, and now I’m just online.”

Finkle was nominated as an A+ Teacher for the way he shares his passion with students.

During class, students hang on to every word in his creative writing class. For Finkle, there is no other place he’d rather be.

“I’m an avid reader. I think I have about six books going at once right now — different genres, and I love writing. I have dabbled in everything. Plays, written a musical. I’ve done comic strips for 23 years. I’m working on a novel right now,” he said.

Since Finkle was in elementary school, he’s been creating comics through college even up to this day. “I think I’ve drawn over 7,000 Mister Fitz comic strips.”

He loves to base his comic strips on something that’s happening with his students.

“I recently, literally, had three kids come in who actually came in wanting to ask questions about the work — like what we were doing? Like what did irony mean? And how did irony work in the story we were reading?” he explained.

Finkle’s favorite part of teaching is seeing his students’ academic growth and how they pass it on. Once a year, his creative writing students write children’s books for students at a nearby elementary school.

“When we take them over in the spring, we publish them, we get a grant, and we publish them as full color books. The high schoolers read the children’s books to the first graders, and it is — it absolutely is the most magical thing I’ve ever seen as a teacher. It’s amazing.”

“I want to pass that love onto my students that reading and writing are really fun and also can make your life better.”