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Teacher profile: Mr. Dunbar

Updated: Apr 29, 2022

Photo by Briana Garcia and Ella Esther

ERHS is a school bustling with many interesting personalities. This is especially true of our amazing teachers, and of the many who roam the halls of Eagle Rock, one of which is Mr. Dunbar, current physical education teacher and prideful head basketball coach of the varsity boys.

As a kid, Mr. Dunbar grew up in South Central Los Angeles and attended Chatsworth High School in San Fernando Valley where he eventually ended up teaching for some years. He came to ERHS after being offered the head coaching job for boys basketball and along with this position, was brought to teach PE, which he primarily teaches for ninth and tenth graders.

Beyond sports, he also has credentials in another subject that comes as a surprise to many. In an interview, he explained, “Previously, for people that know this-- a lot of people don’t know-- I used to teach in the history department and I taught all of the subjects in history: economics, US history-- actually, I taught APush classes as well…” He especially enjoyed teaching the eleventh graders in US history, one of his favorite subjects.

In teaching physical education now, he wouldn’t say to prefer one subject over the other. knowing that both have their pros and cons. When asked his biggest pet peeve in PE class, Dunbar simply stated, “Not dressing. Because when you don’t dress, you’re not able to participate”.

Outside of teaching, Mr. Dunbar likes to play basketball, lift weights, and work out. He also likes to spend time with family and friends. In fact, around thanksgiving of 2020, he and the rest of the PE department went camping. Dunbar amusingly described the camping trip and the fun time they had together: “Coach Pierce brought a turkey frier, we fried a turkey, and we all brought food to kind of uh, have a nice little camp meal…”

He and the rest of the PE department are definitely one of the most tight-knit groups among all the departments of ERHS. When talking about the bond they have together, Dunbar smiled and said, “...we all get along really well here. We kind of look out for each other and uh, we take care of each other.” This wrung especially true just a month or two ago when Dunbar was on leave for a serious illness for which he had to be hospitalized. He described his time away and the feelings he had felt: “At one point, you know…cause I wasn’t down and out but it was serious, and it was more serious than I thought it was… it got scary at one point there…”

Dunbar’s gratitude is strong towards his fellow PE teachers, who “had to cover the slack” and look after his students while in recovery. In coming back to work this April, Dunbar stated that it “feels refreshing to be back” and get into a routine again.

Here at Eagle Rock, Mr. Dunbar is active in lots of student activities. For one, he is the sponsor for our beloved BSU, Black Students Union, which recently had a field trip to this year's black college expo, giving students the chance to scope their opportunities.

As you now well know, he is also the coach of boys' varsity basketball who takes pride in his team and job which gives him an opportunity to help the students grow in life through basketball.

If there’s anything to know about Mr. Dunbar, it’s that he cares immensely about his students. When asked what the most rewarding part of teaching is, he responded “seeing the students grow…when you see them finally get it, and then they start to mature a little bit so now they get what we’re trying to say,-- that's more refreshing”. In the long run, seeing his students come back to ERHS after graduating high school with newfound understandings has become one of the joys of his career.

To the rest of the Eagle Rock community, Dunbar would like you to know that “we have a great campus over here, we got good kids, and we also have a great basketball program!” It would mean the world to him and the students of Eagle Rock if you would come out to support the student-athletes who put in a lot of time and work outside of school to represent the community.

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