GREENSBURG — David Espinda holds many titles; they include Mr. Espinda, Coach Espinda, and United States Army veteran.
Espinda has been at North Decatur for the past eight years as an educator, coach, volunteer and more. This all comes after his many years of service to the country.
After high school, Espinda enlisted in the United States Army. He spent six years in active duty as an aircraft engine mechanic.
He recalls what led him to join the military.
“I didn’t know what I wanted to study in college and felt that going straight out of high school would have been a waste of money,” Espinda said. “My uncle, father (a Vietnam War veteran) and older brother all had military experience and I had exposure to their experiences. I felt going into the service to figure out what I wanted to do, or even possibly make a career out of the military [was the right decision].”
During his active duty time, Espinda was stationed in Louisiana, then Germany and finally in Savannah, Georgia.
Since then, his service has not stopped. Espinda was enlisted in the Indiana National Guard for seven years following his time with the Army.
And after the 13 years of combined military service, Espinda continued to serve – this time in the classroom.
He has spent the past 18 years in education, the past eight of them at North Decatur.
In that time, Espinda has not only spent time in the classroom but also around sporting events in Charger Country.
Espinda has served as both the boys and girls golf coach at North Decatur, notably taking multiple student athletes to the regional round of the IHSAA State Tournament.
When he is not in the classroom or on the links, you can often find Espinda volunteering his time at other athletic events at the school.
At all home football games in the fall and most basketball games throughout the winter, you can catch Espinda behind the scorers bench or in the press box running the clock for the events.
No matter what the event you see him at or the role you see him in, Espinda explains that he has only one goal.
“The one thing I never want to be as the scorekeeper or coach is to be part of the story of the game, match or round,” Espinda said.
Instead, Espinda enjoys seeing the student athletes flourish in their roles.
“My favorite memories and moments are watching kids succeed on the playing field, whether it was making a critical play or doing something for the first time – their first birdie, starting for the first time – it never gets old,” Espinda said. “You cannot forget these are kids and they are trying their best to succeed on their terms. It’s great to watch them play and have fun.”
Similar to his values in the education system, Espinda believes others deserve the spotlight when it comes to the military.
“The real heroes are the veterans who sacrificed their lives for our freedoms,” he said.