Beloved AP physics teacher leaves for Clayton

Andy Kimball

Dr. David Schuster shows his mean face during a physics lesson.  Schuster will leave Webster Groves to teach at Clayton High School. Photo by Kevin Killeen

“Quirky,” “energetic,” “fun” and “kind of crazy” is how students described physics teacher Dr. David Schuster.

After being the founder of the high school AP Physics program, Schuster is leaving to teach physics at Clayton High School.

Schuster taught conceptual physics, Physics A, and astronomy as well as teaching AP Physics during his 10 years at the high school.

Schuster said, “I had always wanted to teach a higher challenge level of physics ,and Dr. (Jon) Clark wanted to introduce AP classes in the sciences, and so I bugged Mrs. (Kathleen) Ahern, and the two of us started AP science classes.”

Senior Colin Gilker said Schuster has developed a great relationship with many students.
“(Schuster’s relationship) is dynamic. Doc is always willing to help his students after school…He’s engaging and driven. He wants to make sure his students learn.”

Senior Prem Rao said, “(Schuster is) a really cool guy. I don’t think the school will be able to find someone quite like him.”

Schuster said, “I’m gonna miss the students…I’m going to miss each of the particular students.”
More specifically Schuster said, “I’m gonna miss the kids who are freshman who come to me with crazy ideas, and then I get to know them for four years…who do things in their own way, who want to take an independent approach to (physics), they want to check out books and learn things there own way. Webster has so much of that, kids who find the path that’s right for them.”

Schuster said, “My respect for them as intelligent people, people who are craving challenge, and so I think that by offering that challenge and encouraging and supporting through that challenge. Being through challenge together is how teams and fighting combat teams work. They form this bond through challenges and that sort of thing cements us together as well. Collectively through the experiences I think that my respect for their capabilities is what helps that. Also, I’m silly.”

At Clayton, Schuster will replace Rex Rice, who taught at Clayton for 28 years.

Schuster said, “I’m stepping into the shoes of someone who even more than my rival, he’s my idol. He’s been teaching there for 28 years, and he’s created a world class program. I’m looking to mitigate the damages of losing him as much as possible. I just want to try to keep (the program) at the same level.”


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