Dave Torbett is well known for having a humorous response to just about anything. He turned just a little serious, however, when reflecting on his recent selection to the Kansas Teachers’ Hall of Fame.

David Torbett

David Torbett

“It’s a very humbling thing,” Torbett said this week. “There are many, many teachers who deserve it more than I.”

A long list of former students and colleagues who nominated Torbett for the honor obviously disagree.

Torbett retired from Independence High School in 2005, where he spent his entire 39-year teaching career.

“My dad always told me that if I got a good job to hang onto it, because I probably wouldn’t get another one,” Torbett said, returning to the banter for which he is known.

A graduate of Pittsburg High School, Torbett earned three degrees from PSU: a BA in journalism, a BS in social science and an MS in English. At Independence High School, he taught English, journalism and yearbook. He served as English Department chair for 12 years and was the Student Council Sponsor for 14.

“It was a wonderful career,” Torbett said. “I enjoyed it all.”

Torbett credited his professors at PSU for helping instill in him a passion for nurturing the desire to learn in his students.

“PSU provided me an excellent foundation for my career,” Torbett said.

In addition to his duties as a teacher, Torbett was active in the K-NEA and was the chief negotiator for the Independence-NEA for seven years. He was a member of the Kansas Board of Directors for the North Central Association, which accredits schools, and served on the Kansas State Professional Practices Commission.

Last year, Torbett was elected to the USD 446 (Independence) Board of Education.

Throughout his professional career, Torbett has maintained a close relationship with his alma mater and is completing a year as the national president of the PSU Alumni Association.

The Kansas Teachers Hall of Fame is located in Dodge City.