David K. Colquitt was lovingly known as Papa Bear by most of his students, many parents, and a great number of his staff members. The name fit Dave because he was such a big, warm personality and an outstanding advocate of togetherness and family.
His wife and family were his first loves, but Papa Bear always had plenty to share with all. Dave made it a priority to get to know his staff and students, encouraging them not only in their school activities but in their personal lives as well. He offered educational, inspirational, and emotional support to everyone.
Dave had been a member of the Alief family for 29 years. He began his career here in 1977 as a football coach and business education teacher at Elsik High School. He was promoted to assistant principal in 1981 and moved over to Hastings High School the following year. He later became an associate principal in 1989 and was named the coordinating principal at Hastings in 1997. His passion for coaching and teaching made his move into administration quite a professional change; but his wife, Rhonda, observed, "Being a principal and being a coach went hand in hand for him." His coaching experience motivated him to help others do their best and strive to reach their goals. He was a strong leader for his students as well as his staff members.
The teachers at Hastings knew Dave supported their efforts and he never forgot what it was like to be in a classroom. He promoted educational excellence and believed a connection should be made between students and teachers. Dave believed everyone deserved respect and kindness and that is a big part of the legacy he left in Alief ISD.
As Kaye Arnold, former Hastings North House Principal, said, "A person, while still alive, can suggest a legacy, but it is the people who are left behind who actually determine that person's legacy. We can continue to value people, especially our children, and we can continue to get the job done as well as we possibly can. We have to focus on a great future regardless of anything, and doing those things we will have honored Dave's legacy."
On the morning of Monday, August 27, 2007 Holmquist Elementary opened its doors for its very first day of school. With an initial population of 86 staff members and 930 students, the school is full of life and the spirit of learning. The Holmquist colors are light blue and yellow and the mascot is the hummingbird.