FAIRPORT, N.Y. (WROC) — Congratulations to this week’s Golden Apple winner, David Dunn!

Dunn is the principal at Martha Brown Middle School in Fairport. Once a student at the school, he’s now planning to retire this June after a celebrated 45-year career.

Over the years, Dunn has held various positions, but if you ask him, he’d likely tell you his favorite role has been being the school principal. 

“It’s just moving in and out of all the different classrooms, interacting with the staff, the kids, being a part of everything, as opposed to just being a part of like a department or a team,” Dunn said. “I’ve enjoyed the responsibility, I’ve enjoyed the support, the love that I’ve received.”

Often seen walking the halls with a smile and his infamous bucket hat, Dunn has become a staple in the Martha Brown community, inspiring students and parents too.

“He’s very kind and caring and generous, and he has dedicated his whole life to us,” said 8th grader Kamryn Hoffman. “He’s always around the school, helping, getting connected with everyone.”

Hoffman’s dad, Jeff, recently joined his daughter on a school trip to Washington D.C., where he saw firsthand just how incredible Dunn is. 

“He went out of his way to make sure that he was acknowledging all the veterans that were down there, he wanted to hear their stories, shake their hands, thank them for the service, and he actually had the kids involved with it too,” Hoffman said. “The smiles from the veterans as they were leaving were absolutely priceless.”

Hoffman adds that Dunn was engaged with students the entire trip, bought sweatshirts for some classmates who couldn’t make it due to COVID, and donated money to street music groups along the way. 

“These are just a few small examples of what I witnessed in three days. I can only imagine how many examples of his caring, generosity, love for his students, community, family, and colleagues, he’s had in 45 years of teaching,” Hoffman said. 

For all Dunn has done for the community, the Hoffman family wanted to recognize him with a Golden Apple Award through News 8. The surprise brought Dunn to tears.

“Wow. I can’t tell you how proud, how honored I am, how lucky I’ve been to work in such an amazing district, with such amazing people, for so long,” Dunn said. “I wrote in my retirement letter, I don’t think I’ve worked a day in my life and I honestly believe that.”

The award, just a small token of appreciation for someone who has given so much to those around him. 

“I just want to thank you, everyone. This is an amazing moment in my life,” Dunn said. “It’s a moment that I’ll never forget.”

Congratulations on an incredible career, Mr. Dunn! Thank you for all you have done for our community. Enjoy retirement. 

If you know a teacher you’d like to nominate for a Golden Apple Award, you can find nomination forms here.