Dabbs says goodbye to LHS, Hello to Kenya

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Dabbs says goodbye to LHS, Hello to Kenya

Sandra Kinney, Co-Editor in Chief

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Junior English and Creative Writing Teacher Matthew Dabbs is leaving the staff of Lewiston High School on July 20, 2018. After two years of teaching at LHS, Dabbs has decided to spend the next year of his life in Kisumu, the third largest city in Kenya Africa.

While Dabbs has previously spent time in Botswana in sub-Saharan Gaborone, Africa, he was there from August 2011 to June 2012. “I always like experiencing new cultures. I love eating new and different kinds of food, so that will be exciting.” Dabbs said. While their first trip to Africa prepared them for what is in store during the next year of their life, it more importantly taught Dabbs that one can never have too much sunscreen when in Africa.

Dabbs is very excited for this new chapter in his life, but there are many things he will miss when leaving Lewiston and Moscow. “I’ll miss the students here at LHS, they are a good group of kids and of course I’ll miss the staff too.” Dabbs said, hardly containing is sadness when talking about leaving his “hubby” or “work spouse”, Mr. Autrey. “I don’t know how I’m going to live without you Billy!” he exclaimed during the interview.

As for the moscow area, Dabbs claimed that, “I can’t imagine a place with better cycling. I hope wherever I end up has even close to as good of cycling as Moscow.”

During his time in Africa, Dabbs hopes to work at a local bike shop in Kisumu to help fix bikes for members of the community trying to get to work, school and from outer villages.

He has also set the personal goal of reading 100 books while he is in Africa, but while that goal may be a difficult one to achieve he went on to say “It would be pretty cool to at least read 50 novels while I’m there. That’s almost one book a week.”

Upon his return to the states next year, he plans to move to Blacksburg, Virginia, where his fiance plans to be a professor and researcher in the veterinary diagnostics lab at Virginia Tech. Dabbs plans to get another teaching job in the area, and hopes to continue teaching juniors.

“I’ve made a lot of friends here in the valley, so I will definitely be back to visit.” Dabbs said on returning to the Lewiston Moscow area.

Dabb’s work spouse, William Autrey, said, “The thing I will miss the most about him [Dabbs] leaving is going to get Costco pizza together.”

As a final goodbye to his work spouse of two years, Autrey said, “Good luck in Kenya my friend. The last two years have been great but I understand that holding a baby lion over the Serengeti while singing Elton John has always been a lifelong goal of yours. The list of those who will miss you includes (and is probably limited to): Baby Matthew, Costco Employees, and of course me. You are welcome for making you a more understanding and caring person. Your impact on this community will not be forgotten anytime soon. We’ve had some great memories over the past two years and your emotional support has been unbearable (seriously, stop trying to hug me).”

Another fellow co-worker who wished to say a few words about Dabbs is Mrs. Funk, an librarian here at LHS. “Mr. Dabbs is smart, hilarious, exuberant, and sincere (but not as much as his idol, Mr. Autrey). Honestly it’s been a pleasure to work with Mr. Dabbs. He has a real passion for teaching and is an absolute scholar when it comes to English. I will truly miss his visits in the skybox and his appreciation for sarcasm. I will not miss that loud screaming voice, although I’m sure we will occasionally hear it all the way from Kenya.” she said.

New to the LHS family this year, teacher Jordan Lockard found himself befriended by Dabbs and Autrey. Although his friendship with Dabbs has only recently formed, Lockard is among those who will miss Dabb’s presence at LHS.

“I will miss the fact that Dabbs brought originality and enthusiasm to LHS. He was willing to go to extracurricular activities to show his students that he cares about them both academically and personally.” said Lockard.

Many of the staff and students here at LHS will greatly miss Matthew Dabbs. I, for one, would just like to say thank you Mr. Dabbs, for everything you have taught me about poetry and literature. I could not have asked for a better poetry club adviser, and I hope that your endeavors in Africa prove to be a spectacular adventure.

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Dabbs says goodbye to LHS, Hello to Kenya