David Bosnick, philosophy professor at Binghamton University and middle school English teacher for over a decade, died Jan. 30 due to complications while he was working out at the gym.
Bosnick is survived by his wife, Liz Rosenberg, his son, Eli, his daughter, Lily, and numerous other friends and family, including his mother and two sisters. He was born in Syosset, N.Y.
Lizabeth Cain, a doctoral student at BU and mother of one of Bosnick’s students, described his love for teaching.
“Last spring we met for ice cream and Liz (Bosnick’s wife) asked how was his day and he said it was a ‘great day,’” Cain said. “From another middle school teacher that might have been sarcastic, but he was sincere. He truly loved his work.”
Bosnick’s dedication to the Binghamton community, though, went beyond his job as a teacher. Leonard Hilldale, founder of Beds 4 Kids, a charity that helps provide mattresses to children for free, described how Bosnick helped save his charity.
“In 2011, 4 feet of flood waters rushed into my charity and business. Thousands of tons of mattresses and furniture were destroyed. Day after day, David showed up after school to help,” Hilldale said. “Weekend after weekend, he wrestled 600-pound, drenched mattresses down 200-foot hallways, out the door and threw them on to mountains of furniture.”
When New York State Education Commissioner John King came to a public forum to push a new standardized “core curriculum,” Cain described how Bosnick took a stand.
“King said this falsehood about how it was developed with and by teachers. And David stood up and said in a booming voice, ‘How can you come here and lie to all these people?’ and then he walked out,” she said. “For an academic to do that it wasn’t so scary, but for a public school teacher to walk out like that was a big deal.”
Liz Rosenberg, Bosnick’s wife and an English professor at BU, said he had the same passion in his teaching.
“He was a passionate, devoted, funny, straightforward , generous, electrifling, down to earth, charismatic and important teacher – the kind of teacher who influences students for life,” she wrote in an email. “This was true when he was teaching eighth grade English, and equally true when he was teaching the BU college students.”
Before Bosnick came to Binghamton University, he was a star athlete, winning football and lacrosse scholarships at East Carolina University while balancing academics.
“As a kid growing up he loved sports from junior high into adulthood,” Betty Bosnick, his mother, wrote in an email. “But he loved to read and as a teenager would read until 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning. Sometimes I would wake up in the middle of the night and he would be reading…with the dog sitting at the foot of his bed.”