Former Diamond Bar High School ROP Business teacher Daniel Gorden was an easygoing man who loved his music, his children and his wife. He was 38 when he passed away on April 10.
According to the GoFundMe page created by his sister, Gorden died of an opioid overdose. The page has raised $4,840.
In addition to his teaching, he was also a professional drummer for around 25 years. He was a member in the school’s staff band, which was created by history teacher Christian Calero in 2010, along with Commercial Music teacher Daryl Hernandez and history teacher Emily Clark.
After he left DBHS in 2016, Gorden joined Dead Man’s Party, a tribute band for American band Oingo Boingo. Tribute bands play music recorded by the more famous bands that inspired them.
Hernandez first met Gorden in 1998 at Citrus College when they had music class together. Gorden was already in the program learning jazz while Hernandez learned classical guitar, but the two had fundamental music courses together and would see each other in the hallway.
“Danny was an amazing drummer, very talented, very disciplined,” Hernandez said. “He was always easygoing, he was always very funny. He had gone to Citrus before I did and we met back up when I started working here at Diamond Bar…so it was like time never passed in a sense.”
Clark first met Gorden when the staff band was created. He helped all of the band members during their rehearsals.
“He was the glue that kept us together,” Clark said via email. “At every rehearsal and performance, he was always so encouraging of us and really helped us learn.”
Clark recalled a hip-hop set the bad was working on several years ago.
“I was singing Eminem’s ‘Lose Yourself’ and struggled with getting my timing down,” Clark said. “At rehearsal, Mr. Gorden worked with me over and over on the timing of when I came in and really helped me become more confident. He did that with all of us in the band. He was always the consummate professional and so patient and understanding with those of us who were enthusiastic but inexperienced.”
ROP Health Sciences teacher and athletic trainer Chase Paulson first met Gorden in 1995 through Gorden’s younger sister and Paulson’s older sister. They reconnected in 2012 when Paulson started working at DBHS.
He said his favorite memory with Gorden was when they attended the 2014 Educating for Careers Conference in Sacramento.
There, the two had the opportunity to talk about their lives and their experiences from teaching ROP students.
“He was genuine, had a good sense of direction of what he wanted out of life,” Paulson said via email. “He was kind-hearted.”