Daniel Joseph Burchfield was born in Torrance, California in 1955, the first son of Tom and Elizabeth Burchfield. Dan attended Torrance High School, where he was interested in baseball and theatre, and graduated in 1973.
Soon after, he attended El Camino Junior College from 1973-1976, and later graduated from Cal State Dominguez Hills with a degree in Theatre Arts in 1980.
He and his wife Laura met through a friend and dated during their college years and have been married since August 1979. Dan went to work for his father-in-law’s family plumbing company, Waite Bros Plumbing, and worked there for 20 years.
In 1984 his son Joel was born, and in 1988 his younger son Ryan came into this world. Dan embraced fatherhood and loved coaching his sons in Little League baseball and youth basketball.
After the tragic death of his son Joel on February 1, 1996, Dan decided to follow his passion and in 2001 became a high school history teacher at Moorpark High School, director of the theatre, a baseball coach, and a football and basketball announcer at Moorpark High School.
He has earned numerous teaching awards which he is very proud of: The 2009 WHO Teacher of the Year, 2013 & 2023 Muskie Award Teacher of the Year, 2015 Linda Anderson Excellence in Education Award, and 2016 Boys and Girls Club of Moorpark Champion of the Youth Award.
These awards are a true testament to Dan’s passion for life and the importance for him to make a positive impact on the next generation. He is a motivational speaker and author and wrote “My Journey with Joel,” which is available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and on audiobook.
He considers becoming part of his son Ryan and other fine student’s lives during their high school years to be his greatest achievement along with now also being a proud grandfather to two twin boys, Brody and Brayden.
Since 1999, Dan and Laura have given out over $60,000 in scholarships to graduating seniors at Moorpark High School in honor of their son Joel through their nonprofit organization, The Joel Burchfield Memorial Fund.