I read with interest Randy Lewis' article "He Knows Why Mr. Holland Went to Head of Class" (Feb. 21). [Former Villa Park High School band director] Randy Coleman had the same influence on our son Bill, and many of the band members in the class of 1980.
I was a "band parent" and loved the experience. Many parades and many awards that year. Mr. Coleman was such a great influence on the band--just like Mr. Holland--and he will be long remembered by parents and students alike.
RUTH K. PINTO
While viewing the film "Mr. Holland's Opus," I was reminded over and over of Brea Olinda High School's "Mr. Holland," who for many years dedicated his very existence to choral and instrumental music instruction.
Mr. Tischbierek, or "Mr. T" as he was known to most, even succeeded in making it fashionable for an athlete to participate in musical activities, often arranging with coaches to transport a player from one venue to the other when game and concert schedules conflicted.
Mr. T had a heart attack 20 years into his Brea career and was forced to finish his teaching years in a less rigorous teaching assignment, one that few will recall in later years when reminiscing about their high school days.
Nothing would have given me or scores of former students greater pleasure than to have staged a celebration of his many years of exemplary teaching and service to the Brea community at the time of his retirement, but absent this acknowledgment of his career, he must know that his contributions will never be equaled.
It's tragic that the many, many dedicated teachers who devote their lives to helping to mold the lives of others are seldom honored appropriately.
GARY D. GOFF
Brea Olinda Unified School District
Millions of us have been, are, or plan to become teachers--with an undying compassion for students and their individual needs.
Many more millions of us have been students who remember a special teacher who reached us in some magical way, and perhaps changed the course of our life.
The vibrant and real student-teacher relationship is why "Mr. Holland's Opus" has struck a chord!
BARBARA J. MERRIMAN