Your genuine caring attitude showed me that despite all I faced, someone cared. Knowing this stopped me from taking my life back then, and now inspires me in my studies to be a counsellor. I know there will be many people you have impacted in a similar way over the years, and yet you probably don’t get to hear the successes we become after we leave High School. Thank you, never forget how important it can be to simply care.
You were a light in troubled times. It was the late 1960s. Thankyou for addressing me as “Tom” and not “White”, in class. It made all the difference! Your passion was teaching History and you understood the relevance and importance of “Current Events” to History. When I wagged school to demonstrate at the Cenotaph against the American War in Vietnam (a war that we were participating in) and saw you there!, I was deeply moved. You were demonstrating that a commitment to social justice and activism could be and ought to be expressions of an educated and engaged citizenry.
Nga mihi nui and Big Thanks “Valerie”. You made an enormous difference to my experience of High School.
You both inspired me, as teachers, to participate in multi activities – arts and sports. You also taught me how to inter-act inter-generationally – which I have valued into the rest of my life. To treat all ages of people as equals has been truly a wonderful lesson. You were the teacher; I was the student – yet out of school we were friends on an equal footing – wonderful. It’s just such a pity that our lives have taken us apart, such we haven’t spent as much time post school days as we should have. Anyway – a BIG THANKS! You were both “gems” in my life, and still are!