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Readers praise the teachers who changed their lives

To the editor: The beautiful op-ed article by Joy Horowitz praising an important high school teacher in her life brought tears to my eyes, as I remembered my own unforgettable “Mr. C.”

Back in the 1960s, I took several classes taught by Pat Costantini at Palos Verdes High School. At a campus event in the early 1990s, I was able to thank him for requiring his students to think and express their reasoning.

His “discuss and analyze” and “compare and contrast” in-class essay assignments (often with no advance warning) helped us develop our ability to organize ideas logically and defend our conclusions. College essay assignments were far easier for me than for many of my peers who hadn’t had a “Mr. C” in their lives.

Teachers matter, and I’ll always treasure the handful of great ones I encountered at all levels of my education.

Pat Matzke, Huntington Beach


To the editor: Horowitz’s lovely article on her appreciation for “Mr. C” referenced her desire to “go on a teacher tour” to express gratitude to those who influenced her. That sent me on a mental teacher tour.

Mr. Lee at Micheltorena Street School encouraged us to read the newspaper every day. Mr. Freedman at Thomas Starr King Junior High was cool. Mrs. Goldblum at Marshall High told me that any time I got a B, it was because I did not try.

Professor Bernstein at UCLA made political science important. Professor Graham at UCLA Law School influenced my embrace of civil law, leading to a litigation practice and then appointment to the Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Public school, all.

Joe Hilberman, Westwood

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