At 10:17 p.m. on the night of Monday, June 11, during a baseball game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the massive scoreboard at Dodger Stadium pictured above flashed 44 characters comprising a one-of-a-kind tribute to students who will be graduating from this month.
The message—“CONGRATULATIONS CLASS OF 2012 ERHS”—is also a compliment to a longtime teacher at Eagle Rock who must go unnamed, not just because he’s “a modest person from the ‘old school of good works’ who believes that virtue is its own reward” but also because it was he who arranged this historic moment, according to Shakespeare scholar Stephan Early, who teaches English at the school, and who brought this incident to Patch’s attention.
For years, this anonymous teacher has been taking his seniors to see the Dodgers play in June—entirely from his own pocket. “He always gives the students the tickets and tells them to meet him at the Ballpark,” says Early, adding: “He makes it a point of not having it be an ‘official’ school trip because he can't stand the bureaucracy and paper work.”
In fact, the good teacher in question was reluctant to share this photograph “and only relented when I promised not to use his name,” says Early, who was himself in the news recently in connection with a neighborhood issue marked by some rather unpleasant name-calling.
Patch thinks it speaks for many people when it says that it’s teachers such as this nameless one who make Eagle Rock High the special institution it has always been.