FORT WAYNE – North Side High School music teacher Edward King was just that – king for a day.
On Friday he conducted his annual pre-Memorial Day jazz concert, but unbeknownst to the trombone player, his audience was made up of former students and friends assembled to pay homage to the educators 40-year career. Former North Side students also performed.
King, 62, hasnt decided to retire yet, but when he does hell have the car of his dreams to ride off into the sunset – a black Ford Mustang. The 2011 sports car was purchased by former students and friends.
King is often likened to Mr. Holland, the title character from a 1995 movie about a music teacher who touches the lives of hundreds of his students. King has done that, and while his life story isnt likely to grace the big screen, there was no denying who the star was Friday.
Hes just a great teacher. This is a chance for us to show him what hes meant to us, said his son, Mike, who owns an information technology company in the city. I dont know what it is about Mustangs, but hes always wanted one.
Donors contributed more than $20,000 toward the vehicle.
Former student Marcus Farr said his mentor is worth every penny.
Hes helped so many people reach their goals, said Farr, a music director at IPFW, Indiana Tech and North Side. There have been so many students that have come out of his classes who have gone on to be doctors, teachers and other professionals in the area. You cant talk to anyone without someone either knowing Mr. King or knowing someone who knows Mr. King. Hes had that kind of impact.
Prior to Fridays festivities, King said teaching is the only reward hes ever worried about reaping.
Just to see the kids grow and mature is really gratifying, said King, who was Fort Wayne Community Schools Teacher of the Year last year.
The students grow up and contribute great things to our community. It just makes you feel good.