The World of Teachers

A Tribute to Joan Lilius Burr on her Retirement Day

How does one thank a teacher on her retirement day?

  • A teacher who's touched thousands of students during her 35 years of giving to others.
  • A teacher whose love of music is only surpassed by her love of people.
  • A teacher whose gentle nature is complemented by her strong sense of compassion and justice.
  • A teacher whose 1970s principal and colleague still marvels 35 years later at his good fortune of having had the opportunity to be enriched by her humanity and her depth of character.
  • A teacher whose sensitivity towards her students, parents and fellow teachers is a joy to behold and a mirror unto others.
  • A teacher whose creativity is boundless: developing engaging music lessons and themes of study, inspiring even the most reluctant students in school choruses and performances, composing the music for and helping produce Behind the Bedroom Wall - The Musical in her middle school and on and on.

How do I thank a beloved music teacher and friend on this day of new beginnings, from my home 6000 miles away in Jerusalem?

  •  Will a simple thank you note suffice? No.
  • Will a virtual hug do the job? Nope—hugs must be the real thing. 

 So, Joan, as music has played such an important role in your life and in the schools where you were the music teacher, allow me to give you a virtual thank-you by sharing a favorite SONG of mine.  

When I first interviewed you in the early 1970s, I could never have possibly "imagined" all that you would be contributing to our school and to our youngsters. Thank you!

As always, wishing you and your family the best of everything!