A touching tribute to a teacher turns into a teaching moment - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

UPDATE

A touching tribute to a teacher turns into a teaching moment for students

Posted: Updated:

UPDATE: This retired music teacher who inspired hundreds of students passed away Monday April 7. Miss Cynthia Magyary fought a courageous battle against cancer. Friends filled the church for her funeral service April 10. She was 57 years-old.

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - Students at a local high school recently learned how one teacher can impact so many lives. Photojournalist Tim Dale and anchor/reporter Leslie Barrett found that a special performance hit just the right note for the retired music teacher and teens.

Melodies fill the air of Wilmington Area High School each day but this tune will play over and over again in the choir students' hearts.

"That was probably one of the best experiences I will ever have," said Katie Gordon, a junior at Wilmington.

The lyrics struck a chord because of the audience: longtime elementary music teacher Miss Cynthia Magyary who is fighting a tough battle against cancer.

She conducted students like senior Lexi Ligo as if they were her own children.

"She asked can you please join high school choir just one year. If you don't like it, you can quit after so I joined and I loved it; music is my life now and I thank her for everything," said Ligo.

Her notes have resonated with hundreds of others who write "I hold so many wonderful memories of elementary school because of you" and "you believed in me."

Twenty years ago, Miss Magyary's accompaniment set the tone for Seth Gruber.

"She took this young shy boy and forced him to sing a solo in these concerts and kind of got me out of my shell," said Gruber, a 2002 Wilmington graduate.

Her guidance ultimately led to his opera career.

"She saw something in me that I didn't see in myself and was able to bring it out."

Former students continue to lift their voices and arms to the patriotic anthem "God Bless the USA" by Lee Greenwood that is forever burned into their memories from singing it in her class and concerts.

So the current high school choir knew exactly how to rally around Miss Magyary at her home. They sang her favorite songs: "God Bless the USA" and "It Is Well with My Soul."

"She was conducting with the choir, singing along, pretty much in her glory reliving those great memories of her life," said high school choral director Jonny Priano.

Ligo stated "I was grateful to do that for her because I knew she was loving it so it was very rewarding."

A gift Miss Magyary greatly appreciated, as she expressed in a note to the choir that reads in part "thanks again for giving us a memory we will never forget."

Neither will these students.

"There were really no words to describe what those kids had just experienced," said Priano.

A simple act of kindness to pay back a little bit of what an educator has given that turned into a teaching moment of its own.

Miss Magyary declined to talk on camera. In true character, she is still putting the focus on her students, wanting them to have the spotlight.

  • More From wfmj.comMore>>

  • Talking bird helped break school abduction case

    Talking bird helped break school abduction case

    Saturday, August 30 2014 5:51 PM EDT2014-08-30 21:51:32 GMT
    A Philadelphia detective has testified about a foul-mouthed bird that helped lead police to the woman charged with abducting a 5-year-old from school.More >>
    A Philadelphia detective has testified about a foul-mouthed bird that helped lead police to the woman charged with abducting a 5-year-old from school.
    More >>
  • Toledo zoo welcomes 100-year-old tortoise

    Toledo zoo welcomes 100-year-old tortoise

    Thursday, August 28 2014 8:11 AM EDT2014-08-28 12:11:09 GMT
    TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - The newest resident of the Toledo Zoo is a 100-year-old dome-shelled Galapagos tortoise that weighs in at 440 pounds. The tortoise, named Emerson, arrived at the zoo Wednesday night from the San Diego Zoo. He was escorted by Toledo Zoo personnel on his flight to Detroit before being driven to Toledo and uncrated inside a heated shed. Handlers welcomed him with carrot and sweet potato treats and a neck rub. The (Toledo) Blade reports Emerson is the zoo's first Galapagos to...More >>
    TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - The newest resident of the Toledo Zoo is a 100-year-old dome-shelled Galapagos tortoise that weighs in at 440 pounds. The tortoise, named Emerson, arrived at the zoo Wednesday night from the San Diego Zoo. He was escorted by Toledo Zoo personnel on his flight to Detroit before being driven to Toledo and uncrated inside a heated shed. Handlers welcomed him with carrot and sweet potato treats and a neck rub. The (Toledo) Blade reports Emerson is the zoo's first Galapagos to...More >>
  • Ohio serial rapist gets 135 years in prison

    Ohio serial rapist gets 135 years in prison

    Thursday, August 28 2014 8:10 AM EDT2014-08-28 12:10:21 GMT
    CLEVELAND (AP) - A man who was linked to seven Cleveland-area rapes when authorities reopened hundreds of previously unsolved rape cases has been sentenced to up to 135 years in prison. The sentence by a judge in Cuyahoga County on Wednesday means 69-year-old Robert Green likely will never get out of prison. He was indicted in five of the cases in November and two more in May. He pleaded guilty. The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reports that the rapes occurred over nearly a decade. They were unso...More >>
    CLEVELAND (AP) - A man who was linked to seven Cleveland-area rapes when authorities reopened hundreds of previously unsolved rape cases has been sentenced to up to 135 years in prison. The sentence by a judge in Cuyahoga County on Wednesday means 69-year-old Robert Green likely will never get out of prison. He was indicted in five of the cases in November and two more in May. He pleaded guilty. The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reports that the rapes occurred over nearly a decade. They were unso...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms