Harbor View Elementary School's longtime music teacher, Linda Messenger, was honored with a standing ovation at the recent holiday program — her last school-wide musical assembly before she retires in June.
"Harbor View has always been proud of our musical program," said Principal Charlene Metoyer. "This is due to the fabulous direction of Mrs. Messenger. I don't know if anyone can take her place."
Messenger has worked at Harbor View for 11 years, and she also has taught at Whittier, Newport Coast and Newport elementary schools, teaching thousands of students instrumental and vocal music as well as dance.
Her first year, she took over a Harbor View music program that had only a piano. The same year, she was given $10,000 in arts grant money and used it to purchase xylophones that students continue to learn to play and use in performances.
Harbor View students now also learn to play recorders, and sixth-graders learn the trumpet, clarinet and violin, she said.