A letter from Angie Marsh, high school junior and co-president of Shine On, a high school service club that supports the Tyler Foundation and cancer research.
Dear ASIJ Community,
As many of you have been sadly informed already, Mr. Tomlinson was diagnosed with leukemia several weeks ago. He is a dedicated high school math teacher, a passionate coach and an incredibly kind-hearted man. I wish I could convey to you how much enthusiasm he carries with him, but he’s just one of those people who puts a smile on your face regardless of any mood you were in preceding an encounter with him. Whether it’s asking us how our after school sports are going, or just how our days are going in general, there was never a single time when his words were insincere or disingenuous. He gave us, students, the utmost respect in every situation. I feel that there is no better time than now to repay the inspiration and motivation that he has given us, and I am happy to say that we did so in the form of senbazuru (1,000 origami cranes).
On behalf of Shine On, I want to extend a massive “Thank You” to everyone who came out to fold a crane at Friday Night Lights, stopped by Mrs. Auckerman’s room or brought some in from home. Your efforts are immensely appreciated and we could not have completed this project without you.
As for his reaction upon seeing a video that our principal sent to him of us unveiling the cranes, he promptly sent me an email expressing his gratitude and happiness. I hope Mr. T doesn’t mind my sharing this with you, but a portion of the email he sent me was:
“Wow is all I can say! I have so much power right now, nothing can stop me, not even this cancer. I hope all is well with you and please please please forward my thanks to all the people involved in putting that together. It will hang in my classroom forever.”
I am convinced that we will continue having more events like the “Orange Out” (dedicated 100% to Mr. Tomlinson), until his return. I truly believe that minor empowerments such as these will carry him a long way, so I’d like to thank you all once again for your efforts and encourage you to participate in more projects following the senbazuru.
Shine On Co-President