An Open Letter to Mr. Johnny Heard

by Cindy Bleuler Tucker

Mr. Heard was my high school journalism teacher and the most influential teacher in my life.  He taught at Mac Arthur High School, Irving, Texas for many years.  He is in hospice care and more than anything else, desires to re-connect with his students.  The letter below is just a summary of how he impacted my life.

Dear Mr. Heard,

I recently heard of your illness and wish I lived closer.  You were the most influential teacher in my life, and altered its entire course.

I attended MacArthur 1973-77.  I was quiet, awkward, and intellectual.  I took STS classes and was involved in different clubs, choir, and MBBC church.  I had always wanted to be a doctor, but I also loved to write.

I took the basic journalism class, and oh, I wanted to be on the newspaper staff.  I wanted to write articles and be part of that cool group of kids.  I wanted to change the world by digging up the truth.  So I decided to try out for the Cardinal Word.  I wanted nothing more than to be on that staff.

I enter a small room that seemed not much more than a closet.  There stood the editors of the Cardinal Word.  Rob Dye, tall, aloof, intellectual.  I was in awe of him. Beside him stood a lovely slim dark-headed girl who I had wished I looked like- I think her name was Terri.  There was one other student and Mr. Heard.

The interview began.  I was intimidated, clearly not what they were looking for.  I think I said something about the importance of honesty, I don’t know but I knew it didn’t go well.  I didn’t fit whatever they were looking for.  No newspaper staff for me. I do remember Mr. Heard looking at me kindly- at the time I thought he felt sorry for me.

The next day he called me in.  no I wasn’t going to be on the newspaper staff. I wasn’t going to become MacArthur high’s star reporter. But he saw something in me during the interview.  How would I like to be on the yearbook staff (Crest)?  I would be a go-for, gopher.  Probably no writing, basically a shadow in the background doing whatever needed to be done.  I also think he created something for me to do just to let me be a part.

What followed were two years of yearbook staff as a gopher, sales manager, caption and copy writer, and copy editing.  I actually had a section in the ‘77 Crest (which of course my friend Greg Weisbruch got a hold of with his red pen!)

Not only did I solidify a life-long love of writing, I gradually got over my shyness and actually made friends outside my comfort zone.

Writing has been a part of my life ever since- on to UNT to take journalism, radio-TV-film, and advertising, working at the NT Daily and later in advertising sales. In my sorority I was the chapter editor.  After moving to Georgia, I taught for 11 years (10 in a wheelchair), improving writing scores in my students.  In my many activities, writing has been my focus.  Public relations for my daughter’s school, editing a church newsletter, promoting Woman’s Club activities and winning a state-wide short story contest, writing for political commentaries for newspapers and on-line publications, fundraising letters, the list goes on and on.  I currently have a website,, which I would love for you to see.  It’s mostly devotions and does seem to encourage a lot of people.  I will probably include this letter on it so people can know about a teacher that was so influential in my life, who inspired me to be willing to be a servant in order to be a part of something I loved.

Thank you Mr. Heard!

Cindy Bleuler Tucker

P.S.  Mine is only one of hundreds of testimonies to the lives you have changed for the better.


About Cindy Bleuler Tucker

Hi! I'm Cindy, and I am a retired teacher, wife, and mother of a 20 year old. I am a Christian with great interest in living for the Lord in my daily life. My Christian worldview permeates every thing I do and say, at least when my sin doesn't get in the way! My family and friends are very important to me. I have a great interest in the Blble, moral issues, politics, books music, and popular culture. I love writing, going to church activities, swimming, and exercising. I have a personal interest in disability and adoption issues. I write devotionals, political commentary, reviews, poetry, and some fiction and I guess whatever I feel like. I guarantee you will not agree with me on everything. I welcome your constructive comments and hope we can have a great sharing of the minds.
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