In The New York Times’ Magazine on Sunday, Levittown native Michael Sokolove offers a powerful excerpt from his new book about Lou Volpe, the renowned high school drama teacher in Bristol Township.
The article describes Harry S Truman High School’s theater program as a real life version of the television show “Glee,” where male athletes vie for roles in the school play. But the article goes much deeper, focusing on the powerful impact teachers can have on students, particularly in a working class community such as Bristol Township.
Sokolove, who once worked for The Inquirer, was a student in Volpe’s 11th grade English class in 1972.
Sokolove writes: “One thing I discovered when researching a book on Volpe and Truman’s theater program was that nearly everyone I talked to had the same experience I did with him. They felt that at a certain moment, he knew them better than they knew themselves. That is what gifted, intuitive teachers do. What they say doesn’t have to be that profound — just well timed and well aimed. Their words go to a place that no other teacher, and no parent, has touched.”