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Rave Reviews from Thunder Soul Film Screening at Kashmere High School

2011 September 15
by HISD Communications

We know that great teachers can make a tremendous impact on the lives of their students. We see evidence of that every day in Houston’s schools, and if you need any more proof that’s the case, make plans to see the documentary Thunder Soul. The film tells the story of HISD’s legendary music instructor, Conrad “Prof” Johnson. Prof was the leader of the Kashmere High School Stage Band. He was a mentor, role model, and an inspiration to his students. Yesterday, I joined hundreds of parents, community members, staff, and students at the film premiere at Kashmere High School. It was a great event, with a concert performed by several generations of the Kashmere High School Stage Band. They were fantastic! Let me tell you, I am still tapping my feet!

Thunder Soul was directed by Mark Landsman, a former teacher himself. In this short clip, he describes how he first learned about Prof.

Thunder Soul will be in theaters across the country later this month. It showcases the history and school pride at Kashmere. I want to share with you excerpts from a letter that Tamera Bolden, Principal at East Early College High School sent to Kashmere Principal Paul Hardin after the event. She began her career at Kashmere, and wasn’t sure what to expect when she returned to view the film premiere. She was blown away by the transformation:

I am so glad that I attended the film premiere…there were happy kids everywhere participating in all kinds of activities. There is such a good feel to the school. The year that I left, it didn’t feel like that at all. Returning last night was like a homecoming to me, and brought back so many good memories of the people that I met at Kashmere, the amazing kids, and the great teachers that I worked with there. The highlight for me was being greeted at the door by Andre Walker (Kashmere C/O ’91), your AP. Seeing one of our Trinity Gardens kids handling such an important job so professionally, and seeing him on stage so poised and articulate just made me proud.

Thank you for hosting this incredible event and graciously opening up your school to everyone. You are obviously doing a wonderful job, and I wish you and your students all kinds of success. I hope that everyone sees this documentary, because Prof was the kind of teacher all of us want for our own kids. He was such a humble man, and was so good for children who didn’t always have someone believing in them. And the film was good for us too, because as principals we are so busy all the time that we don’t take time to reflect on how we are helping students, sometimes changing the path that they will walk after being in our school. And also how important it is for us to make sure we provide teachers who inspire and motivate our students.

I hate to tell you, but you will probably have to do a documentary about your state champion basketball coach, Frankie Brazos now! He was another unsung hero of the teaching profession.

Tamera J. Bolden, Principal
East Early College High School

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