You inspired me to be a teacher
Dear Mrs. Musante,
I don’t remember many of my middle school teachers but I do remember you.
I remember how you encouraged me when I did not get a main part in Bye Bye Birdie in 1977. You encouraged me to do costumes and I LOVED it. Thank you for helping me to find my niche in the theater world.
Your love of me, and all of your students, had a direct impact on my future profession - teaching. I don’t recall a moment when I said to myself, “I want to be just like Mrs. Musante (or the handful of teachers who inspire me)” but I do recall the feeling I got from being around you and only hope I can be half as inspiring to my students.
Thank you for all you have done for the students of Bowditch. I am so glad I am one of them!
With love and gratitude,
Tina Phinney Rice
I’m certain you wont remember me - but I certainly remember you!
One of the many ways my Dad used to really piss me off was to toss around the old stale canard “Those who can’t do, teach.”… I love my Dad but on this he was a total jerkface.
Teaching is a skill set which involves the whole person. Heart and head. It’s fairly rare to find REAL teachers who bring their whole selves to the class in order for their kids to be able to bring their whole selves to the world. You are one of those teachers!
It’s a very long time since I have been in middle school…class of 1978! Though acting was never my bag - I ended up enjoying theater set design at UC Berkeley and volunteer set design after that… I did end up going to New York in my thirties and taking improv classes at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade. Who does that past 30??? I suppose it’s people who were blessed at a young age with a sense of fun and adventure in seventh grade….I give you credit for that.
I was in Oliver and Bye Bye Birdie - in the chorus as I wasn’t really lead material - and have since developed a love of Sondheim and can be found singing horrible at my computer when no one is around.Those are my FONDEST memories of middle school and gave me forever the very useful attitude much like Darla and Spanky in the Little Rasclals - that the most fun you could have was to PUT ON A SHOW! It has stayed with me and always comes in handy when something awesome needs doing.
Any kid who had the luck to come through your class room door was blessed.
So Mrs. Musante Thank you for giving your whole self and showing us the way to do that. We took notice and we are forever grateful.
Liz McLellan Class of 1978
Heather Fife Here
I Never Felt Like a Munchkin Around You (I just played one)
Dear Mrs. Musante,
I can still sense what it felt like to step into B-41 and walk down those big steps with excitement to start drama class with you. At a time when so many kids lose their confidence you created a safe space to make anyone and everyone feel good.
Being a dancer and member of the chorus in your shows, I always felt just as important as everyone else. Performing in a huge cast on that tiny stage was so exciting. I loved every moment of it.
My experience with you at Bowditch helped lead me on my career path. My life’s passion. I realized that I could use my dance and drama skills to help people which led me to become a Dance/Movement Therapist. You taught me to think on my feet and I use the improv and creative skills I learned from you all the time in my work with teenagers and kids. I now know why you chose to work in a school for so many years. It is quite gratifying.
I am so glad that we stayed in touch through Mandy and I have been able to see you over the years. Your smiles and energy are always a reminder to keep going and do it with passion. I still wonder how a woman who changed so many lives over the years has not changed one bit?
Thank you Mrs. Musante for being such an important part of my life and the lives of so many Foster City kids.
With love and deep gratitude, Joanne Cohen
From a proud mom with gratitude
Beef, you sweep me off my feet!
I can’t really explain how you’ve inspired me. You were the first one to see my potential and give me confidence to pursue musical theatre as a career. You cast me as on of six sixth graders in The Pajama Game and you tricked me into doing extra credit in eighth grade just so you could give the drama award to someone with an A and not an A-. I still laugh at video of that scrawny, 4 foot-something, blonde, Linda Lo, singing Fan Tan Fanny with a headdress as big as me. I wish all my acting teachers and professors had been as patient and positive as you were (and are). You really pull out the best in everyone, not just on the stage. I just want to say thank you and I am so thankful you are still in my life! Mwaaaaa!
Congratulations, Mrs. Musante! Not just for your retirement, though it is well-deserved after 37 incredible years, but also congratulations for touching more lives than anyone could ever hope to in our short time on earth. The friendships we forged, the lessons we learned, and the memories we now cherish thanks to you will not be forgotten.
I am so lucky to have had you as a teacher. Thank you for all of the opportunities you gave me. Thank you for believing in my abilities at an age when most people don’t believe in themselves. Thank you!
Michelle McComb, Class of 2002
Have I Told You Lately…
… that I Love You?
I’m not much for public displays, so I will write you a personal note. But I just wanted to publicly yell on the interwebs that
I LOVE YOU, MRS. M!
Thanks for taking me over the rainbow - where “the dreams that you dare to dream, really do come true!”