Teachers matter and can make a difference that endures.
Shawntay Dalon, who has a recurring role on the Comedy Central series "Detroiters," pays tribute publicly to Kristen LaMagno, a high school English teacher she'll never forget.
"We all need individuals who sincerely believe in us, who genuinely want the best for us," the TV star says on social media.
They reunited this week as Dalon and other cast members prepared to shoot scenes in Detroit for the show's second season. The 31-year-old actor invited the former Finney High educator to attend a "table reading" rehearsal and posts this on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter with a photo of them:
This is my high school English teacher, Kristen Marschner LaMagno. I used to tell her how I wanted to be an "actress." She always told me to not stop pursuing it. "Go after it." "Do it!"
When I hit an extremely hard. depressed road in my life and expressed to her how I didn't want to live anymore, she stayed with me after class and said: "The world would be so empty without you."
Today Mrs. LaMagno got to sit with me on set for a national television show that I am an actress in, going on its second season. She got to see me living my dream.
We all need individuals who sincerely believe in us, who genuinely want the best for us.
Never forget those who saw the greatness even when you didn't. Believe in your dreams. Fight for your dreams. Work for your dreams. Have faith in your dreams
I am thankful for Mrs. LaMagno speaking life into me when I didn't have the will to live. I thank God for you, "Magno!" Thank you for joining me today. Love you.
LaMagno, who lives in Grosse Pointe Farms, still teaches in the Detroit Public Schools Community District and this spring won a 2017 Excellence Award as an "impact educator" at Western International High School. (Finney closed in 2009.)
Update: "I think I'm dreaming . . . it's kinda weird," she posts on Facebook about Dalon's tribute and this article.
Dalon, who grew up on Detroit's east side, graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in speech communications and theater.
She splits her time between Detroit and Los Angeles, and came home last November and December for a role in the play "Dot," staged by Detroit Public Theatre.
Her character in "Detroiters," which returns in 2018, is the sister of Sam Richardson and the wife of co-star Tim Robinson.