The opportunity to meet a person who will alter an entire country's beliefs through his actions and words is likely to inspire and challenge a person for their entire live.
Belmont School Superintendent Dr. Thomas Kingston recalled such a moment, which he revealed to educators at Tuesday's Opening Day gathering at Belmont High School.
"This past week the nation commemorated the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Civil Rights, led by the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose hallmark speech, 'I Have a Dream,' has become one of the canonic speeches of American history.
"Chief among my personal values is that public education is a primary agent of social justice, and that public school systems at their best are alike to the extent that they provide open opportunity regardless of any child’s condition of birth.
"Incidentally, the geeky-looking kid with the glasses in this 1965 picture is, indeed, me. I am old enough and fortunate enough to have met Dr. King, and I always looked forward when I was a teacher to working through with my juniors King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail.
"King’s articulation about the meaning of social justice, and the vibrant stories and images that emerge in his speeches have taught me much about human aspiration, civic behavior and the vocation of educators to be agents for social justice."