It was just another ordinary day in Mrs. Cindy Reagan's Honors Pre-Calculus 5th period class until a piece of old homework emerged from behind the whiteboard in her math wing classroom.
The veteran teacher caught a glimpse of the single sheet of notebook paper, which was laminated in plastic, and studied it carefully. It contained a large square, filled in with smaller, carefully drawn triangles, squares and circles, which had been filled in with various colored pencils. A handwritten caption explained that the drawing was a re-creation of a stained-glass window from St. Philomena Church in East Cleveland, now clustered as part of Communion of Saints Parish.
Reagan says, "At the top corner of the paper was the student's name, class, and date. When I announced the date, 'December 3rd 1979,' the kids thought it would be great to look up name of the student to see what he is doing now. So I spelled out the name so they could Google him: 'L-E-O-P-A-L-D-O Puzelo.' As soon as I said his name, a voice behind me said, 'That's my uncle!'"
"Of course, I was doubtful - as was everyone else. But Claudio Calzado '19 then said, 'I swear - he's a doctor at the Cleveland Clinic!' Just then the students Googled, held up their phones and confirmed that Leopaldo is now a doctor at the Clinic."
Veteran mathematics teacher and current tutor Tom Flandera '63 was the teacher listed in the upper right-hand corner. How a 39-year-old piece of homework emerged with its creator's nephew sitting in the classroom at that exact moment is anyone's guess--a coincidence to be pondered at Calzado's next family gathering, perhaps.
One thing is for sure. The grade written in pen on the back of the looseleaf sheet was still as vivid as the neatly colored shapes on the front: an A+.