I just received the terrible news that my high school art teacher Gordon Zahradnik and his wife Rae were killed in a car accident yesterday. Mr. Z was an incredible artist, teacher and friend. He taught me formal order. He introduced me to NPR. He taught me the importance of presentation. He taught me the importance of having a disciplined work ethic, He taught me how to paint. He encouraged me to think outside the box and experiment. He taught me how to look at art. He taught me how to speak about art. He taught me the importance of formal critiques and collaborating with other artists. He taught me to embrace happy accidents. He taught me how to be a “better” artist. I can never repay him for what he gave me. I am extremely lucky to have known him. Mr. Z will be greatly missed. I know many of my fellow Northeast Magnet Alumni feel the same.