RESEDA ( — Cleveland High School honored a teacher who has inspired and mentored students for 40 years Tuesday as he proudly handed off the torch to a former pupil.

Don Runyan is considered at institution at Cleveland High School, having taught drafting, architecture and leadership for 40 years, and school officials were not the only ones to honor the veteran educator on Tuesday.

“Mr. Runyan is as much a part of Cleveland High as the brick you see on all the buildings,” current drafting teacher and a former student of Runyan’s, Borin Linares said. “He is Cleveland High.”

His former students of the past four decades, all inspired and bettered by Runyan in some way, highlighted the event.

“He inspired so many people,” Linares said. “And it was so easy for me and for everyone to get wrapped up in this great environment that he created for his students.”

Linares, whose favorite class as a student at Cleveland High School was drafting, thanks to Don Runyan, is taking the reigns, and Runyan himself couldn’t be happier.

“Most teachers walk away and what they’ve done just dissipates or disappears, and I always wondered, out of a number of students, who is going to take over the program,” Runyan said. “I couldn’t be more happy with Boris Linares.”

Runyan’s name, meanwhile, will remain as big a part of the drafting class of Cleveland High as he has been, with his name forever sealed outside the building, which is now named after him in his honor.

“Some people dream about things like this, and they never happen, and to have so many people from so many different walks of life in my world to come together at one time — I’m on top of the world.”


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