Retiring teacher gets swan song from favorite band Switchfoot - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Retiring teacher gets swan song from favorite band Switchfoot

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) —  A retiring, east county high school teacher got the surprise of a lifetime Tuesday. 

It's Peace Week at Santana High School, commemorating the deadly Santana school shooting in March 2001.

Part of peace week included a beloved teacher in AP Literature, Art History and Film singing, when San Diego's own Switchfoot took the mic. 

After 37 years of teaching, it was Martin Johnson's last lunch time concert. 

As he serenaded students outside, his wife Diane Johnson was inside prepping his favorite band Switchfoot as a retirement surprise. 

She read from a letter from her husband: 

"As Jon Foreman and Switchfoot sings, 'there ain't no darkness strong enough that could tear you out of my heart.'" 

All Mr. Johnson's students know he's a Switchfoot supporter. 

"Like everyday, he'll play Switchfoot, we'll walk in to Switchfoot, he'll sing Switchfoot," said student Ryley Becker. "We'll flash mob to Switchfoot." 

His class is sad to see him go. 

"My mom was actually in Mr. Johnson's very first class at Uni and I'm in his very last class here," said student Jennie Melton. "So that's kinda cool."  

Switchfoot couldn't be any more honored.

"This community has given us so much - from growing up here and starting our band in San Diego,"said Switchfoot drummer Chad Butler "When we are home we look for opportunities like this to give back."

"To hear of a teacher here in San Diego, who is singing our songs in his class once a week - what an honor," said Switchfoot singer Jon Foreman.  

Then came time to meet their mega fan face to face. 

Shocked and elated the group stood beside Mr. Johnson. 

Together they sang Switchfoot's song "Where I Belong." 

"What a dream come true to sing with his favorite band," said Diane Johnson. 
 
The band was also impressed. 

"He's a great player actually -  he's got a great voice," said Switchfoot bassist Tim Foreman.  

Mr. Johnson couldn't stop smiling. 

"I look over and there's Jon Foreman and there's the rest of the guys," said Martin Johnson. "It's like wow! It was a life fulfillment. Such a blessing." 

After Mr. Johnson retires in June, he plans to travel, go backpacking and visit his daughter on the East Coast. 
  

 
 

 
 

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