NEW YORK - Students at one Manhattan high school are remembering the name of a beloved teacher, ensuring his memory will live forever.

Back in 1980, a movie called “Fame” based on a Manhattan high school captured the hearts and minds of the performing arts community.

“Fame” was set at what was then called the High School of Performing Arts, it merged with the High School for Music & Art, now known as the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts.

Carl Johnson, the longtime choral director at the so-called "Fame School" died on December 9. Johnson taught at LaGuardia from 2003 until this year. Students paid tribute to Johnson at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church on the Upper West Side, singing a “Fame” medley in his honor. They shared some of their fondest memories of Johnson with NY1.

“When we would perform outside of school, it was kind of a small group of us and we would really have just the best time with him,” said one student.

“Mr. Johnson was particularly important to me because he always gave me an opportunity to showcase myself,” said another student.

The Carl Johnson Memorial Music Award has been created in his honor. It will benefit vocal music students who embody his dedication to music as well as his kind and generous spirit. For more information head to