A famous KCS grad made a significant impact at a local school on Friday by presenting music teacher Tom Walsh with the first Music Teacher of Note award and donating $20,000 to the school’s music program to buy new instruments!

The Morgan Wallen Foundation’s Program Director, Lesli Wallen, taught at Adrian-Burnett Elementary for most of her career, where she met and worked with Walsh.

He is a longtime music teacher, and he is known to rummage around yard sales on weekends to find inexpensive musical instruments for his classroom. 

“In all my years of teaching, I have never come in contact with a music teacher like he is,” Wallen said. “I have been so impacted by his love of teaching and his love for the kids.”

She waited weeks to tell her former coworker he’s “not going to have to go to any more yard sales.”

The award and donation were kept under wraps until Friday, when Morgan Wallen spoke to the group in a video congratulating Walsh and thanking him for his years of service to his students. 

“I know he gives 100%, is always getting there early in the morning to make sure y’all are getting to practice, and does anything he can to make y’all better,” said Wallen. 

Walsh was short in his speech, taking in the sounds of the excited students and his moment on stage: “Honestly, I had no idea about this, and I’m already thinking about what I’m doing to do with this,” he said.

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