BEAR RIVER HIGH - By Ellen Cook, Headliner Media Specialist, December 2, 2021
If it relates to music at Bear River High School, chances are Wade Walton is involved. In fact, Principal A. J. Gilmore said he is the school’s “one and only choir, band and guitar teacher,” and those who have worked with him count themselves lucky.
That is why Gilmore gave Walton’s name to the Utah High School Activities Association and why, after review, the UHSAA Distinguished Service Award Selection Committee named him the 2021 Music Educator of Year.
Walton has been working at Bear River High for 16 years, at first only on a part-time basis. But, according to Gilmore, “He connected and inspired kids, prompting the move to need him all day.”
Gilmore called him the “heart and soul of Bear River High School performing arts” and said, “he goes above and beyond to support our students.”
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Choir accompanist, Kristi Kent, agrees. “Being able to work alongside Wade each day and see how much joy he has in teaching the kids is a pleasure. He has a genuine care for each student, and they know it. His passion for teaching is not only in music, but in life.”
Over the years he has worked hard to bring out the best from those under his tutelage, Gilmore added. “He has a unique talent to reach any kid and help them believe in themselves like he believes in them.” Through that ongoing effort he has developed three quality groups: Madrigals, Jazz Band and Marching Band, who can hold their own at any state competition at which they perform.
'This speaks to his ability to manage responsibilities, stay organized and how multi-talented he truly is," Gilmore continued. “Wade is a joy to be around and work with. He leaves a positive and lasting impact on his students and makes our school a better place to be every day. We love Mr. Walton and all he brings to BRHS!”
Walton will accept his Distinguished Service Award during an awards luncheon on January 12, 2022, in Orem.