BULLOCH CO., GA (WTOC) - This week's Top Teacher award goes to John Gleissner, the band director at Portal Middle High.
The students know Gleissner is one of them. He grew up in Bulloch County.
"My father had a quote: 'Anything for the band.' I was in band in 6th Grade. Ms. Frey was my teacher. They instilled in me this drive to make everything I am a part of as great as it can be," Gleissner said.
But it was one moment early in his life when he was called upon to help a younger student.
"The kid had a little trouble understanding the concept, and then I changed the way I approached it, got it to them, and I saw the light bulb come on, and I was hooked, and I knew I had to be a music teacher from them on," he said.
Buying an instrument can be expensive. That's why Gleissner wants to help remove any financial barriers students and families may face.
"I've made it my mission here that every student, if they want it, can have one year using a musical instrument, that I would provide at this school. I never want finances to be a burden, or reason why a kid can't play music. It doesn't make sense," Gleissner said.
Gleissner says he just wishes all students could feel what his do when they play a concert.
"I let them do all the work. It's a very euphoric feeling," he said. "Everything came together, the whole year was worth it, the kids love it, they all grew up together. I wish other subjects could have tests that do that."
Gleissner says he loves Portal Middle High because of the love and support he receives from the school and community - who all work behind the scenes to help make the musical dreams of his students come true.
To nominate a WTOC Top Teacher, visit our Top Teacher page for a link to the form.