Hometown Hero: Choir Teacher's Passion Helps Students Hit High Notes

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A choir teacher has spent his first year at Reed Academy in Springfield following his passion.

Danny Gutierrez, known as "Mr. G," teaches tone and musicality, but it's his life lessons that has his students taking note.

"I guess I felt like it was my calling in life. Teach kids. Hopefully change lives."

But there's more that happens in his class than meets the ear.

"He wants us to be great," says student Daniel Hilton.

For this first-year teacher, life lessons come with his curriculum.

"I try to teach them that with hard work and determination for whatever they want to do, if they're willing to work for it, they can probably achieve it."

Passion, determination, independence, and discipline - these are Mr. G's guidelines.

And for students like Thomas Goddard, it's inspiration he knows is backed up with a promise.

"He works just as hard as we do even when we're not doing exactly what he wants us to."

This music teacher makes it clear: his students aren't entitled to be great -- they must achieve it.

"Other teachers don't do that as much, so I think we just give him a lot of respect for that," adds Goddard.

"It's always 'Push to it. Go for it. Have fun. Make music you'" says Hilton.

Keeping his choir's confidence on beat is what keeps this teacher going.

"Their confidence normally is sky high," says Gutierrez. "Sometimes I have to lower them down a bit cause sometimes I'm like, 'Well, you're crazy now, let's take it down a notch."

And helping his students hit the high notes.          

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