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National Guardsman continues teaching students despite being deployed to US Capitol

Chelsea Ritschel
·2-min read
Music teacher continues teaching while deployed to US Capitol  (NBC News)
Music teacher continues teaching while deployed to US Capitol (NBC News)

An elementary school teacher has continued to virtually teach his students while protecting the nation’s capital as a sergeant with the DC National Guard.

Ahead of president-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration Wednesday, Sgt Jacob Kohut, a music teacher at Canterbury Woods Elementary School and Frost Middle School in Fairfax County, Virginia, was deployed to the US Capitol along with more than 20,000 members of the National Guard.

But despite working 12-hour shifts, Kohut has managed to make time for Zoom classes with his students, with The Washington Post reporting that the music teacher conducts his elementary school classes on the drill floor of the DC Armory before he begins work each morning.

On his breaks, Kohut, who has been in the military for 11 years as part of the 257th Army Band, and who has taught music for more than a decade, teaches his middle-school students from the back of a Humvee.

According to Kohut, who plays the bassoon and saxophone, he has managed to make the schedule work because he worried about what a possible disruption would do to his students, who are already learning remotely amid the pandemic.

“The last thing these students need is a disruption in their teaching,” Kohut told The Post. “I would rather teach the class, even if that means I’m very tired.”

On social media, Kohut’s dedication to teaching has been widely praised, with Canterbury Woods Elementary School sharing a photo of its band teacher and tweeting: “This is what a hero looks like.”

“A member of the DC National Guard, our band teacher Dr Jake Kohut has been working around the clock since Wednesday to protect our nation’s capital. And between shifts, he is dedicated to CWES students, teaching from DC,” the school’s Twitter account continued.

The US Army shared the school’s post on its Facebook page, with both tributes prompting an outpouring of praise for Kohut.

“Thank you for your service - to our country and students! Stay safe!” one person tweeted.

Another said: “What an effect he must have on those young minds. Brilliant. America is America because of leaders like this who do the right thing because they can!”

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