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Student of the Month Kayla Wallace finds ways to adapt senior year during pandemic

Published: Mar. 30, 2021 at 8:10 AM CDT
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MOUNT VERNON, Iowa (KCRG) - Mount Vernon Community School District High School Senior Kayla Wallace has been looking forward to her final year as a high school musician.

That all changed when the pandemic hit, and bands had to adapt along with all other school programs.

Mount Vernon band director, Scott Weber, says through it all, she kept a calm positive attitude to lift up her classmates.

That’s part of the reason why Kayla Wallace is March’s Student of the Month.

“I really like to help people when they need it, and making sure things are done that need to be done,” Wallace said.

She has a passion for music, and is a member of a variety of music groups in the school.

“When you’re singing, and when you’re playing music, you’re really just allowing your emotions to come out and just letting you be yourself.”

Her senior year is far from what she, or anyone, was expecting. Weber said marching band had the best season it ever had right before the pandemic began. They made the best out of a difficult situation.

“It was very rigorous, but it was worth it, and despite all the changes, we definitely were successful, and I think everyone had a really good time,” Wallace said.

“To be able to lead by example, to be able to get your peers to actually listen to you and follow you, that’s a special trait and Kayla has had that,” Weber said.

Marching band competitions were cancelled, but through Wallace’s leadership as drum major, a role she served in since a sophomore, the marching band found modified ways to perform at football games.

“There’s already been a lot of things that I’ve looked forward to for so long that have been cancelled, but overcoming it, and trying to move past it, is having the memories that I’ve already had in previous years,” Wallace said.

Inspiring others around her to see the positives of a year full of unexpected changes.

“It’s just so surreal that all of a sudden COVID hits, and it’s all taken away from her,” Weber said. “For her to achieve what she has, and appreciate the things that she has, and not really be disappointed by what COVID’s taken away from her, it’s just so humbling to see a kid like that who is still genuinely so happy.”

Wallace plans to go to Kirkwood Community College for Interior Design, and get her realtor’s license.

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