Fayette County

Beloved Albert Gallatin kindergarten teacher dies unexpectedly

UNIONTOWN, Pa. — A beloved teacher in the Albert Gallatin Area School District died unexpectedly Tuesday.

The district identified him as Toby Maykuth. He was a kindergarten teacher at Smithfield Elementary School who had a big impact on the school and Uniontown community.

Madeline Davis knows that impact firsthand. Her son was in his class this year. They loved him.

“Because just his energy, amazing energy,” Davis said. “Just full of life, and I think he just brought out a joy for learning for the kids.”

Hearing the news of his unexpected death Tuesday morning was a shock.

“It’s devastating,” Davis said. “My son was so lucky to have him for his first year of school, and I just felt so lucky, and I know he was getting just a wonderful education, and this is just a terrible, terrible loss.”

Maykuth taught kindergarten at Smithfield Elementary for nearly 20 years.

He was the musical director and head of the drama department at the high school. He also worked with the Uniontown State Theatre.

Channel 11′s Andrew Havranek spoke with the district superintendent on the phone Tuesday. He said Maykuth had worked with so many students across the district, it made sense to send everyone home early.

“It shows how important Mr. Maykuth was to everyone,” Davis said.

The district released a statement Tuesday afternoon saying there will be no class at Smithfield Elementary on Wednesday.

They also ask parents to watch for signs of stress in their child after this sudden loss.

Davis also had a message for the community.

“I just, I think we need to learn to appreciate our teachers more than what we do,” she said.

The school says it will have counselors, social workers, and therapists at all of the schools for the rest of the year. The last day of school is June 5.

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, help is available right now. You can reach the suicide and crisis lifeline 24 hours a day by calling or texting 988.

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