U.P. band program receives big donation


Iron Mountain Daily news

IRON MOUNTAIN – Most everyone has fond memories of their favorite teachers they had in school and sometimes there is one that stands out ahead of the rest.

It’s a teacher who made an impact on their students’ lives sometimes without even knowing it.

It was this way for Gary Johnson, a 1961 graduate of Iron Mountain High School. He had that connection with longtime band director Wally Swanson. Swanson had instilled in Johnson a love for music, Iron Mountain Schools Superintendent Tom Jayne said.

Johnson, 71, wants to give something back to his alma mater – specifically the Iron Mountain School District’s Music Department. He is making a donation of $200,000 to be used to enhance the music program, with the first $100,000 coming to the school district by June. Then for the next 10 years, Johnson will be making an annual $10,000 donation to the music department.