By Natasha Brown


DARBY, Pa. (CBS) — A Delaware County teacher received the surprise of a lifetime Friday. Selected from hundreds of applicants, this mummer and music teacher was named a 2019 Phillies All-Star Teacher.

It was a humbling moment for Andrew Kruc. Hundreds of his little students kept a very big secret that led to an all-star surprise Friday.

The chants, the cheers, the celebrity greeting were all for Kruc. Mr. Kruc had no idea he was being honored as a 2019 Phillies All Star Teacher.

He’s affectionately known as the Pied Piper of Walnut Street Elementary School in Darby, and the entire school showed their love at a surprise assembly.

“I turned into the cafeteria and I was overwhelmed,” Kruc said. “This is something I’ll never forget. Thank you, Phillies.”

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Kruc was selected from hundreds of nominations and is one of 10 teachers who will be honored on the field at Citizens Bank Park Friday night. Principal Joseph Williams wrote the inspiring recommendation letter that led to this honor.

“His impact and getting these kids to appreciate music and really to dig a bit deeper into their own personal gifts has just been tremendous,” Williams said.

“I can’t believe so many little people kept this big secret from me,” Kruc said.

Kruc continues to inspire his students one drumbeat, one musical note at a time.

“Music gives students a chance to be heard when maybe they’re not heard,” he said. “Put an instrument in their hands, put a microphone in their hand, and things change for the better, sometimes forever in their lives.”

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He says this is a true testament as to the importance of music in schools.

“This tells me that I hope music is in schools for a long, long time, because it is a difference-maker,” Kruc said.

The school assembly was just the beginning of a big day for Kruc. Before the Phillies-Nationals game, he will be among the 10 teachers honored on the field during the 19th annual Teachers Appreciation Night.