Music teacher is 4th MPS employee to die in less than a week

Updated: Jan. 22, 2021 at 3:09 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Montgomery Public Schools is mourning the loss of a Booker T. Washington Magnet High School teacher.

MPS officials confirmed that piano teacher Leslye Ames has died.

“Mrs. Ames was a brilliant and beautiful spirit who was committed to developing the gifts and talents of young musicians. We will never forget the bright light that she and her family provided the entire BTW community and the piano magnet,” BTW Principal Quesha Starks said.

Ames was only 49 years old.

“She was a master pianist,” said Jeanne Charbonneau.

Ames died Thursday after a battle with COVID-19. Charbonneau is the president of FAME, short for Friends Of Arts Magnet Education directly tied to BTW. The loss of a talented instructor is being felt far and deep.

“And she was just thrilled to be here and be part of it. And we were excited to have her; her energy level, her passion, her commitment,” said Charbonneau.

Even though Ames was only at the school for one semester, she left a profound legacy.

“And she took off from the very beginning. The kids saw that, they knew that. They responded to her, and I think she will always be remembered for coming in and just taking over the program,” Charbonneau said.

Please take a moment to pause at 2:30 in honor of Mrs. Ames.

Posted by BTW Magnet High School on Friday, January 22, 2021

This was the fourth employee death announced by MPS this week. Robert E. Lee High School assistant football coach Dwayne Berry, Capitol Heights Middle physical education teacher Lushers Lane and Park Crossing High School coach DeCarlos Perkins also died.

Of the eight county school employees who have died recently, five passed away from COVID-19.

Officials said counseling and support services are being provided to students and staff.

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