INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 7, 2016) – Former classmates of Bishop Chatard theatre teacher Kyle Guyton have started a fund in his memory. The first-year teacher died this week while chaperoning a school trip in Europe. His mother said he likely had an allergic reaction to food that triggered a fatal asthma attack in Poland.
Guyton was a Chatard alumnus who graduated in 2011. Former classmates and staff said his impact at Chatard stretched well beyond the one year he led a theater classroom.
“It was a thing to behold. He did a fabulous job with the kids here,” said Kelly Lucas, with Bishop Chatard High School.
“He brought out the best in everybody,” said Aaron Ketzenberger, a former classmate.
Ketzenberger worked with him in high school theater. He said Guyton was a behind-the-scenes guy, skilled in putting a show together and especially the technical aspects to it.
“He would have us at circle time doing songs and sharing what we thought about the show and keeping the energy up and keeping the spirits good,” he said, “It’s just really important that we honor Guyton's memory.”
That’s why former Thespian students created a fund in Guyton's memory to cover funeral expenses, continue an endowment for the theater room, and start a scholarship in his name for those interested in theater.
“Really touched by the support of people,” said Kathy O’Neal, Guyton's mother.
O’Neal said she’s overwhelmed by the support, and she’s proud of her son, who pursued his love for theater through his youth and college years, even getting the chance to pass that love on to the next generation.
“Those were his gifts and talents that he was blessed with,” she said.
Despite her loss, she said she considers herself blessed.
“God has a plan, a purpose for this, and who knows what it is. I surely don’t. But I’m thankful. I’m thankful and blessed to be used as a vessel to be his mom,” she said.
The family is still in the process of getting his body back from Poland, which is painstaking and taking time. They hope it will be back in the U.S. next week, and that’s when they will start making funeral arrangements.
The theater alums at Chatard are hoping many will gather to make the April 22 showing of “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown,” a performance in his honor. It was the last show he worked on.