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Preston County Arts Center Honors Memory of Volunteer and Teacher

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KINGWOOD -

The best teachers have a real impact on their students' lives, and a Preston County man was a perfect example. Larry Mattingly was a mentor to his students at Preston High School and at the local Arts Center.

The Preston County Arts Center put together a Larry Mattingly Memorial Days weekend in honor of the man, which kicked off Thursday night.

Larry Mattingly was an art teacher at Preston High School until he retired in 2009 and passed away in the fall of 2012.

He also volunteered at the Arts Center, which wanted to honor his memory for all his help through out the years in a special way.

"Last year ,the Jazz band came out to perform and he just thought it was fabulous and he loved it," said Shauna Bloom, a music teacher at Preston High. "And we're trying to promote the Preston County Arts Center and it's a great opportunity for my kids. I just loved the man, I would do, I would still do anything for him."

JoAnn Peterson is the executive director at the Arts Center and said that without Mattingly, the art gallery would have never been what it is today.

"Larry is such a special guy. He was not just an art teacher," said Peterson. "He cared deeply about his students, he mentored them. I don't know how many students or their parents to say my child would have not stayed in school if it weren't for his caring about them."

Bloom worked with Mattingly at Preston High School before he retired.

"He was just really a wonderful man, a kind, Christian, gentleman," said Bloom. "He was a southern gentleman from Kentucky. Just a wonderful man, it was a joy to work beside him."

The weekend will continue Friday night with more musical performances, and on Saturday, a plaque will be dedicated in Mattingly's honor.