Elle King returned to the classroom with a special visit to a beloved high school teacher.
After reading a letter from Emma Hughes, a high school senior student at Chouteau High School that praised teacher Cathy Welker-Graham — a massive fan of King and teacher of the year at Chouteau High — the “Try Jesus” singer decided to take matters into her own hands to celebrate Welker-Graham.
Before hitting the stage in Tulsa on Friday, March 24, King and her guitarist gave Hughes, Welker-Graham and the entire Chouteau High student body the surprise of a lifetime as they visited the adored teacher in her classroom. King penned Welker-Graham “America’s Sweetheart” before belting the hit track of that title to a room packed with students, faculty and administrators.
“Sometimes the right thing to do is always the kind thing to do. You never forget how somebody makes you feel. This one was mutual,” King captioned an Instagram video.
Watch A Clip From The Unforgettable Visit Below
“I didn’t always have the greatest experience in school,” joked King. “But every few schools I would find a teacher who believed in me, and it gave me confidence and they told me that I could do something great with my life even if I was different. So I think that great teachers should be celebrated. It was important to me that we show this deserving teacher some well-earned gratitude.”
“As educators, this is why we do what we do. We are here to make positive impacts on our students,” added Clint Hall, the principal at Chouteau High School. “It took a lot for me to keep a lid on this. Mrs. Welker-Graham is a rock star teacher and Emma is a great kid! It could not have come together for two better people. This was priceless! Tears of joy from a lot of people today!”
Once her school day came to a close, King set out to the legendary Church Studio, where the singer and her band recorded a brand-new track. Built in 1915, the church was purchased in 1972 by music trailblazer Leon Russell who then transformed it into an iconic recording studio known as the heart of the “Tulsa Sound.”
The fun didn’t end there — Chouteau High School’s Welker-Graham, Hughes and Hall were also in attendance at King’s sold-out gig at Cain’s Ballroom.
King recently wrapped up her A-FREAKIN’-MEN Tour. Presented by Slow & Low, the trek kicked off on Feb. 14 in New Orleans, LA and hit major cities including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Austin and more before wrapping up on March 25 at Bossier City, LA’s Margaritaville Resort Theatre.
The successful stint was in support of her most recent album, Come Get Your Wife, released on Jan. 27 of this year.
“This whole album is a crazy quilt of all sorts of moments and things that might not seem to go together, but because they’re me, they do,” said King of the 12-track project. “It’s very Southern Ohio, very who we are – and very much a lot of people who are just like me, because I know they’re out there.”
Elle King’s Come Get Your Wife Track List
- Before You Met Me
- Try Jesus
- Drunk (And I Don’t Want To Go Home) With Miranda Lambert
- Worth A Shot (featuring Dierks Bentley)
- Crawlin’ Mood
- Blacked Out
- Out Yonder
- Love Go By
Fans can look forward to seeing King on the road once again for her five-date Backroad Baptism Tour presented by Jelly Roll. The trek will begin on Aug. 4 in Mansfield, MA and will come to a close on Sept. 29 in Indianapolis, IN.