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John Marshall HS, Sherrard MS Bands Receive Accolades

Photo Provided – JM Band Director Tracey Filben and SMS Band Director Jason Birch display their schools’ award.

MARSHALL COUNTY – Two local band programs were recognized for their achievements in the classroom, with John Marshall High School and Sherrard Middle School’s bands being awarded an award for their academic achievement.

The Marching Monarchs and the Sherrard Middle School Band were awarded the annual WVSSAC / Farmers & Mechanics Insurance Academic Achievement Award by the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission. In the 2019-2020 school year, the JM Band, under the direction of Tracey Filben, was 3.8. The Sherrard Middle School Band, led by Jason Birch, had an overall GPA of 3.878. Sherrard has earned the award twice in the past four years.

On Friday, Filben stressed the importance of academics for students, alongside their extracurricular activities, which helps them become more well-rounded learners. With that, she said, extracurricular programs such as band help them develop as students, as well.

“Academics are very important, because we want to have well-rounded students. It’s not just about music; we want them to be lifelong learners and contributors to society,” Filben said. “We feel that music helps them, because it generally increases their discipline, not only with musical aspects, but in all aspects of their life.”

The Monarchs and Rams were to be honored during the pre-game ceremonies of the Class AAA Championship football game in December. However, the game was canceled because of COVD-19.

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