A Better East Texas:Athens Award - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

A Better East Texas:Athens Award

We've all heard the saying that there is a silver lining around every dark cloud and I was excited to hear about one such lining that came in the form of an accomplishment. 

 The Athens school system has been hit recently with the glaring spotlight of negative publicity. 

What a challenge for the students in Athens, each of whom, no doubt, found themselves under some sort of scrutiny.  But through all that, I received an email that demonstrated the power of focus and the spirit of accomplishment in the face of adversity. 

The Athens Middle School symphonic band, composed of fifty-five 7th and 8th graders of all ethnicities received - no earned - superior ratings from all judges resulting in a sweepstakes award at the U-I-L competition held the same week that the pressure in the community reached a crescendo.

These awards are the highest possible in this type of competition. Many of the band members are acquaintances of the students involved in the recent racial issues in the school.  And I think you will agree that there are few other team activities greater than a band setting where the contribution and focus of each member is required.  What a great accomplishment by the students led by their teacher, Mrs. Rachael Scotchmer. 

Mrs. Scotchmer inspired these young minds to rise above the distractions and excel.  Congratulations to both students and teacher and thank you for making this a better East Texas.

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