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Student: Dedication to compassion and kindness preached and practiced by our high school's staff.

There are seldom few things that I credit to my musicianship and character as much as the Mercer Island marching band. Besides my parents, I can't think of much. I currently study music, I'm pursuing a bachelor's in music education and french horn performance, because of this program, and only through meeting other band kids from all over the country have I realized how different my experience could have been were it not for the educators involved in the Mercer Island Band. I have observed probably six or seven Massachusetts educators over this past year and none have come close to the dedication to compassion and kindness preached and practiced by our high school's staff.

Music students are sorely lacking teachers who are excited to teach middle school (as opposed to counting the hours until they get to drive to the high school), teachers who give solos to kids who might not play it the best but will grow from playing it, teachers who let a high school senior march a football game who picked up the flute two weeks ago.

Bastions of acceptance are so rare in the musical community, it would be abhorrently foolish to defund a program that has put Mercer Island's name on a global stage dozens of times, but to defund a home that welcomes every student. Every student. This program changed my life. That statement is almost a given for any graduate, but because of its staff and the love of music that they foster in their classrooms, I found my calling.

~ Spencer Klein, Class of 2019


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