The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) awarded teachers and students the “Heart of the Arts” awards in February 2020. The recipient could be any student, adult, or group associated with a school’s performing arts program and could be given in recognition of a specific act or for an activity of longer duration. Skyridge High School’s Head of Fine Arts Department, Howard Summers, won the “Heart of the Arts” award earlier this year and on Friday, April 25, was one of eight in the nation to win the NFHS Section Award for “Heart of the Arts.”

A post on Skyridge High School’s social media read, “Mr. Summers has built a powerhouse band program in just four years, and not only is he a master musician himself, but he is a master teacher and a concentrated builder of students. He is extraordinarily positive, sees the good in any situation, and is a great force for helping others to feel the same.”

Utah is part of one of eight sections of the NFHS and that section also includes California, Arizona, Nevada, and Hawaii with over 2,000 schools participating and nominating people for the “Heart of the Arts” award. “We are extremely proud of Mr. Summers. He is a true advocate for students – he is a master educator, an incredibly talented musician, and a pretty amazing man,” said Dr. Joel Perkins, Principal at Skyridge High School.

“I love seeing the change that comes to individual students through learning music. As they face obstacles and work hard, they start to realize their potential. This isn’t just about teaching kids notes and rhythm, it’s giving kids a taste of success they’ll keep with them for life,” said Summers.

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