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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Brighton’s principal recognized as instrumental in marching band resurrection

Apr 13, 2021 01:28PM ● By Julie Slama

UMEA awards committee co-chair Jenni Perkins and Canyons District Arts Coordinator Sharee Jorgensen presented Brighton High Principal Tom Sherwood with the Utah Music Educator Association’s Outstanding Administrator Award; he is joined by Brighton High School band director Mikala Mortensen, who nominated him. (Photo courtesy of Jenni Perkins)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

“Tom is someone who is invested in people. Be it students, staff, or teachers, he is in this to help people.”

Those were the first words in Brighton High School band director Mikala Mortensen’s nomination for Brighton High Principal Tom Sherwood’s Outstanding Administrator Award from the Utah Music Educator Association. He received the award this winter during a Bengals’ band rehearsal.

The honor is awarded to a public school administrator who has demonstrated commitment to and support of music education in the schools.

“With the return of the marching band this year and a new venue for our performing arts with the new building, it has renewed excitement for Brighton High arts,” Sherwood said. “We have great educators in the performing arts and see the long-term value for arts; many of our students carry on with playing instruments, singing and performing in shows the rest of their lives.” 

Mortensen said Sherwood has been instrumental in the marching band resurrection talking to Canyons Board of Education members to the district’s chief financial officer to make it happen while at the same time overseeing the school’s rebuild, schedule changing and extra help needed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Throughout all of this, I have always felt listened to and supported, even when there is way too much on his plate,” she said.

Sherwood shared the Outstanding Administrator of the Year honors with a colleague, Jordan High Principal Wendy Dau.

UMEA awards committee co-chair Jenni Perkins said the nominations for both of the teachers were “just awesome” and it’s her favorite part of her position.

“I feel like I’m bringing sunshine everywhere,” said Perkins, who personally gave Sherwood the award. “We have the greatest opportunity in the world because we get to tell people that they’re being recognized by their peers for the great things they do in their classroom, and the administrators for all they support they provide to their teachers. It’s humbling to interact with each of them as they are contacted and receive this recognition.”