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Thirteen leaders in high school activity programs across the country have been selected to receive National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Citations.

The recipient representing the NFHS Music Association is Jennifer Brooks, director of music at David Douglas High School in Portland.

An award designed to honor individuals who have made contributions to the NFHS, state high school associations, athletic director and coaching professions, the officiating avocation and fine arts/performing arts programs, the NFHS Citation is one of the most highly regarded achievements in high school athletics and performing arts.

Jennifer Brooks’ passion and excitement for music is contagious. She began her career in 1996 as a band and choir director for Banks (Oregon) Junior and Senior High School before moving to the David Douglas School District in Portland, Oregon, in 1998, where she currently works as the director of all music in the K-12 schools.

Brooks, who received her bachelor’s in music from Lewis and Clark College (Oregon) and her master’s from Portland State University, has guided teams in her district to a number of top finishes in the state band and orchestra competitions, including five runner-up finishes in the Full Orchestra Division.

Brooks has an impressive resume of honors including a Grammy Enterprise Award in 2012 and a Grammy Signature School Award in 2011. She has served on several Oregon School Activities Association committees and has taken a number of NFHS Learning Center courses, including Fundamentals of Interscholastic Music, Understanding Copyright and Compliance, Interscholastic Music Event Management and Band Safety and Music Adjudication.

Brooks currently lends her expertise to the Oregon Band Directors Association (OBDA) Band and Orchestra Adjudicator Certification Committee. She served two terms on the NFHS Music Committee, including a term as chair from 2016 to 2019, and she was president of the OBDA (2012-14) and Oregon Music Educators Association (OMEA) District II president (2000-02).

Throughout the nation, Brooks’ reputation precedes her as a well-rounded, respected and ambitious leader in the music industry. She is known to do whatever it takes to impact both her students and community, according to her colleague Amber Cowgill. Cowgill notes that Brooks felt called to work in a school district where many children come from a lower socioeconomic background, and she holds everyone to the highest standard, pushing them to be their best and overcome challenges. 

Citations will be presented June 30 at the annual NFHS Summer Meeting in Seattle, Washington.