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News and Information

June 26, 2020

John James Awarded Sarah E. Menez Memorial Scholarship

On June 26, 2020, the Beechwood High School Band Boosters Senior Awards program was held at a private residence because of the coronavirus guidance. Director of Bands, Austin Bralley announced that John James was the 2020 Sarah E. Menez Memorial Scholarship recipient.

John was a member of the Beechwood Marching Tigers (2013-2019), the KMEA State Championship Marching Tigers (2015, 2016, and 2019), and the Beechwood Marching Tigers National Class A Bands of America Semifinalist (2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019). Additionally, he was selected to the Governor’s School of the Arts (2019), the Northern Kentucky Select Band (2015-2019), the KMEA All-State Symphonic Band where he held 1st chair Mallets (2020), the KMEA All-State Percussion Ensemble, Mallets (2020), the NKBDA Select Band 1st chair Percussion and 1st chair Mallets (2015-2019), the Cincinnati Youth Wind Ensemble (2018 and 2019), the PAS Kentucky Chapter Solo Competition 1st place Mallets (2020), and the University of Kentucky Honors Wind Ensemble (2018). And lastly, he was recognized as a National Merit Commended Scholar for the PSAT, an AP Scholar with Distinction, a BHS Honor Roll student (2014-2020), a founding member of the BHS Mu Alpha Theta, the national math honors society (2019-2020), and the winner of the Kentucky Chapter Percussive Arts Society Mallet Competition (2020).

His service activities included, among others, serving as the assistant director for the Beechwood Drumming Tigers, an elementary school drum circle of 4th through 6th graders, whose purpose is to create and teach students how to create and play music on many different instruments and participate in band fundraisers. 

As one teacher wrote, “John epitomizes everything great about this generation of young people. He is well rounded, extremely active in school, extra-curricular activities, and community, and a high caliber student who is not only at the top of his class but also a leader among his peers and community.” Another writer wrote, “John is a very personable, sincere person with dreams and aspirations, and the drive to help him achieve whatever he desires.” 
Upon receiving the award, John remarked, “Sarah was a person who loved music and music-making and one who lived life with kindness in her heart. I am thankful that the scholarship committee felt that I embodied the qualities that typified her.”

On behalf of the Beechwood Band Boosters, President Matt Thompson added, “We are pleased to have this scholarship to promote purposes and qualities of character, musicianship, and academic achievement in our students.  It is always a challenge, however, to select one student from so many fine candidates.”
The photo, which appears in the upper right-hand corner of this article, is award recipient John James.

The Sarah E. Menez Memorial Scholarship was established in 2014 by the Beechwood Band Boosters in association with Joseph Menez to honor the memory of his late wife Sarah Menez.  One scholarship is awarded annually for tuition assistance to a senior attending Beechwood High School who has best represented the personal qualities of Sarah Menez, musicianship, academic promise, and who has been accepted at an accredited college or university.
To learn more about the scholarship, visit or contact Beechwood Director or Bands Austin Bralley at (859) 331-1220.  Contributions to the Sarah E. Menez Memorial Scholarship are welcome and can be donated to the Beechwood Band Boosters as a gift designated for the Sarah E. Menez Memorial Scholarship.  The Band Boosters mailing address is 54 Beechwood Road, Ft. Mitchell, KY  41017.

The Beechwood Band Boosters is a non-profit IRC 501(c)(3) organization that was established to assist Beechwood’s Bands and directors with their programs and projects; to lend financial assistance to the bands for co-curricular and extracurricular activities; to promote a culture of excellence and exquisite musicianship. 

Beechwood Independent School District provides a co-educational public education for 1,200 students in grades K through 12.  Its elementary and high schools are integrated into a single campus in Ft. Mitchell, KY.  The School District is known for high academic achievement and excellence in extracurricular activities.  The high school is nationally ranked among America’s best public high schools by Newsweek and U.S. News and World Report.  Both the high school and elementary school are recognized as a National Blue-Ribbon School of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education.  More information is available at

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