George C. Marshall High School

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George C. Marshall High School
George C. Marshall High School Logo.jpg
George Marshall High School entrance Falls Church VA 2021-06-12 152831 1 crop.jpg
7731 Leesburg Pike

, ,

United States
Coordinates38°54′22″N 77°12′47″W / 38.906°N 77.213°W / 38.906; -77.213Coordinates: 38°54′22″N 77°12′47″W / 38.906°N 77.213°W / 38.906; -77.213
TypePublic secondary
MottoSmall School, Big Heart
Established1962; 61 years ago (1962)[1]
School districtFairfax County Public Schools
NCES District ID5101260[2]
Educational authorityVirginia Department of Education
School codeVA-029-0291290
CEEB code470794
NCES School ID510126000535[3]
PrincipalJeffrey Litz
Faculty136.23 (on an FTE basis)[3]
Enrollment2,068[3] (2021-2022)
 • Grade 9513
 • Grade 10517
 • Grade 11508
 • Grade 12530
Student to teacher ratio15.18:1[3]
Campus typeLarge suburb[3]
  •   Scarlet
  •   Columbia blue
Athletics conferenceAAA Liberty District Region D
USNWR ranking247[4]
NewspaperRank & File
YearbookThe Columbian
Feeder schoolsKilmer and Thoreau middle schools

George C. Marshall High School is a public school in northern Virginia, located in Idylwood in unincorporated Fairfax County, near Falls Church.[5] Named for General George C. Marshall, it opened in 1962 and is part of Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS). It is ranked #245 in the nation for public schools and has received a gold award for Best High Schools from the U.S. News & World Report 2020.[6] It is ranked 4th in Virginia and 4th in Fairfax County. George C. Marshall High School is a fully accredited high school based on Virginia's Standards of Learning tests.[7]


Most Marshall students passed the end-of-year exams during the 2017-2018 school year. The graduation rate was 96%.[8]

Subject Accreditation Pass Rate
English 97%
History 96%
Mathematics 93%
Science 95%


Below are the demographics as presented during the 2019- 2020 school year at Marshall High School:[9][10]

Gender Marshall Percentage FCPS High School Average
Male 52.67% 52.0%
Female 47.33% 48.0%
Ethnicity Marshall Percentage FCPS High School Average
American Indian / Alaska Native 0.3% 0.3%
Asian 20.37% 19.49%
Black/ African American 5.62% 9.8%
Hispanic/ Latino 20.32% 27%
Native Hawaiian/ Pacific Islander 0.1% 0.12%
Two or More Races 5.9% 4.7%
White 47.19% 37.85%

19.80%, or 423 students, were eligible for free or reduced lunch in the 2019- 2020 school year.[11]

Extracurricular activities[edit]

Marshall High School has over 30 extracurricular activities available for its students and over ten honor societies available for high-achieving students.[12]

Marshall has a growing orchestra, band, choir, and theatre program. They participate in numerous competitions annually, such as the District Performance Assessment and the Music Heritage Festival.


Marshall's teams are nicknamed the Statesmen, their mascot is the griffin (a half lion, half eagle creature), and their teams play in the AAA Liberty District and Northern Region of the Virginia High School League. While Marshall's enrollment had been at the AA level, and the school had needed to petition to play in AAA to the VHSL to maintain rivalries with local schools, the school's enrollment had increased to over 1900 students by the fall of 2014.

In the 2005-2006 school year, the field hockey team and the boys' basketball teams advanced to the AAA tournaments.

Marshall girls' basketball won the Liberty District tournament in 2006 and 2007. The girls' tennis team placed first in the Liberty District in 2009 and second (to Thomas Jefferson) at the regional tournament.

George C Marshall High School's new school motto, "Small School Big Heart", was started during what is called the Cinderella season on the 05-06 Varsity Men's Basketball, who advanced to the semi-finals of the state tournament.[citation needed]

In 2013, the Men's Varsity Basketball team won the Liberty District. In 2014, the Men's Varsity Football team broke a losing streak stretching back to 2011 with victories over Thomas Jefferson and JEB Stuart.

In 2016, the Varsity Cheerleading team won the Capitol Conference for the first time in VHSL history. The team also advanced to the 5A Regionals, which hadn't been done since 2013. In 2017, the team placed 2nd in the conference and 8th in 6A Regionals. In 2018, the team placed 1st in the conference and 6th in the 6A Regionals.

In 2016, the girls' cross country team won the 5A State Championships at the Great Meadows course in The Plains, Virginia. The team had five members in the top 20. Placing 1st, 9th, 15th, 16th, and 18th. The overall team score was 53 points, 54 points ahead of second place Tuscarora High School (Virginia).

State team championships and runner-up finishes[edit]

Marshall has four team state championship titles, which are:

  • two in AAA boys' cross country in 1971 (shared with Menchville High School) and 1972[13]
  • one in AAA girls' basketball in 1976[14]
  • one in 5A girls' cross country in 2016

Marshall has five runner-up finishes, which are:

  • three in AAA baseball (1975, 1986, 1987)[15]
  • one in AAA boys' cross country in 1996[13]
  • one in AAA Division 5 football in 1987[16]

Marshall also gained several individual state champions in Track and Field, Cross Country, and Tennis during the 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 seasons.


The Marshall Orchestra Program consists of four orchestras: The Marshall Concert Orchestra, Symphonic Orchestra, Philharmonic Orchestra, and Statesmen Sinfonia. During the 2014-2015 school year, it has grown to include more than 120 members. The first three orchestras have received superior ratings at the District Performance Assessment for the past three years. They have also received a gold rating and an adjudicator's award for their performance during the 2011 Music Heritage Festival. Statesmen Sinfonia is a new ensemble introduced in the 2014-2015 school year due to the growing number of members.[17]


The Marshall Band Program is composed of two subgroups: Concert Band[18] and Wind Symphony.[19] The band program is currently being led by director Paul Vesilind, who was named George C. Marshall High School Teacher of the Year in Spring 2015.[20] The Marshall Band has held the Honor Band[21] title for three years consecutively.

Marshall has many extracurricular bands, including Marshall's "Marching Statesmen[22]", which have come in 1st place at multiple competitions. They went to the marching band state competition for the first time in October 2015. There is also a Marshall Jazz Band,[23] which performs at school and community events. The band offerings at Marshall[24] also include indoor drumline, percussion ensemble, flute choir, and IB music. The percussion ensemble has also been recognized for its achievement. They were invited to the Indianapolis Music for All National Percussion Festival in March 2009. The event is part of the Bands of America National Convert Festival. The John Philip Sousa Foundation awarded the Marshall Band the Sudler Flag of Honor in 1994.


Marshall High School is also home to an award-winning theater program, which won the District level competition nine years running, and won the championship at the AAA State Finals of the Virginia High School League One-Act Festival five times (2000, 2001, 2003, 2005,[25] 2007), which is the record for most wins among all Virginia high schools. Furthermore, the department is known for allowing students to perform shows with more adult themes, such as uncensored versions of Company and Chicago.

Cyber Patriot[edit]

The Cyber Patriot Program is sponsored by the Air Force Association. Competitors are given virtual machines with vulnerabilities in them. In the allotted amount of time, they must correctly identify and rectify all vulnerabilities, usually viruses, while maintaining critical services.[26] At the national finals, the competitors also have to complete networking and digital forensics challenges.

Marshall started its Cyber Patriot Program during the 2011-2012 school year. A non-affiliated company, Terrawi, provided most of the resources and training materials to help adequately prepare the teams for competition. The original two teams, which consisted of twelve members, placed 7th in the nation during the final round of competition.[27]

Of the original three teams, the Marshall Cyber Patriot Program sent two teams to the Cyber Patriot National Finals, held on March 15, 2013, at the Gaylord Hotel in Maryland. Both teams finished in the top 3 of the open division, along with their state rival, Chantilly High School, which placed top in the nation. Following the competition, the team is expected to compete in several competitions against other schools. Several other high schools in Fairfax County have asked the Marshall Cyber Patriot Program to help start up Cyber Patriot Programs. [28]

Future Problem Solving[edit]

Marshall High School started its Future Problem Solving Club in 2012-2013.[29] During its first year, the club consisted of four members who competed as a single team. The team passed through the Regional Competition, being one of two teams to represent Fairfax County at the State Bowl. At the state bowl, the Marshall team was a finalist in the middle division and received first place in the action plan presentation for their humorous portrayal of Romeo and Juliet.[30]

Model United Nations[edit]

Marshall High School has a growing Model United Nations club, which has grown to include more than 100 members during the 2016-17 school year. The club competes in notable tournaments annually, such as VAMUN, William and Mary MUN, and HenMUN. Marshall High School organizes My First MUN every September to prepare new MUN delegates for future MUN conferences.[31] Marshall held the first CIMUNE conference in January 2015, a Model UN conference completely in Spanish.[32]

Notable alumni[edit]


Gang violence[edit]

On February 27, 1998, at 12:20 pm, David Albrecht, a 17-year-old Pimmit Hills Alternative High School student, drove his Chevrolet Monte Carlo into Marshall's rear parking lot. With him in the car was a former student who had recently quit school. Right behind him was a dark-colored sports utility vehicle. The SUV pulled up alongside David's Monte Carlo, and the driver pulled out a .22-caliber rifle. Two to three shots were fired before the SUV left the parking lot. David, 17, was struck in the head and died from his wounds. His passenger, an 18-year-old, had escaped injury by ducking down. Police later confirmed that members of the Tiny Rascals Asian youth gang did this shooting.[37][38]

Discrimination case[edit]

During the 2011-2012 School Year at George C. Marshall High School, a dispute occurred between an English teacher and a black student. The teacher asked an African American student to read a Langston Hughes poem in a "blacker" way. Marshall administrators immediately launched an investigation into the alleged incident.[39][40]

Remember the Titans[edit]

In the movie Remember the Titans (2000), the climax of the film comes at the end of the 1971 AAA state championship football game between T.C. Williams High School and George Marshall High School. The movie was dramatized from a Washington Post series about race relations in the high school football fishbowl of 1971, as the Hollywood underdog T.C. Williams Titans took on the powerful Marshall Statesmen (coached by Ed Henry). The most notable dramatic license taken in the movie was to convert what was a regular-season matchup between Marshall and T.C. Williams into a made-for-Hollywood state championship. In reality, the Marshall game was the most challenging game T.C. Williams played all year, and the actual state championship (against Andrew Lewis High School of the Roanoke Valley) was a 27-0 blowout. The Titans won the Marshall game on a fourth down come-from-behind play at the end of the game. In addition to the added drama of the Marshall game, there were legal issues concerning using Andrew Lewis High School's name in the movie.

Ignored in both the original newspaper articles and the movie is the fact that in 1971, the city of Alexandria consolidated three four-year high schools into a single two-year school, with only juniors and seniors.[41] As a result, the best of the varsity football squads at George Washington High School (converted to a middle school), Hammond High School (converted to a middle school) and T.C Williams High School united in what amounted to an all-city, all-star team at T.C. Williams.

The legendary Ed Henry was the head coach at Marshall for six seasons, from 1969 to 1974, and is portrayed in the movie. In 1997, the Virginia High School League Hall of Fame inducted Henry.


  1. ^ Manz, Donna (September 12, 2012). "Marshall Renovation, Celebration Goes On". Connection Newspapers. Retrieved August 21, 2013.
  2. ^ "Search for Public School Districts – District Detail for Fairfax County Public Schools". National Center for Education Statistics. Institute of Education Sciences. Retrieved February 23, 2023.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Search for Public Schools - Marshall High (510126000535)". National Center for Education Statistics. Institute of Education Sciences. Retrieved February 23, 2023.
  4. ^ "Marshall High School". 2022 Best U.S. High Schools. U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved February 23, 2023.
  5. ^ "Idylwood CDP[permanent dead link]." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on October 21, 2009.
  6. ^ "How Does Marshall High Rank Among America's Best High Schools?". Retrieved April 24, 2020.
  7. ^ "Fairfax County Public Schools School Profiles: Marshall High School". Fairfax County Public Schools. Archived from the original on May 18, 2008. Retrieved May 15, 2008.
  8. ^ "FCPS - School Profiles - Marshall HS - VDOE Accreditation Summary". Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  9. ^ "2019-2020 Ethnicity, Gender, and Race Report". Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  10. ^ "Division Demographics Summary - 2019-2020". Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  11. ^ Education, Virginia Department of. "VDOE :: Program Statistics & Reports". Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  12. ^ "GCM Activities Office". Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  13. ^ a b McCall, Mike (ed.). Virginia High School League Book of Records, Seventeenth Edition – 2011–12 (PDF). Virginia High School League. p. 20. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 3, 2016. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
  14. ^ VHSL Book of Records, p.15
  15. ^ VHSL Book of Records, p.6
  16. ^ VHSL Book of Records, p.29
  17. ^ "Awards and Honors". GCM Orchestra. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  18. ^ "Concert Band". Retrieved December 14, 2015.
  19. ^ "Wind Symphony". Retrieved December 14, 2015.
  20. ^ Sund, Kelly. "Band Director". Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  21. ^ "Halfway to 3rd Year as Honor Band!". Retrieved December 14, 2015.
  22. ^ "Marching Band". Retrieved December 14, 2015.
  23. ^ "Jazz Band". Retrieved December 14, 2015.
  24. ^ "Marshall & Music". Retrieved December 14, 2015.
  25. ^ "Community News and Notes: Statesmen Stage Players Prove to be Top Gun Actors". Falls Church News-Press. March 17, 2005. Archived from the original on June 9, 2007. Retrieved November 26, 2008.
  26. ^ "CyberPatriot Training". Archived from the original on April 10, 2013. Retrieved April 30, 2013.
  27. ^ INSIDENOVA.COM. " - Northern VA - Arlington, Fairfax, Prince William. News, events, sports, obituaries". INSIDENOVA.COM. Archived from the original on February 22, 2013. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  28. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 28, 2013. Retrieved January 20, 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  29. ^
  30. ^ "Future Problem Solving of Virginia". Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  31. ^ "GCM My First MUN". Archived from the original on December 29, 2012. Retrieved January 25, 2013.
  32. ^ MUN, Marshall (December 19, 2014). "Check out @evegrill article in @GCMranknfile about our upcoming Spanish Committee on Jan". Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  33. ^ Waddell, Nick. "Mike Brown". Society for American Baseball Research. Cronkite School at ASU. Archived from the original on December 7, 2022. Retrieved February 19, 2023.
  34. ^ "Gayil Nalls - Biography". Retrieved September 3, 2011.
  35. ^ "USA Table Tennis Hall of Fame".
  36. ^ Ruf, Jessica (January 30, 2023). "7 Things to Know About Skater Ilia Malinin - Washingtonian". Archived from the original on January 31, 2023. Retrieved February 19, 2023. He's a senior at George C. Marshall High School in Falls Church.
  37. ^ "2 Teens Arrested In Fatal Shooting Outside Va. School; Both Suspects Are Members Of Large Gang, Police Say". March 1, 1998. Archived from the original on April 9, 2016. Retrieved August 2, 2017. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  38. ^ "School Violence 1997-1998". Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  39. ^ Zhao, Emmeline (March 18, 2012). "I Thought You Were Black': Teacher Tells Student To Read Poem 'Blacker". Huffington Post.
  40. ^ "Teacher At George C. Marshall High School Tells African American Student To Read Poem "Blacker"". March 16, 2012.
  41. ^ "George Washington High School". George Washington High School Alumni_Association. Retrieved August 20, 2009.

External links[edit]