George C. Marshall High School

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This article is about the high school in Fairfax County, Virginia. For the school in Ankara, Turkey, see List of schools in United States territories. For other high schools with similar names, see Marshall High School.

Coordinates: 38°54′22″N 77°12′47″W / 38.906°N 77.213°W / 38.906; -77.213

George C. Marshall High School
George C. Marshall High School Logo.jpg
Small School, Big Heart
7731 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, Virginia, 22043
School type Public, high school
Founded 1962; 53 years ago (1962)[1]
School district Fairfax County Public Schools
Principal Jeffrey Litz
Staff 240
Grades 9–12
Enrollment 1,904 (2014)
Language English
Campus Suburban
Color(s) Scarlet & Columbia          
Mascot Griffin
Nickname Statesmen
Feeder schools Kilmer Middle School
Thoreau Middle School
Rival schools Madison High School
McLean High School
Athletic conferences Liberty District
Northern Region

George C. Marshall High School is a public school in northern Virginia, located in Idylwood in unincorporated Fairfax County, near Falls Church[2] Named for George Marshall, it opened in 1962 and is part of Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS). It is ranked at #240 in the nation for public schools and has received a gold award for Best High Schools from the U.S. News & World Report 2014.[citation needed] It is ranked 10th in Virginia and 8th in Fairfax County. George C. Marshall High School is a fully accredited high school based on the Standards of Learning tests in Virginia.[3]


During the 2013-2014 school year, the vast majority of Marshall students passed the end-of-year exams.[4]

Subject Accreditation Pass Rate
English 96%
History 97%
Mathematics 92%
Science 95%


Below are the demographics as presented during the 2014-2015 school year at Marshall High School:[5]

Gender Marshall Percentage FCPS High School Average
Male 51.2% 52.0%
Female 48.8% 48.0%
Ethnicity Marshall Percentage FCPS High School Average
American Indian / Alaska Native 0.3% 0.3%
Asian 17.4% 19.8%
Black/ African American 4.1% 10.3%
Hispanic/ Latino 17.4% 21.7%
Native Hawaiian/ Pacific Islander 0.2% 0.2%
Two or More Races 5.4% 4.5%
White 55.2% 43.2%

20.03%, or 383 students are on free or reduced lunch.


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 back to back 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.

State team championships and runner-up finishes[edit]

Marshall has three state championships, which are:

  • one in AAA girls basketball in 1976[7]

Marshall has five runner up finishes, which are:

  • three in AAA baseball (1975, 1986, 1987)[8]
  • one in AAA boys cross country in 1996[6]
  • one in AAA Division 5 football in 1987[9]

Individual state champions[edit]

The following Marshall students have won state AAA (IA before 1971) individual titles:

Name Sport Year
Andrew Barber Boys 1-Meter Diving 2000, 2002[10]
Mayura Bolollagama Boys Outdoor 3200m Run 1990[11]
Melanie Burgess Girls Outdoor Long Jump 1996[12]
Faby Chaillo Girls Tennis Singles 2009, 2012[13]
Jon Gates Boys Indoor Triple Jump 1980[14]
Lloyd Halvorsen Boys Heavyweight Wrestling 1965[15]
Cyrus Hashemi Boys 200m Freestyle 2011, 2012
Boys 100m Freestyle 2012[16]
Michelle Parkhurst Girls 100m Backstroke 2005[17]
Leah Ramney Girls Balance Beam 1982[18]
Scott Sorenson Boys Outdoor Pole Vault 1976[19]
Debbie Sanders Girls Outdoor High Jump 1979[12]
Howard Smith Boys 180 lb Wrestling 1965[15]
Katherine Van Winkle Girls 1-meter Diving 2012[20]
Dale Wallace Girls Outdoor High Jump 1978[12]

Music and the Arts[edit]

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


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 straight superior ratings at the District Performance Assessment for the past three years, and have also received a gold rating along with 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. The orchestra is currently being led by director Catherine Bond.[21]


The band programs is composed of two subgroups: Concert Band and Wind Ensemble. Marshall's "Marching Statesmen" have come in 1st place at multiple competitions. The band program is currently being led by director Paul Vesilind.[22]

The percussion ensemble, led by Frank Gonzalez, has also been recognized for their achievement. They were invited to the Music for All National Percussion Festival in Indianapolis, held in March 2009. The event is part of the Bands of America National Convert Festival.


Marshall High School is also home to an award-winning theater program. Under the direction of Mark Krikstan, they 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,[23] 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. The theater program is currently under the direction of Jason Tamborini, and most recently placed fourth among the AAA Ensemble Groups at the 2012-2013 Virginia High School League State Theater Festival.[24]


Marshall High School has over 30 extracurricular activities available for its students, and over 10 honor societies available for high achieving students.[25]

Cyber Patriot[edit]

The Cyber Patriot Program is sponsored by the Air Force Association. Competitors are given virtual machines, which are like computers inside of computers, with vulnerabilities in them. In the allotted amount of time, they must correctly identify and rectify all of the vulnerabilities, usually including 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]

2012-2013 School Year[edit]

The club has grown to include more than 40 members during the 2012-2013 school year. 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 in their own school. [28]

Capture the Flag Practice[edit]

One of the club's practices includes a rookie CTF called "B Grade CTF". One of the flags of this CTF is wikiwikiwikiwiki_rockiteverywhere

Future Problem Solving[edit]

Marshall High School started its Future Problem Solving Club during the 2012-2013 school year. Cheryl Gannaway was the primary sponsor and coach for the club.[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]

Main article: Model United Nations

Marshall High School has a growing Model United Nations club, which has grown to include more than 30 members during the 2012-2013 school year. The club competes in notable tournaments annually, such as VAMUN, William and Mary MUN, MUNCH, and TechMUN. The club is sponsored by Joseph Brannan, and Ilsa Tinkelman, two teachers at Marshall High School. Marshall High School organizes My First MUN every September, to prepare new MUN delegates for future MUN conferences.[31] Additionally, Marshall students are collaborating with language teachers Matthew Hanlon and David Barkley to hold the first ever CIMUNE conference in January 2015, a Model UN conference completely in Spanish. [32]


From 2011 to 2014, Marshall High School will be undergoing a renovation done by Samaha Associates, PC.[33] Changes will include:

  • Complete Renovation of the current building
  • A two-story addition with 22 classrooms at the southeast corner of the building
  • A courtyard between the southeast addition and the current building
  • A significant expansion of the library
  • A design to reduce energy consumption

The above projects have yet to be completed. However, Samaha Associates is planning a large majority of the projects of the 2013 summer, while no students are present in the school.

Currently Completed Projects[edit]

  • A new, renovated entrance
  • New PE facilities including a new main gym, boy’s and girl’s locker rooms, team rooms and a weight room.
  • Two-story addition in the southeast corner

Notable alumni[edit]

Name Year Profession
Kathrine Switzer 1964 Pioneer female distance runner; first woman to run the Boston Marathon (1967) with an official race number
Michael Cascio 1968 Former Executive Producer and Vice President of Documentary Programming at A&E Network.
Jack Davis 1969 Author and Dean of Architecture at Virginia Tech
Harry Dailey 1970 Original bass player for Jimmy Buffett's Coral Reefer Band.[34]
Leneida Crawford 1971 Famed opera singer (Mezzo soprano) and voice professor at Towson University.
Gayil Nalls 1971 Renowned multimedia artist who works with art and olifaction (smell).[35]
Lisa Collis 1973 Wife of U.S. Senator and former Virginia Governor Mark Warner.[36]
Mike Brown 1977 Major League Baseball player from 1982-1987 with the Boston Red Sox and Seattle Mariners.
Sean O'Neill 1984 Table tennis player, 5 times US men's singles champion, 2 times US Olympic team member (1988, 1992).[37]
Pete Schourek 1987 MLB pitcher from 1991-2001; second in 1995 National League Cy Young Award voting.
Michael McCrary 1988 Played defensive end for the Seattle Seahawks and Baltimore Ravens in the NFL from 1993-2002
Keith Lyle 1990 Played safety for the L.A. and St. Louis Rams, Washington Redskins, and San Diego Chargers in the NFL from 1994-2002
Alan Makranczy 1992 Saxophone player for the Pietasters
Brent Runyon 1995 Author of The Burn Journals (2004), Maybe (2006), and Surface Tension: A Novel in Four Summers (2009)
Nick Sorensen 1996 Played safety for the St. Louis Rams, Jacksonville Jaguars and the Cleveland Browns in the NFL. Sorensen now is currently an assistant Coach of the Seattle Seahawks.
Harun Mehmedinović 2001 Filmmaker, journalist and photographer, director of In the Name of the Son
Paloma Guzman 2002 Actress who has appeared in television shows such as Pretty Little Liars
Louisa Krause 2004 Actress who has appeared in films such as Martha Marcy May Marlene and Young Adult.


School Shooting[edit]

On February 27, 1998 at 12:20pm, David Albrecht, a 17-year-old student at Pimmit Hills Alternative High School, 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 along side of 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 were later able to confirm that this shooting was done by members of the Tiny Rascals Asian youth gang.[38][39]

Discrimination case[edit]

During the 2011-2012 School Year at George C. Marshall High School, a dispute occurred between a teacher and a student. After an African American student read the Langston Hughes poem, "Ballad of the Landlord", the teacher asked him to reread it in a "blacker" way. Marshall Administrators immediately launched an investigation into the alleged incident.[40][41]

Remember the Titans[edit]

In the movie Remember the Titans (2000), the climax of the movie comes at the end of the 1971 AAA state championship football game between T.C. Williams High School and 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 actually a regular-season matchup between Marshall and T.C. Williams into a made-for-Hollywood state championship. In reality, the Marshall game was the toughest 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 actually did win the Marshall game on a fourth down come-from-behind play at the very end of the game. In addition to the added drama of the Marshall game, there were apparently some legal issues concerning the use of 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.[42] 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 1969–74, and is portrayed in the movie. In 1997, Coach Henry was inducted into the Virginia High School League Hall of Fame.


  1. ^ Manz, Donna (2012-09-12). "Marshall Renovation, Celebration Goes On". Connection Newspapers. Retrieved 2013-08-21. 
  2. ^ "Idylwood CDP." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on October 21, 2009.
  3. ^ "Fairfax County Public Schools School Profiles: Marshall High School". Fairfax County Public Schools. Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b McCall, Mike (ed.). Virginia High School League Book of Records, Seventeenth Edition – 2011–12 (PDF). Virginia High School League. p. 20. Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  7. ^ VHSL Book of Records, p.15
  8. ^ VHSL Book of Records, p.6
  9. ^ VHSL Book of Records, p.29
  10. ^ VHSL Book of Records, p.66
  11. ^ VHSL Book of Records, p.120
  12. ^ a b c VHSL Book of Records, p.135
  13. ^ VHSL Book of Records, p.81
  14. ^ VHSL Book of Records, p.88
  15. ^ a b VHSL Book of Records, p.173
  16. ^ VHSL Book of Records, pp.64-65
  17. ^ VHSL Book of Records, p.70
  18. ^ VHSL Book of Records, p.50
  19. ^ VHSL Book of Records, p.114
  20. ^ VHSL Book of Records, p.71
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ "Community News and Notes:Statesmen Stage Players Prove to be Top Gun Actors". Falls Church News-Press. 2005-03-17. Retrieved 2008-11-26. 
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  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^ "George C. Marshall High School - Renovations". Retrieved 2012-11-27. 
  34. ^ "Harry Dailey; Bass Guitarist With Buffett". The Washington Post. April 25, 2003. 
  35. ^ "Gayil Nalls - Biography". Retrieved 2011-09-03. 
  36. ^ "Capitol Life: First Lady Lisa Collis". Kids Commonwealth. Commonwealth of Virginia. Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  37. ^ "USA Table Tennis Hall of Fame". 
  38. ^
  39. ^
  40. ^ Zhao, Emmeline (2012-03-18). "I Thought You Were Black': Teacher Tells Student To Read Poem 'Blacker". Huffington Post. 
  41. ^
  42. ^ "George Washington High School". George Washington High School Alumni_Association. Retrieved 2009-08-20. 

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