Calhoun High School teacher and band director, John Downs III has retired after 25 years. Downs was given special recognition last night at the Board of Education meeting. Superintendent Ron Blankenship presented him with a plaque, which read:

"For dedicating your life to the art and science of teaching. For practicing your profession with compassion and dignity and for holding the well-being of your students as your primary concern, always."

Downs, a native of Doddridge County, has taught school in Calhoun after a brief stint in Ritchie County.

An outspoken advocate for music and the arts in public education, he said "I really believe music makes a difference in peoples lives."

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