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Former Mancos band teacher Janey Silver inducted into CHSAA Hall of Fame

Janey Silver with former Mancos alumnus Luther Elliss, who went on to play football at the University of Utah and the Detroit Lions and Denver Broncos.. (Erika Holm/Courtesy photo)
Silver led the Mancos band to three state championships during her tenure

At an awards ceremony on Jan. 30, former Mancos band teacher Janey Silver was inducted into the Colorado High School Activities Association Hall of Fame.

Mancos High School alumni accepted the award on her behalf, as she is in a local nursing home and unable to accept the award herself.

Erica Holm, a Mancos alumni who graduated in 2000, helped put together a video slideshow that was played at the ceremony.

Holm said that since Silver has no family, former students came together to provide pictures and commentary for the video. Holm said she was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love from Silver’s former students.

“I was just floored with how many people reached out to me and even if they didn’t contribute, just saying thank you. I’m so glad that she’s getting her moment,” Holm said.

CHSAA provided Silver a plaque that Holm said would probably be hung in her room at the nursing home. She added that the nursing home was going to do a small celebration to present it to her, but there hasn’t been a date set.

Silver began teaching at Mancos High School in 1967, after graduating from Fort Lewis College.

“She was one of the few women teachers and the first woman band and choir teacher for Mancos,” the district said. “She helped bring women’s sports to Mancos with Title 9 and was a coach and mentor to many students.”

“She build an amazing marching band program and lead Mancos to three Colorado state championships.”

Silver commuted from Durango to Mancos every day.

“She drove every single day, early mornings for practice, summertime, you name it,” Holm said. “She dedicated her life to the kids at that school.”

“Each of us as band members felt noticed and encouraged. Ms. Silver took us from wherever we were, not only as musicians but as human beings too. She made us better,” said Melissa Johnson of the Class of 1989.

The Mancos band won the state championship in 1995, 1996 and 1997. She retired in 2000.

Holm and the others who were students under Silver spoke about her dedication, passion and impact on the students in Mancos.

At the time, Holm said that there were around 150 students in the Mancos schools, but there were about 90 participating in band, allowing students to travel as part of the band.

“She fostered this early interest and kind of old school love of band,” Holm said. “It was a really cool way for us small town kids to take these big trips and see some different things … she is a truly wonderful woman.”

“She made us believe that we had done something really big together when we stayed in the race against bigger bands like Durango,” Johnson said. “It’s just such a wonderful testament to what teaching and being a band director are really all about. There are so many live that she touched.”

“Congrats, Ms. Silver,” Johnson said.