STEPHENS CITY — When focus started to wane among fellow marching band members, Sherando High School senior Abigail Henderson used her leadership skills to help pull the group back on track.

Abigail, 18, is the daughter of Cathleen and Scott Henderson. She has a 3.96 GPA and ranks 80th in her class of 358 students.

The teen’s leadership abilities were tested after a new band director came to Sherando.

“He was a new director and very young,” she said. “He had little experience and no one believed in him or the program anymore.”

It was an ongoing struggle. Abigail tried to get the band to continue to give their all in the performances, but she didn’t have much luck. She kept trying, though. During band camp last summer she rallied the three drum majors together to help her. They managed to create a mental shift in the band and get all of the players back to performing their best.

Abigail has several skills she feels make her strong leader.

“I’m very outgoing, have good communication skills and am a people person,” she said. “I’m very organized, responsible, and am able to compromise and creatively problem solve.”

Throughout high school she has held several leadership roles. This year, Abigail is a senior officer with the National Honors Society, Sherando marching band drum major, Sherando Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) president, team captain of the girl’s varsity basketball team and representative for Sherando on the Frederick County Public Schools student leadership council. She is also a member of the National Honor Society.

She is also a Habitat for Humanity youth leader. On April 26, she was named as the 2016 Habitat for Humanity Youth Leader of the Year.

Also, she was a princess in the recent 90th Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival.

In the fall, Abigail will attend Christopher Newport University in Newport News where she will double major in Spanish and biology and minor in leadership studies. She has her eyes on a career in public health and is also looking toward spending time working in Central and South America.

— Contact Jackie Puglisi at

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