Eddy Russell, Assistant Director of Fine Arts
Eddy Russell was named Denton ISD Assistant Director of Fine Arts beginning in the 2017-18 school year. Mr. Russell assists the Director of Fine Arts, Jackie deMontmollin, with administration and oversight of Denton ISD’s K-12 Fine Arts programs: art, dance, music, and theatre. Prior to his appointment as Assistant Director of Fine Arts, Mr. Russell was the Director of Bands at Denton Ryan High School for 13 years from 2004-2017 and was the Fine Arts Department Chair. He also served Ryan High School for four years as Assistant Band Director 2000-2004.
Under Mr. Russell’s leadership, the Ryan High School bands were consistent recipients of UIL 1st Division ratings, Sweepstakes awards, and were consistent finalists in contests including the UIL Area Marching Band Contest. Bands under Mr. Russell's direction received 1st Place and Best in Class awards in contests throughout Texas and the U.S. His bands at Ryan High School were invited by audition to perform in the Music for All National Concert Band Festival in Indianapolis, the North Texas Jazz Festival in Addison, and to represent Texas in the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, D.C. Mr. Russell is also proud that his bands performed in 199 Ryan Raider football games including many playoffs, championships, and television broadcasts. Many students under his guidance were selected as members of the TMEA All-State Bands and All-Region Bands. Mr. Russell was honored as "Denton ISD Educator of Influence" by Top 10 graduates in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2016. He was also nominated for Ryan High School's "Teacher of the Year" in 2010-11 and has been named in "Who's Who Among America's Teachers". He is very proud of the large number of his students and student teachers that have become music educators and professional performers.
Mr. Russell earned his Master of Music Education and Bachelor of Music in General, Choral, and Instrumental Music Education from the University of North Texas, graduating Magna Cum Laude, a member of Pi Kappa Lambda music honor society, Alpha Chi national college honor scholarship society, and Golden Key national honor society. He credits his success to the mentorship from outstanding teachers and administrators throughout his life. Mr. Russell is a member of the Texas Music Administrators Conference, Texas Music Adjudicators Association, Texas Music Educators Association, and the Texas Art Educators Association. He has served TMEA and the University Interscholastic League in various capacities for Region 2 as contest chair, contest host, organizer, jazz coordinator, and various committees at the Region, Area, and State level. He has also served as the Executive Coordinator of the Denton Drum Corps International show, Red River Thunder. Mr. Russell is an active musician, clinician, adjudicator, and freelance arranger. His wife, Laura, is also a graduate of the University of North Texas. The Russell's have enjoyed living in Denton and being active in the community since 1996. They have two children, Olivia and William, that attend Denton ISD schools.