Eddy Russell, Director of Fine Arts
Eddy Russell began his role as the Denton ISD Director of Fine Arts in March of 2023, and he is responsible for the administration and oversight of Denton ISD’s K-12 Fine Arts programs in art, dance, music, and theatre. Prior to his appointment as Director of Fine Arts, Mr. Russell served as the Denton ISD Assistant Director of Fine Arts (2017-2023), and served Denton Ryan High School for 17 years as the Fine Arts Department Chair and Director of Bands (2004-2017) and Assistant Director of Bands (2000-2004). Mr. Russell is very proud of the high percentage of students involved in DISD's Fine Arts programs (90%), the outstanding Fine Arts facilities being built and developed, the high-quality Fine Arts teachers attracted to teaching in DISD, and the desire of parents to have their students involved in DISD's Fine Arts programs.
Under Mr. Russell’s leadership at Ryan High School, the bands advanced to the Area level TMEA Honor Band competition, were consistent recipients of UIL 1st Division ratings, and were consistent finalists in contests, including the UIL Area Marching Band Contest Finals every year they were eligible for Area. 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. Numerous 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 as Ryan High School's "Teacher of the Year" in 2010-11 and has been named in "Who's Who Among America's Teachers". Mr. Russell is very proud of the large number of his students and student teachers who have become music educators, professional performers, and composers. He is also proud that his bands performed in 199 Ryan Raider football games, including many playoffs, championship games, and television broadcasts.
Mr. Russell is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of the University of North Texas, having earned his Master of Music Education and Bachelor of Music in General, Choral, and Instrumental Music Education, 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 Fine Arts Administrators, Texas Music Adjudicators Association, Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, Texas Educational Theatre Association, and the Texas Art Educators Association. He has served TMEA and the University Interscholastic League in various capacities as contest chair, contest host, auditions host, clinic/concert organizer, jazz chair/coordinator, and various committees at the Region, Area, and State level. He also previously served as the Executive Coordinator of the Denton Drum Corps International show. Mr. Russell is an active clinician, adjudicator, performer, 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 who attend Denton ISD schools.