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Eddy Russell Named District’s Assistant Director of Fine Arts

Eddy Russell, director of bands at Ryan High School, has been named the district’s assistant director of fine arts. Mr. Russell will work closely with Dr. Jackie deMontmollin, who was named the district’s fine arts director, in continuing the strong artistic culture of Denton ISD and the communities it serves.

“I’m sad to leave Ryan High, but I’m excited to have a greater impact on more students in the district,” said Mr. Russell. “The communities served by Denton ISD place a great value on having high quality fine arts programs in all of our schools, and I will give my absolute best in my new role to make our school district the best it can be for our children.”

Mr. Russell is a longtime Denton ISD teacher, having served his entire 17-year career in education at Ryan High. He started as the school’s assistant band director in 2000 and was elevated to the role of director four years later.

Under his leadership, the Ryan Raider Marching Band was a constant presence at football games - performing 199 halftime shows - and worked with Ryan Cheer and the Strutters, the school dance team, to establish a cohesive culture that was inclusive of all student support groups. The band program succeeded in UIL performances and competitions as well, advancing to regional and area competitions in marching, concert and solo and ensemble contests and placing individual students on all-state bands.

Mr. Russell is well known for his support of the arts in the community, setting up student performances at events in the Ryan High feeder pattern, and helping former students advance their own careers in music or education.

“Having someone who knows our students, our families and our communities, will be a major asset to the fine arts department as we continue to meet the artistic needs of a growing student population,” said Ms. Susannah O’Bara, area superintendent of academic programs. “Ryan High School’s loss is certainly a gain for all of our students.”

A graduate of the University of North Texas, Mr. Russell holds a bachelor’s degree in choral and instrumental music and a master’s degree in music education. He and his family reside in Denton.