Ron Lewis is in his first year as Director of Bands at Fort Smith Southside High School. Ron is a retired teacher in Oklahoma, and was the director of the Wind Ensemble at the 9th Grade Academy in Van Buren. Ron has been teaching for 33 years and is a graduate from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. He graduated high school from Checotah, Oklahoma. His bands have received many superior ratings and sweepstakes awards. Ron’s Collinsville High School Band won the Worlds of Fun “Festival of Music” contest in 2006, and his middle school band in 2011. The Academy Wind Ensemble won the same contest in 2018. His high school band in McAlester was selected as an OMEA State Honor Band in 1998 and his middle school band in Collinsville in 2011. Ron conducted the Van Buren 9th Academy Wind Ensemble in his first State Honor Band in Arkansas in 2018 at the Hot Springs Convention Center. While in Muldrow, Ron was voted Teacher of the Year for 1993. In Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas, Ron is an active adjudicator, honor band conductor and clinician. He has judged over 100 Marching and Concert band contests over the years. Ron is a member of ASBOA Region 8, OMEA, OMMAA, ABA, OBA, JEN, and Phi Beta Mu. Ron is a Past-President of OBA (2004-2005). Ron also served as the OMEA All-State Band Chair for 2009-2010. Ron’s hobbies include gigging on trumpet and playing golf. Ron’s wife, Gina, is the former colorguard instructor/coordinator in Van Buren as well as previously in Oklahoma. She is currently the AP Computer Science teacher at Southside High School. His son, Saxon, is the Music Director at the School of Rock in Frisco, Texas and is a freelance musician in the Dallas area. His daughter, Kelci, is Team Coach and Office Assistant at Williams Center Dance and Gymnastics in Fayetteville.
Michael Westbrook is in his fourth year as Assistant Director of Bands at Fort Smith Southside High School. His previous positions include Springdale Public Schools and as Interim Director of Bands at Arkansas Tech during the 2014-2015 school year. His duties at Arkansas Tech included conducting the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Concert Band, Arkansas' Band of Distinction Marching Band, teaching Instrumental Methods classes and conducting. Prior to arriving at Arkansas Tech, Mr. Westbrook was Director of Bands at Westmoore High School (2004-2014) and Director of Bands at Stillwater High School and Coordinator of Instrumental Music for the Stillwater Public System (1991-2004). Ensembles under the direction of Mr. Westbrook have appeared as Honor Ensembles at Oklahoma Music Educators Association Conference on four separate occasions. Mr. Westbrook holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music Education from Arkansas Tech University. He also holds a Master of Music Degree in Conducting Performance and Pedagogy from Oklahoma State University. In 1990, he was the recipient of the Stanbury Award for Outstanding Young Band Directors presented by the American School Band Directors Association for the state of Arkansas. Mr. Westbrook was awarded the Citation of Excellence from the Nation Band Association. In 2014, he was awarded the Exemplary Teacher award by the Oklahoma Music Educators Association. Mr. Westbrook was inducted into the Oklahoma Bandmasters Hall of Fame in 2015.
Kaitlyn Smith is from Germantown, Tennessee. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Memphis in Instrumental Music Education. As a trombone/euphonium player, she has performed in several jazz bands, concert ensembles, and sports bands at the collegiate level. She served as drum major and section leader for the University of Memphis Mighty Sound of the South Marching Band as well as the Symphonic Band and Jazz Ensemble during her time at the university. She teaches 7th grade band, jazz band, and directs the 8th Grade Band at Ramsey Junior High. At Southside she teaches sectionals and directs the Concert Band. Ms. Smith is in her fourth year of teaching and is doing a great job!