Hadaway makes his way across state lines

New band director switches from Arkansas High with promising ideas and experience


Photo by Braylen Garren

Band director Ryan Hadaway plays the trombone during a rehearsal. Hadaway moved here this school year from Arkansas High.

Story by Emma Allen, Arts Editor

Texas High has experienced several staff changes this year, and the band staff is no exception. This year, the Tiger Band gained two new directors, Brandon Sams and Ryan Hadaway. Sams had already been working with the color guard for a few years before being officially hired, but Hadaway is a brand new addition. Prior to being hired here, he worked with the band at Arkansas High. 

“I had military band training summer 2013. I was gone June through the first half of August, so no school picked me up,” Hadaway said. “I worked at Arkansas High for free, basically an associate teacher. [When] I interviewed at 10 different places the summer of 2014, Arkansas called me back the [same] day. They really liked that I had shown up without being paid for a whole year and still wanted to come back.”

Hadaway worked at Arkansas High for seven years. Over the course of his time there, he grew close with his students and pushed them to succeed just as he plans to do here.

“[The best part of Arkansas High was] the kids. I had kids that came from [many different] backgrounds. When I started off teaching as a junior high director, I got to catch all of them at their weirdest stage in life. Most of them would run around in circles with their tongues hanging out of their head, and I was going to teach [those] kids how to play music,” Hadaway said. “By the end of that first group’s seven years in band, they [told me], ‘You’re a lot more of a dad to us than the dads we don’t have, so we’re basically your children.’”

Though he will miss his position at Arkansas High, this new job has its benefits. For the first time ever, he will have the same spring break as his wife, a math teacher at Texas Middle School. He is also looking forward to more consistent leadership.

“We’ve had a lot of leadership changes over at Arkansas High,” Hadaway said. “Last year was the third boss I’ve worked for in seven years. [Texas High has] been very fortunate in [leadership stability]. They come and they stay, and there’s a reason why they stay. The dynamic here is very similar to what we had at Arkansas High as far as people. It’s just on the other side of the state line. Plus, I grew up in this school district. It’s home.”

Though it will be a learning curve as with any new job, Hadaway has his band director experiences, as well as fellow directors, to help him along the way. Though the school year is still fresh, he has already discovered some things he likes about his new position.

“The high school has a lot of interesting characters. I’ve not gotten to [know] near everybody yet, but there’s definitely a layer of dedication and, ‘We want to do this. We want to get better at it,’ that I like to feed off of,” Hadaway said. “If there’s a layer of being receptive here, then I’m happy to show [my students what I’ve learned] because I think [they] have a lot of [desire] to go further than we’re at. I’m excited. I’m curious to see what we can make happen.”