Denison High School
Mrs. Melissa Hatheway Lewis
Director of Bands & Instrumental Music Coordinator
Melissa Hatheway Lewis is the Director of Bands at Denison High School and the Instrumental Music Coordinator for Denison ISD. This year marks Mrs. Lewis' ninth year of teaching, and fourth in Denison ISD. Mrs. Lewis worked previously at Lone Star High School in Frisco ISD, where she was an Associate Band Director for four years. Prior to coming to Frisco, she taught at Keller Middle School in Keller, Texas. She is a proud graduate of the University of North Texas, where she played clarinet and graduated summa cum laude with honors. While at UNT, she served as the Secretary, Historian, and Vice-President of the North Texas Student Music Educators Organization. Mrs. Lewis graduated from Cedar Park High School in Leander ISD.
Mrs. Lewis is also actively involved in the marching band activity, working at various programs around Texas during college and also serving as the Head Field Technician, Athletic Bands Librarian, and Student Assistant to the Director of the UNT Green Brigade Marching Band. Following a series of performance related injuries, Mrs. Lewis became interested in performing arts medicine research. She has won numerous awards for her research on marching band, and her first published work appeared in the Medical Problems of Performing Artists Journal in 2013. Her area of research interest lies in maximizing performance and reducing injury in marching band. Mrs. Lewis earned a Graduate Certificate in Public Health from the University of North Texas Health Science Center in 2019. She is currently working towards her Master's Degree in Educational Leadership, also from the University of North Texas.
Mrs. Lewis is a member of the Texas Music Educators Association and Performing Arts Medicine Association.
Mrs. Lewis currently lives in Sherman with her husband Cody. They have two cats and two golden retrievers named Maple and Honey. Mrs. Lewis is thrilled to be a part of the Denison community!
Mr. Austin Armstrong
Assistant Director of Bands
Austin Armstrong is the Assistant Director of Bands at Denison High School. Mr. Armstrong teaches Symphonic Band, Jazz Band 2, Concert Band and Guitar.
Mr. Armstrong graduated from Murray State University where he performed in the Racer Band, Symphonic Band and Pep Band on trumpet. He has also performed with the award-winning Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps in 2015, 2017 and is an active member of the Alumni Corps Board of Directors.
Mr. Armstrong has world class teaching experience with the Sacramento Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps in the summer of 2021. He is currently teaching with the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps from Casper, Wyoming since 2022.
Prior to coming to Denison, Mr. Armstrong was actively involved in the marching band activity, working for several programs around Indiana in the summers between college semesters.
He is originally from Indiana where he graduated from Jasper High School with academic honors. He is also a proud Eagle Scout.
Mr. Armstrong has also developed the student leadership team. He is dedicated to building a community of strong student leaders. He belives in promoting and growing student leadership through teaching music. Instilling strong leadership qualities allows students to set goals, be proactive, problem solve, and set themselves up for success at anything they set their mind on.
Mr. Armstrong lives in Denison with his wife, Caitlin, and has a son!
Mr. Armstrong is a member of the Texas Music Educators Association.
It's Great To Be A Yellow Jacket!
Mr. Matthew Zintgraff
Matt Zintgraff believes in the value of several life skills, such as self-discipline, how to communicate, and how to work toward a goal through music. He wishes to help his students attain these skills and reap the many other benefits of participating in music, such as lifelong friendships and unforgettable memories. Matt has had many unique experiences in the marching arts, both as a performer and teacher. In 2019, Matt marched quads with the Phantom Regiment, which served as a satisfying end to his Drum Corps career. Prior to 2019, Matt also marched at the Guardians Drum and Bugle Corps, Vigilantes Indoor Percussion, and Violet Crown Indoor Percussion. In addition to his auxiliary marching experiences, Matt got his BM at Texas State University, where he served as a leader in the Bobcat Marching Band, received high-quality percussion instruction, and performed in the top wind ensemble.
As a young educator, as well as an active performer, Matt also enjoys teaching at Steele High School as a drumline technician and private lessons instructor. From being in various groups and under a wide spectrum of instructors, Matt aims to teach his students the value of working hard alongside others with like-minded goals. In turn, Matt Zintgraff is wholeheartedly committed to bringing forth his many perspectives on percussion for the benefit of his students.
Matt Zintgraff believes in the value of several life skills, such as self-discipline, how to communicate, and how to work toward a goal through music. He wishes to help his students attain these skills and reap the many other benefits of participating in music, such as lifelong friendships and unforgettable memories.
Matt got his BM at Texas State University, where he served as a leader in the Bobcat Marching Band, received high-quality percussion instruction, and performed in the top wind ensemble. In addition to his college experiences, Matt marched quads with the Phantom Regiment, which served as a satisfying end to his Drum Corps career. Prior to 2019, Matt also marched at the Guardians Drum and Bugle Corps, Vigilantes Indoor Percussion, and Violet Crown Indoor Percussion. Once he aged out, Matt began teaching Drum Corps at the Soundsport Corps, Compass, and World Class Corps, The Spirit of Atlanta. Matt also enjoyed teaching at Fort Stockton HS and MS as the Assistant/Percussion Director for two years, where He taught almost everything.
When he is not teaching, Matt enjoys exercising, playing video games with his fiance, and spending time with his very vocal husky, Chomper.
From being in various groups and under a wide spectrum of instructors, Matt aims to teach his students the value of working hard alongside others with like-minded goals. In turn, Matt Zintgraff is wholeheartedly committed to bringing forth his many perspectives on percussion for the benefit of his students.”
HS Color Guard Director
Scott Middle School
Mr. Kevin Elliston
Scott Middle School Director of Bands
Kevin Elliston is in his first year as the Head Director of Scott Middle School and his 15th year of teaching bands across Texas. He will be teaching the Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band, and will be co-teaching the Wind Symphony, Concert Band and Jazz Bands. In addition to his teaching duties at Scott Middle School, he will also teach the Flute, Oboe and Saxophone beginning classes at B. McDaniel Intermediate School.
Before his appointment at Scott Middle School, Mr. Elliston served at Archer City ISD from 2018 through 2023, starting out as an assistant director before becoming the Director of Bands. During his time at ACISD, he led the marching band to its first superior rating at the UIL region marching contest in over 7 years.
Mr. Elliston's professional affiliations include the Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, Association of Texas Small School Bands, Texas Jazz Educators Association, and is an alumnus of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. He is active as a consultant, adjudicator and saxophone performer.
Mr. Elliston holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education and Master of Music in Performance from West Texas A&M University in Canyon, TX. When not teaching, he is an avid disc golf player, enjoys riding motorcycles, enjoys time with friends playing games (both tabletop and electronic) traveling, and exploring new places.
Mr. Tanner Ellis
Scott Middle School Assistant Band Director
B. McDaniel Intermediate
Mrs. Jordonn Searcy
Middle School Assistant Band Director
We are very excited to have Mrs. Jordonn Searcy back in Denison ISD, as the Assistant Band Director at Scott Middle School! Mrs. Searcy began her music education as a tuba player at Allen High School, in Allen, Texas (home of the LARGEST marching band in the country). She began her studies at the University of Arkansas before finishing her Bachelor’s of Music degree at Texas A&M University Commerce in 2014.
Mrs. Searcy has taught music at a multitude of levels, including elementary, intermediate, middle and high school. She previously taught at B. McDaniel Intermediate School and Denison High School, where she led the non-varsity Symphonic Band to its first Superior rating at UIL in twenty years! She is excited to come back home to Denison and be a member of the Touch of Gold family once again. Mrs. Searcy (pronounced Sir-Cee) is a member of Texas Music Educators Association and Sigma Alpha Iota. She lives with her husband in McKinney with their four dogs.