Teacher Spotlight: Assistant Director Dalia Lee joins Mighty Cardinal Band

Miranda Sirota, Editor-in-Chief

This year, students of the Mighty Cardinal Band, both new and old, have gained the privilege of learning under Assistant Band Director Dalia Lee, one of the band’s newest staff members.

After graduating from Stephen F. Austin State University with a bachelor’s degree in Music Education, Lee began teaching at Brazos ISD, located in Wallis, Texas. There, she was appointed Head Middle School Director but also helped with all grade levels.

Since her own high school years at Frisco ISD, Lee has had a strong love for band and all things music, as she quickly decided that becoming a director was her calling.

“I really liked band and the environment that my directors had created for us, since they were super passionate about what they were doing. The band hall felt like home and it felt like we had a purpose,” Lee stated.

To help jumpstart her pathway to becoming a director, Lee applied to an independent study and mentorship program at her high school. Through this, she was able to study different aspects of her chosen interest, Music Education.

“I had a mentor who was a band director in the district and I got to study with her, miss school, and observe her band classes,” Lee said. “I even did a final project where I conducted a band. I thought, ‘this is fun,’ so I went into Music Ed.”

Lee has expressed her appreciation for the way Melissa emphasizes team building.

“It feels like there is so much support, and as a young teacher, it feels like there are so many people who are mentors to me that I can learn from,” she said.

Lee’s passion for what she does truly shines through her abilities to not only teach her students at a high level but to connect with them.

“Mrs. Lee is exceptional. With her, we are now reaching an audience of students that we haven’t been able to reach before,” Jerry Whorton, Director of Fine Arts, said. “Every student in our band program has someone they can confide in and have as a positive role model.”

Outside of the classroom, Lee can be found weightlifting, playing video games, and hanging out with her friends, though she still enjoys doing music related activities such as jamming out to karaoke or playing the piano.

As for this year, Lee’s personal goals regarding her job are to have everyone become a part of the “band family” and to make an impact on how her students are as human beings, as well as musicians.

“Getting to build relationships with you guys and see you all grow is my favorite part,” Lee said. “Overall, I love watching everyone have fun with band because I always had fun!”