Ryan Lovell

Ryan Lovell is the new director of bands at Washington High School.

Lovell replaces Troy Bunkley, who is retiring following the 2015-16 school year after 22 years at Washington and 31 years in education.

Lovell, 33, is in his second year at Washington as the assistant director of bands.

He will begin in his new role following the 2015-16 school year.

“I have big shoes to fill, but I’m very excited for the opportunity,” Lovell said. “Our band program here at Washington is going well right now under Troy’s leadership. I don’t plan to change much. I have a good relationship with the kids and the staff.”

Tricia Holm will continue in her role as assistant director of bands with another spot on the staff yet to be filled.

“Ryan is a caring, talented and thoughtful instructor who shares his love of music with our school. He is dedicated to the continued success of our band program,” said WHS Associate Principal Dr. Kelle McCallum, who will take over as WHS principal for the 2016-17 school year.

“Students and faculty trust in his ability to make our school great. Parents and community members will get to know him as someone they can count on to deliver a quality product and care for our students,” she added.

Before arriving in Washington, Lovell worked at Neosho High School for eight years, the last three years as the director of bands and the previous five years as the assistant director of bands. He did his student teaching at Webb City High School.

Lovell hails from Miami, Okla., and is a graduate of Miami, Okla., High School. He attended Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kan., where he holds a Bachelor of Music Education and a Master of Music in wind conducting.

“Neosho High School is about the same size as Washington High School, so leading the band is something I’ve done before,” Lovell said. “I’m excited about our camps coming up this summer and the marching season in the fall. Of course, we have our 48th Annual Band Festival to look forward to, which is the second-largest band festival in the state, behind only Carthage.”

Lovell said he is excited about the direction in which not only the band program is taking, but the entire high school.

“It’s an exciting time with our new administration team coming into place. I’m also looking forward to meeting our new football coach,” Lovell said. “It’s going to be different around here next school year, but really exciting.”