Shuttlesworth named new Coppell Band director


Coppell ISD

Kimberly Shuttlesworth was approved as Coppell Independent School District’s new band director on April 26. Shuttlesworth is the Director of Bands for Tom Glenn High School in Leander and begins her new role in July.

Angelina Liu, Staff Writer

On April 26, Coppell ISD Board of Trustees approved Kimberly Shuttlesworth as the district’s new band director. Shuttlesworth replaces Gerard Miller, now CISD’s coordinator of fine arts. 

“I first met [Shuttlesworth] when she was at [James Bowie High School] in Austin in 2009,” Miller said. “I was really impressed with her rapport with the group. She was the assistant band director and the very storied band director that had been there, Bruce Dinkins, passed away very suddenly. Ms. Shuttlesworth had to take on the program, and it was a very quick turnaround and she did a phenomenal job. She saved that program and that campus in a lot of respects. She gained a lot of our attention not only with her ability to lead the program in a positive way, but also her ability to help the students emotionally recover.” 

The hiring process began with an online resume submission. From that, a small committee selected 20% of the applicants for a pre-screening interview which had two questions that applicants could prepare for. From that group, five individuals advanced to the formal interview committee. Applicants presented  their vision for the program, then were asked 15 questions. Two applicants were selected to speak with Superintendent Dr. Brad Hunt, then finally with the current band director Gerard Miller and Principal Laura Springer. 

“We had really tough competition, both internal and external candidates that were all top quality,” CISD Superintendent Brad Hunt said. “It was a tough decision but we found who is going to be the best fit for Coppell. She’s really excited about coming to CHS and working with both New Tech and CHS9. She’s great, and she’s going to add a lot to the program to maintain a lot of the traditions and expectations our band students and parents have come to expect.” 

While new to the district, Shuttlesworth’s experiences with the district stretches all the way back to her own high school years. 

“I have a long history of being a fan of Coppell,” Shuttlesworth said. “When I was in high school, I used to think Coppell was a music conservatory because of how good everyone is. I was an all-state trumpet player and I would go to these summer camps and I would have roommates from Coppell, and I would think ‘Oh, there’s so many of them.’  I learned a lot by watching and listening to Coppell music. To be able to take the reigns of that is such an honor.” 

From Bowie, Shuttlesworth went on to begin the band program at Tom Glenn High School in Leander.. She was one of the first hires of the school, and has put a lot into the band community at Glenn. 

 “She’s done incredible work there, and that program has grown,” Miller said. “She’s brought up a program in Texas’s and certainly Austin’s most competitive district, fine arts wise, and has really gained some notoriety. I’ve always been impressed with her students and their level of professional and musicality.” 

Shuttlesworth stood out amongst other candidates, and after each phase of the hiring process, notable committee members such as Hunt and Springer could envision her working in Coppell.

“When we think about CISD and our core values, we [value] relationships, great teaching and redefining success,” Miller said. “She fits that mold in so many ways. There are great people who applied, but for us, it’s about finding who’s the right fit, who doesn’t have to change their teaching style to meet with our district values, but rather someone who already has those values intrinsically as part of their leadership structure. That makes it really seamless when they step in the door. 

Shuttlesworth says she was born and raised in Carthage and attended Carthage High School in East Texas, with parents that taught her the value of appreciating and respecting others. On Friday nights, she often serves dinner to the band as she enjoys connecting with students in a different setting.

“I like to ask [students] how their day is,” Shuttlesworth said. “I think it’s important to build relationships with everyone. That’s not just band students. Everyone plays a role in the community so I like to support other [parts of the community]. I’m not just a band director, I’m there for all of them.”

Shuttlesworth has ideas of how she will elevate the band program, but understands she must learn how the band functions first.

“My job is not to come in and change everything,” Shuttlesworth said. “It is to appreciate the rich history of what we have, understand it and figure out a way to elevate it. My goal is to understand the systems and processes.” 

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