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Hays CISD to Dedicate New Fine Arts Wing at Dahlstrom MS to Honor Longtime Music Educator Leroy Gerdes

Hays CISD is proud to announce that the new fine arts wing at Dahlstrom Middle School (DMS), which includes the school’s new band hall and music rooms, will be named after Leroy Gerdes. Gerdes, who taught and directed bands for 44 years, including 34 in Hays CISD, was the original band director for DMS in 1985, when the campus opened. Though he was a band director at several schools in the district, including the then – Hays Middle School and Barton Middle School; he spent most of his Hays CISD career at DMS. He retired in 2019.

“Leroy works hard for all of the right reasons. He is a very humble man who strives for success in order for his students to become life-long lovers of music, and to feel good about themselves and their accomplishments,” said Gerald Babbitt, retired Hays CISD Director of Bands and Music, and namesake for the district’s Performing Arts Center auditorium.

In his letter to the Board of Trustees requesting they consider naming the DMS Fine Arts Wing in honor of Gerdes, Babbitt said of Gerdes, “He is kind and gentle, yet expects nothing but excellence from his students. He is highly respected by his students and their parents, his professional peers, and community members, alike. I can honestly say that, in the 37 years that I have known and worked with Leroy Gerdes, I have never heard a negative statement or unkind word about him from anybody. I have never worked with a teacher who is more loyal, dedicated, and passionate about his students and teaching than Leroy Gerdes.” 

The Hays CISD Board of Trustees voted unanimously, and with tremendous excitement, in May to name the new wing at DMS in honor of Gerdes. A dedication ceremony has been set for Wednesday, October 4, 2023, at 6:30 p.m. Students, former students, parents, friends of DMS, special guests of the Gerdes family, patrons of fine arts, the media, and members of the community are all invited to attend. 

The Fine Arts Wing addition at DMS was approved by voters in 2021, as part of a larger $18 million campus-wide renovation package.

Event Details:  Wednesday, October 4, 2023; 6:30 p.m., Dahlstrom Middle School, 3600 FM 967, Buda, TX 78610