Valenzuela Named New LHS Head Band Director
Hays Consolidated Independent School District (Hays CISD) Superintendent Dr. Eric Wright is pleased to announce the selection of Jose Valenzuela as the new head band director for Lehman High School. Valenzuela, who has been serving as the school’s interim band director since January, has an extensive, 30-year track record of success teaching students to love and play music. During that time, he has helped his students win an array of awards and honors.
“We’re excited to have him at Lehman! He’s has only been on our campus for a semester, but you can already see the impact he is having. Just after our U.I.L. competition this year, judges were complimenting him and our students for the sound,” said Lehman Principal Denisha Presley. “Students under his direction achieve quick results and high honors.”
Valenzuela began his education career in July 1989 as the assistant band director for Sharyland ISD in Mission, Texas. Soon after, he was named the associate director of bands for Donna High School in Donna, Texas, also located in the Valley. During his 20-years at Donna High School, the band was a semifinalist in the Texas State Marching Contest consistently from 1996 – 2010. Additionally, at Donna High School, he founded the school’s Mariachi Band in 1993. The program flourished. Soon after its founding, students in the program had a 100% high school graduation rate and at least a 99% rate of enrollment in a four-year university, community college, or vocational school upon graduation from high school. Valenzuela regularly toured the Mariachi band to universities and colleges around the country to allow students to visit places to which they had not traveled, to experience university campuses, and to audition for scholarships.
“I am proud to say that my students went to some of these universities and started university Mariachi programs that are still around today,” said Valenzuela.
In 2010, Valenzuela became the director of bands for J. B. Alexander High School in Laredo. Under his direction, the band won numerous awards including being named a semifinalist for the Grammy Music in the Schools Program. During the 2016 – 2017 school year, Valenzuela was name a quarterfinalist for the Grammy Outstanding Music Educator of the Year award. He started with Hays CISD at Simon Middle School in August 2018 before being named interim band director for Lehman High School in January of this year.
“As a fervent advocate of public school music education, I possess a keen ability to coach and mentor students to successfully pursue various music-related opportunities,” said Valenzuela in his letter expressing interest in the band director position at Lehman High School. “My experience lies in teaching comprehensive music lessons to middle and high school students while cultivating an environment that stimulates increasing and ongoing music appreciation. Among the many highlights of my career and skillset, I include the ability to detect, uncover, and encourage music talent in students from diverse backgrounds.”
Valenzuela holds a Bachelor of Music (specializing in horn and vocal performance) from Sam Houston State University. In 2013, he was named the Krispy Crème Southwest Sector Teacher of the Year. He is also a member of the Texas Music Educators Association and has presented at conferences for a number of state and national music educator professional organizations.