McKINNEY (April 29, 2015) — The McKinney Independent School District has chosen Dan White, Ph.D., to lead the district’s fine arts department. The McKinney ISD Board of Trustees approved the decision Tuesday night.
White has served as director of fine arts for the Wichita Falls Independent School District for the past 16 years and brings a wealth of talent and expertise, honed over the course of a 35-year career in music education that has taken him from the high school choir room to the collegiate ranks to his present service in district-level administration.
McKinney ISD began the search for a new director of fine arts in March following the retirement of Roy Renzenbrink who led the department from 2005 – 2015. From a pool of 41 applicants, the district’s search committee interviewed eight candidates before narrowing the field to three finalists and, ultimately, choosing White for the job.
On May 4, White will take the helm of a fine arts department that has distinguished itself as one of the best in Texas, regularly earning accolades at regional, area, state and national levels.
“McKinney ISD has established high quality fine arts programs throughout the district,” said White. “I am looking forward to working in a school district where fine arts is supported at such a high level.”
The feeling is mutual. “We believe that we have hit a home run by hiring Dr. White and that he will carry on the traditions of excellence established by our fine arts department,” said McKinney ISD Superintendent Dr. Rick McDaniel. “We’re excited to have him.”
McDaniel said that White’s passion for the arts and skill at communication will help take the department to new heights. “Obviously there are a number of talented directors across the state who applied for this position, but the thing that made Dr. White stand out was his extensive experience at Wichita Falls, and the respect he has earned from many of the peers who have worked with him across the state – including his predecessor, Roy Renzenbrink. “Those things along with the multiple honors that he has received over the years led us to choose Dr. White.”
White began his career in fine arts education in 1980 as a choral director at Plainview High School and then served at Roswell High School two years later in the same capacity. From 1985 to 1999 he taught and directed at the collegiate level, serving as a graduate assistant in the Music Department at Texas Tech University, as associate professor of music at Wayland Baptist University and then as associate professor of music at Midwest State where he also held the position of music program chair for five years. In 1999, White became the director of fine arts for Wichita Falls ISD.
White’s written work has been published in professional journals, and he has served as a TMEA clinician/guest conductor at the regional level on five occasions. He is the current UIL Region II Executive Committee Chair and served as president of the Texas Music Administrators Conference from 2007 – 2008 as well as in numerous other leadership roles in professional organizations such as Texas Association of Music Schools Executive Board, American Choral Directors Association and the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA).
White earned his Bachelor of Music Education degree at Wayland Baptist University, his Master of Music degree from Eastern New Mexico University and his Ph.D. in Fine Arts from Texas Tech University.
“A strong fine arts program is, in my opinion, essential for a well-rounded education,” said White. “Participation in the arts nurtures creativity and strengthens higher-order thinking skills. Students learn about team work and responsibility to others, and it has been well documented that these skills carry over to all facets of life.
“My primary goal is to continue with the great success already established in the fine arts programs in MISD, and to work with teachers to build upon that success and continue to improve.”
For additional information on McKinney ISD, contact Shane Mauldin, MISD Communications Coordinator, at 469-302-4007 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About McKinney ISD
One of the fastest growing school districts in Texas, the McKinney Independent School District currently enrolls more than 24,750 students in 20 elementary schools, five middle schools, three high schools, four alternative schools and one early childhood education school. The mission of McKinney ISD, the champion for progressive learning throughout the diverse McKinney community, is to inspire and equip all students to explore, develop and express their unique potential as innovators, critical thinkers and collaborators through challenging, engaging and diverse learning experiences in vital partnership with the community. Visit the district's website at mckinneyisd.net.