Degrees and Certifications:
Bachelor's in Music Education University of Illinois Master's in Music Education University of Illinois
Mrs. Melissa Smith
Melissa Smith currently works in the Lawrence Public Schools as Assistant Director of Bands at Lawrence Free State High School and West Middle School. From 2012-2022 served as Assistant Director of Orchestras at West Middle School. The 2023-2024 school begins her 32nd year in music education.
Mrs. Smith came to Lawrence from Boone High School in Boone, Iowa, where she was the Director of Bands for ten years. During her time in Boone, the band program received superior ratings at regional concert band and solo/ensemble festivals, and contributed numerous students to the Iowa all-state band and other regional honor bands.
Prior to her time in Iowa, Mrs. Smith directed bands in Moody, Texas, served as Assistant Director of Bands, Director of Orchestras, and managed the winter drumline and color guards at her alma mater in Danville, Illinois, and began her teaching career in Highland, Illinois. Ensembles under her direction have received superior ratings, performed in festivals at the Gator and Liberty Bowls, performed in New York City, and were successful in WGI Regional and National events. She has worked with a number of color guards at the high school level, and was the flag instructor at Iowa State University from 2003-2008. She is currently the color guard instructor for the Marching Jayhawks at the University of Kansas and for the Marching Firebirds at Lawrence Free State High School.
Mrs. Smith holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. She is a member of Sigma Alpha Iota and has an honorary membership in Tau Beta Sigma. Mrs. Smith is also an accomplished oboist, having performed in many community and regional bands and orchestras in Illinois, Texas, Iowa, and Kansas. Melissa is currently a member of the Lawrence Community Orchestra and Crossroad Symphony Wind Ensemble. Most recently (2023), she was chosen as the Lied Center Educator Impact Award Recipient.
She is blessed to be surrounded by her loving family and her amazing colleagues at Free State High School, West Middle School, and KU Bands. Lawrence is unique and blessed to have such a vibrant performing and visual arts community and she is proud to be a part of it!