Humble ISD has selected Destry Balch to be director of fine arts beginning with the 2020-2021 school year. Balch comes to the districtwide role from Kingwood High School, where he served as KHS director of bands for 16 years.
He joined Humble ISD in 2001 as director of bands for the Kingwood Ninth Grade Campus. Balch brings a total of 32 years of experience as an educator.
“I believe I can positively affect more students in my new role by supporting the teachers who come in contact with them every day,” he said.
Fine arts encompasses band, choir, orchestra, visual arts, theater and dance. Elementary school students have music and art class. Middle and high school students choose fine arts electives. There are 29 elementary schools, nine middle schools and six high schools in Humble ISD.
“I will be a source of advice, service and support for fine arts teachers as we work together to carry out Humble ISD’s mission,” Balch said
To help ensure the continued success of Humble ISD’s award-winning fine arts program, Balch said he will especially focus on communication and involvement.
Balch’s experience dates to 1988 when he was assistant band director at Lufkin High School. He was also director of bands for Lufkin Junior High West, Spring Hill High School in Longview and Van High School in northeast Texas.
Balch received a bachelor of music from the University of North Texas. He was named the 2007-2008 Kingwood High School Teacher of the Year.
Other achievements include leading KM4B — the Kingwood Mighty Mustang Military Marching Band — at the Tournament of Roses Parade, the Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the Veterans Day Parade in San Diego and in performances at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Carnegie Hall and Pearl Harbor.
In 2017-2018, he led students through many challenges after Hurricane Harvey flooded homes, the community and Kingwood High School. Kingwood High School classes were relocated to Summer Creek High School for six months while the campus was restored. Despite the challenges, the band found encouragement through music.
“We stood and performed. We made it happen because of and for the people that we teach — the students,” Balch said.