Roll Honored

Roll Honored

AWM assistant named Arkansas Young Band Director of the Year

WM School District Kaitlin Roll is only four years into her teaching career and already she has been recognized as one of the best in the state.

Roll, who has been the assistant band director at the Academies of West Memphis the previous four years, recently was awarded the Young Band Director of the Year honor.

'It's super exciting,' said Roll. 'I had no idea I had even been nominated. I'm not as old as some of the folks that have gotten the award in the past, so this is just validation that what I'm doing is OK.'

The criteria for the award includes less than 10 years of teaching, consistent scores in all the band assessments, multiple band students winning state and regional awards and viewed as a positive role model to students.

The 26-year-old Roll is a native of Indiana, but she graduated from Bryant High School before attending Henderson State University. She says she is completing her masters degree online currently.

Her roots in music began with family in church.

'My parents both play musical instruments and we were all big in the church band back home,' Roll stated. 'I grew up playing bass guitar a little bit and singing in church. And then I got old enough to be in the school band. I also love the teaching aspect of it. I have a little brother and I like teaching him and helping him through things.'

Roll was handed the award in a program on Aug. 3 in Fort Smith by the Arkansas School Band and Orchestra Association.

First-year AWM band director Randal Box said it has been an easy transition to his new job thanks to Roll's experience in the program.

'It was really exciting for me to see Kaitlin get the award and know that I was going to get to work with someone like her because I'm just getting used to the system here in West Memphis,' said Box. 'Kaitlin's being a big help in getting acclimated to the West Memphis way of doing things.'

By Billy Woods