Phone: (816) 532-0405
Degrees and Certifications:
Bachelor of Music Education - Missouri State University Master of Music - Missouri State University
Miss Leah Downard
As a Missouri native, I am happy to be returning for my second year in the district as the Associate Band Director after previously teaching for one year in Miami, Oklahoma. Even though I am originally from the St. Louis area, Kansas City has become an amazing home for me thanks to the welcoming and supportive staff at Smithville R-II. Outside of school, I can often be found spending time with my eight nieces and nephews, trying out new recipes, sewing, biking, exercising at 9Round, or taking care of my two cats. I am extremely passionate about traveling and all things Disney, as well! This year is unique as it will be my last year as "Miss Downard," before marrying my wonderful fiancé, Clint, in June 2019.
Throughout my education in Union, MO, I always loved band and strived to be involved in every ensemble and activity available to me. As I graduated, I knew I wanted to find a way to make this continue in my future career and share this with others. After the tough decision of where to attend college, I enrolled at Missouri State University in Springfield to pursue a Bachelor of Music Education (Instrumental). During this time, I performed in principal horn positions in the Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, and Horn Ensemble before student teaching in Marshfield, MO and graduating Summa Cum Laude in the Honors College. During my graduate tenure at Missouri State starting the following fall, I was lucky enough to conduct the Wind Symphony and Concert Band, Stage (Jazz) Band, and assist with the 360 member Missouri State Pride Marching Band. I studied horn under Dr. Lisa Casey and conducting under Dr. Belva Prather and Dr. Craig B. Davis. My professional affiliations include NEA, NAfME, MMEA, the Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM), and Pi Kappa Lambda - Nation Music Honor Society.
At Smithville R-II, I conduct the High School Symphonic Band, as well as co-teach the Warrior Pride Marching Band at SHS, Seventh and Eighth Grade Bands at SMS, and teach Sixth Grade Band at each of the elementary schools with Mr. Brockman and Mr. Haberman. I love having the chance to see students at all stages from sixth grade all the way through their senior year of high school.
Though I do not have a warrior time class, I am still BUILDING STRONG!