hammersMelissa Hammers has taught in Marshall ISD since 2006, and has been MISD Head Choral Director and Head of Choirs at Marshall High School since 2015. Prior to her move to MHS, Ms. Hammers was MJHS Choral Director for nine years following jobs at Pine Tree Junior High in Longview and St. Theresa’s Catholic School in Austin. She is a member of TMEA and TCDA, was “Most Influential Teacher 2016,” nominated for Teacher of the Year at Marshall Junior High, and serves as the Regent of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Captain William Young Chapter. Additionally, choirs under Ms. Hammers’ leadership have regularly been awarded UIL Sweepstakes Awards and other UIL awards. A graduate of Stephen F. Austin University, Ms. Hammers is a native of West Columbia, Texas. When she is not teaching choir, she enjoys “Yelping” for new restaurants, travel, texting Miss Allison, and playing with her son Eli, and when asked what she wants her students to learn from her, Ms. Hammers says, “how to be resilient, how to accept failure and keep going.”

Among her favorites quotes are:
 • "You are not Gladys Knight, and we are not the Pips." - Sandi Parks
 • "This is not Toad Suck Ferry, Arkansas, and yes, that is a place." - Sandi Parks

allisonStephanie Allison has twice served MISD as Assistant Choir Director for Marshall High School: first, for two years as a brand new teacher at Marshall Junior High Choirs and Marshall High School part-time Assistant. Following 12 years of choir work in the Killeen area, Ms. Allison returned in 2014 to be full-time Assistant Choral Director for MHS. She is a 2000 graduate of the School of Music at Ouachita Baptist University who calls Cabot, Arkansas, her hometown. She is a member of TMEA and TCDA, Who’s Who Among American Teachers 2005-2006, and her choirs have also regularly received Sweepstakes and other UIL awards.

Her favorite quotes are:
• "You get a gold star!" - Melissa Hammers
• "We are up to our necks in alligators!" - Sandi Parks
• Psalm 16

laneyLeslie Laney joined the Choir Department in MISD in 2016-2017 as Choir Director at Marshall Junior High School, coming to MISD from Pineywoods Community Academy in Lufkin, Texas. Ms. Laney graduated Summa Cum Laude from Stephen F Austin State University with a bachelor’s degree in Music Education and a master’s degree in Choral Conducting. Having earned almost every award imaginable in college, Ms. Laney was a NATS finalist in 2007 and 2011 and a Concerto/Aria Winner in 2013. She has performed vocally all over the world, most recently as the lead in the Puccini opera, “Suor Angelica,” in Taiwan. What she wants her students to learn most from her is to "learn that it’s okay to be adventurous and try new things. They may, and probably will, make mistakes, but that is okay. All that matters is that they tried. They may stumble and fall, but it is now they deal with it that makes them a stronger person. It’s through these actions that others see what kind of person they are."

Her favorite quotes:
• "Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” - Albert Einstein
• "You must not let anyone define your limits because of where you come from. Your only limit is your soul." - Ratatouille