High School Vice President Candidates

Ryan Forkner is originally from Arlington, TX where he first began singing in choirs as a boy.  After graduating from Arlington High School in 1999, Ryan attended Texas Christian University where he earned his Bachelor of Music Education degree in 2003.  Following his undergraduate degree, Ryan served as a Choral Graduate Assistant at TCU while earning his Masters in Choral Conducting under Professor Ron Shirey. 

After completing his Master's in 2005, Ryan became the choir director at North Mesquite High School in Mesquite, TX where he has taught for the past 16 years.  Under Ryan’s leadership, the North Mesquite choirs have consistently received Sweepstakes and “Best in Class” ratings at contests and festivals and performed at Southwest ACDA (2018) and TMEA (2020) conventions.  Over the past 16 years, Ryan has served in multiple leadership and service positions including TMEA Region 3 Vocal Chair from 2014 to 2016 and TMEA Region 3 President (2018 to present).  Ryan has also served on the TMAA nominations committee. As a member of TCDA, Ryan has presented clinics and reading sessions at multiple TCDA conventions and conferences for several TCDA divisions, including High School, Church, and College. 

Ryan is a member of ACDA, TMEA, TCDA, TMAA, Pi Kappa Lambda, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. 

If Elected:  TCDA has had a huge impact on my life and I treasure the relationships I have been fortunate to forge through membership.  I know that many of us are relying on human connections more than ever before to simply help us survive each day and the communal spirit I have observed from all of you, my colleagues, has been an immeasurable gift to my soul.  It gives me hope.  

We have spent so much of the past year asking the question “what does success look like RIGHT NOW?” and I believe we will need to continue to ask that question moving forward. 

I feel deeply at this moment that one of the keys to empowering our members to answer this question is creating a deeper understanding of the diversity in our state and organization.  In addition to our cultural, religious, racial, and sexual diversity, the Texas choral community represents a wide diversity of situations.  I believe that to serve diverse communities, we must embrace a diversity of approach by working to understand the unique concerns, needs, and priorities of our members and their communities.  As High School Vice-President I plan to engage our diverse membership directly to create sessions and resources that provide diverse solutions to our unique concerns.  Through that process, I hope to encourage a sense of program diversity and diversity of expression, where we empower the membership to create choral programs that reflect the priorities, resources, and needs of their community. 


 

Michael Zook attended Kingwood HS and sang in the choir under the direction of Keith Dixon. He continued his education at Texas Tech University singing with Dr. Kenneth Davis and Dr. John Dickson in the University Choir for four years. In 2003 Michael completed his student teaching with Denise Eaton at Spring HS and then taught 5 years at Twin Creeks MS feeding into the Spring HS choir program. In 2011 Michael was hired to be the head choir director at Vandegrift HS (Leander ISD) in Austin, Texas where he is currently in his 10th year leading this program.
Michael has served both TCDA as the Region 32 TCDA State Representative, the Central Texas Student Leadership Day Coordinator, and is currently serving as the chair of the Ways and Means Committee. He has served TMEA on the convention facilities team, as the Region 32 Vocal Chair, and in 2018 was the Vocal Division Convention Coordinator.

In 2016 the Vandegrift HS Chorale Women’s Choir was selected as an Invited Performing Choir for both TMEA and SWACDA conferences, and again for Nationals ACDA in 2019. Michael holds a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Texas Tech University and a Master’s Degree in Administrative Leadership from Concordia University.

If Elected:  I would like to continue the work of bringing relevant professional development to choral educators across the state of Texas both in-person and online so that the wonderful resources that TCDA creates can have a wide reach. Additionally, I would like to continue the work of bringing Student Leadership Days to local areas across the state so that choir directors have accessible resources for building up strong student leadership specific to the choir classroom.