Mr. Ryan M. Straten is in his third year as Director of Bands at Timberview Middle School and his twelfth year of teaching. Mr. Straten directs the Wind Ensemble, assists with the Symphonic and Concert Bands, and teaches the 6th grade beginning clarinet, trumpet, horn, and trombone classes. Since Mr. Straten’s appointment at TMS, the band program has placed a record number of students in the All-District and All-Region Band process, and the Wind Ensemble has received unanimous superior ratings at UIL Concert & Sight-Reading Evaluation earning them the coveted Sweepstakes Award over the past two years. Most recently, the Wind Ensemble was named as an official, invited performer at the Music For All National Concert Festival in Indianapolis, Indiana. They will travel in March over spring break to perform at this prestigious festival! The TMS Wind Ensemble was also recently named as a Class A National Winner in the Foundation for Music Education’s Mark of Excellence project.

Before coming to Keller ISD, Mr. Straten served as the Director of Bands at Williams Middle School in Rockwall ISD for two years and Highland Park Middle School/McCulloch Intermediate School for a year. Under his direction, both organizations placed a record number of students in the All-Region Band process, received unanimous first division ratings at UIL Concert & Sight-Reading Contests, and named Best In Class and Overall Outstanding Middle School Band at the Lone Star Showcase of Music Festival. Prior to his appointment in Highland Park, Mr. Straten was the Associate Director at Artie Henry Middle School in Leander ISD where he directed the Symphonic Band and taught the clarinet, horn, trombone, euphonium and tuba beginning band classes. His bands consistently received UIL Sweepstakes ratings, unanimous first division ratings, and Best In Class honors at festivals around the state. While at Henry, Mr. Straten was privileged to have been part of the team that led the Henry Band Program to two invitations and performances at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, Illinois; the program’s second performance at the Western International Band Clinic in Seattle, Washington; it’s second Texas State CCC Honor Band title; and to the program being named a John Philip Sousa Sudler Silver Cup Award recipient.

He holds two Masters degrees from Texas State University in Educational Leadership and Music Education and a Bachelors degree in Music Education. He is an active member of the Texas Music Educators Association, the Texas Bandmasters Association and the Texas Music Adjudicators Association.

Ms. Lisa Manson is in her fifth year of teaching at Timberview Middle School and her eighth year teaching band. Ms. Manson directs the Symphonic Band, assists with the Wind Ensemble and Concert Bands, and teaches the 6th grade beginning flute, saxophone, and euphonium/tuba classes. Before coming to Keller ISD, Ms. Manson was the Director of Bands and Choirs at First Baptist Academy in Dallas for three years.

Ms. Manson holds a Bachelors in Music Education degree from Southern Methodist University where she studied flute with Deborah Baron who holds the piccolo/associate principal flute chair of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Manson graduated from Coppell High School and studied flute with Kareen Britt who holds the piccolo/associate principal flute chair of the Dallas Opera Orchestra. She was a member of the Texas All-State Band in 2004.


Ms. Khadija Zakavi is the newly appointed Assistant Band Director at Timberview Middle School and will be starting her first year of teaching. Ms. Zakavi will direct the Concert Band, assist with the Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band, and teach the 6thgrade beginning oboe/bassoon and saxophone classes. She is a recent graduate of Texas State University with a bachelor’s degree in Music Education and completed her student teaching with Gabriel Rosas at Bush Middle School, and with Ashley Carlson at Stone Oak Elementary, in the North East Independent School District in San Antonio, Texas.

As an oboist, Ms. Zakavi has been very fortunate to perform with many professional orchestras, such as the Austin and San Antonio Chamber groups, as well as the Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra. Though as much as she loves playing the oboe, teaching is her true passion. She has taught oboe, both privately and as a masterclass teacher, all over Central Texas, and has also taught and administrated the nationwide Bocal Majority and Operation Oboe camps in various locations across the United States.

Ms. Zakavi has been fortunate enough to study under many great mentors and teachers. She knew she wanted to be a band director after her middle school director, Richard Gonzalez, inspired her to have a passion for music, and now she hopes to not only instill that passion into her students, but also inspire them to be good human beings. Her ultimate goal is to be “That Teacher” for her students. She wants to instill a passion for music in all her students but also aid them in reaching their full potential. When Ms. Zakavi isn’t teaching or playing the oboe, she loves to spend time with her wonderful family and friends.


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