He set out to take a struggling high school marching band in East Dallas from one of the worst in the district to what is now one of the most superior bands in the state.
It’s a Dallas ISD success story.
"Oh, super proud, they're very good. It’s fun to come in and build a program and see that reward for the kids that are involved in building it. That’s the gratification," said Woodrow Wilson High School Band Director Chris Evetts.
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One night in 2011, Evetts, a then-assistant band director at Highland Park High School, watched 20 Woodrow Wilson marching band students stumble through their halftime show.
"It just looked like they needed me, that’s what I always say. Like, I can go there and do some good for these kids, because you can just tell they had potential," Evetts said.
"He works so hard with us. He does everything extra for us. He works so hard just to like, get us where we need to be," said Penn Smith, a band member.
In just eight years Evetts has taken a broken band program and transformed it into an award-winning 5A varsity powerhouse — all while taking pride in being a part of an inner-city band program now competing against rich suburban rivals.
"Because of lot of the times, it seems like the cards are stacked against you, or just public perception is a certain way, and to go out and prove all that wrong," Evetts said.
"I am so filled with pride. The joy that they bring to the community when they’re marching in the parades, or in the stands. They are having so much fun," said Penn's mom, Carissa Byers.
That’s why Chris Evetts is November's Excellent Educator.
"On behalf of SMU and in recognition of Mr. Evetts selection as this month’s Excellent Educator, I present to you and Woodrow Wilson High School this check of $1,000," said SMU’s student body president, Darian Taylor.
"What a surprise! Thank you. They deserve this," Evetts said as he walked up to hold the check.
"Mr. Evetts impacts students both in and out of the classroom. He really takes time to get to know who they are, and prepares them for their great future," Taylor said.
"I feel like everybody in here has been recognized, and it feels great," Evetts said. "It feels fantastic considering where we’ve come."
Moving forward, Evetts says he wants to establish consistent UIL sweepstakes at Woodrow Wilson High, meaning you earn superior ratings in marching and concert competition.