Ashley Dittman, Head Director, LHHS
A teacher for seven years, Ms. Dittman begins her first year as the Lake Highlands High School orchestra director. The last two years she taught at Lake Highlands Junior High and before that she was the Freshman Center director. Mrs. Dittman grew up in the RISD school system and began playing violin at the age of five. She graduated summa cum laude with degrees in music education and violin performance from the University of North Texas in Denton. She performs regularly with the Richardson Symphony Orchestra and the Allen Philharmonic Orchestra. Mrs. Dittman met her husband, who is also a musician, in the Apollo Junior High Orchestra and married him eight years later. They have two boys, John and James, and one furry daughter, Sophie, whom they rescued from the Richardson Animal Shelter. In her spare time, she enjoys playing soccer, reading, and trying to finish the quilt she started five years ago!
Emily Moore, Assistant Director, LHHS
Emily Moore has been teaching for six years and is entering in her seventh year of teaching. She taught her first year in Dallas ISD as an orchestra director. She then taught her next three years at Irving ISD as an orchestra director, and she is currently enjoying her third year at Richardson ISD as an assistant orchestra director at Lake Highlands High School. Mrs. Moore grew up in Atlanta, GA. She began playing the violin at the age of thirteen. She graduated high school and went to Loyola University. There she got a bachelors of Music Education and a minor in spanish. After graduating college, Mrs. Moore went to teach English in Spain for a year. After that fun adventure, she moved to Texas to start her teaching career. Mrs. Moore has been happily married for three years. She has one son, Daniel, who was born in April. Mrs. Moore loves to play board games with her husband and friends. She also enjoys playing and spending as much time with Daniel as possible.
Kara Taeger, FMJH Director
This is Ms. Taeger's 15th year to teach orchestra. She believes orchestra is for everyone. It is a great way to learn self-discipline, meet new friends, and learn to play and appreciate all types of music. Ms. Taeger has taught in Carrollton Farmers Branch ISD and Mesquite ISD before coming to Forest Meadow in 2013.
Ms. Taeger has her Bachelors of Music Education from Baylor University. She plays the piano and the cello. Ms. Taeger is a former Forest Meadow Charger and Lake Highlands High School Wildcat. While in high school, Ms. Taeger was consistently a member of All Region Orchestra and received ratings of a 1 on her solos and ensembles. Ms. Taeger was a member of the Baylor Symphony and Baylor Opera Orchestra. Currently she is a member of the Orchestra at Park Cities and has served as principal cellist of the New Life Symphony Orchestra.
Ms. Taeger loves to read books, especially young adult books, and loves to travel. Playing her cello has allowed her to travel and perform in many different concert halls including the Sydney Opera House in Australia, Tchaikovsky Hall in Russia, and St. Giles Cathedral in Scottland. Ms. Taeger enjoys spending time with her two beautiful nieces.
Rachel Woods, LHJH Director
Ms. Woods is very excited to be the orchestra director at Lake Highlands Junior High School this year. Before moving to Texas, she was an orchestra director with the Cobb County School District near Atlanta, Georgia and a violin teacher with the Charleston County School District in Charleston, South Carolina.
Ms. Woods received her Bachelor of Music Education from the Kennesaw State University School of Music (Kennesaw, Georgia). She studied piano as her primary instrument, and performed with the Kennesaw State University Symphony and Philharmonic orchestras as a cellist. While she was performing with the Symphony, she participated in a week-long concert tour of Beijing and Xi’an, China. Ms. Woods also had the awesome opportunity to complete her student teaching at Colegio Menor San Fransisco de Quito in Quito, Ecuador.
When she’s not at school, Ms. Woods loves to cook (and eat!) and watch the Food Network. Ms. Woods is married and together she and her husband have a dog named Zelda and a bunny named Camden.