Mr. Russell Bennett is a long time resident of Carroll County and a Villa Rica High School Alumnus. Upon his graduation from Villa Rica High School in 2007 he attended the University of West Georgia where he earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in music education. Mr. Bennett also earned certifications in history, social studies, and special education. This is Mr. Bennett's third year working with Villa Rica He has also served as a visual tech and clinician for the Villa Rica High School Marching Band. Mr. Bennett possesses an ardent passion for music, history, technology, and learning in general. Mr. Bennett is a special education teacher at Villa Rica High School.
Mr. Baltzer is beginning his first year as the Percussion Director for the Villa Rica High School Band Program. An Ohio native, Mr. Baltzer studied Music Education with a focus on Percussion at Capital University in Bexley, Ohio. While at Capital, he participated in the Chamber Percussion Ensemble, Symphonic Winds Ensemble, Jazz Percussion Ensemble, and Steel Band as well as playing for multiple community and professional bands and orchestras. Mr. Baltzer has taught in many facets around central Ohio, as a private lessons teacher, percussion director at Delaware Hayes High School, percussion coach for Capital University’s Junior Winds and Cadet Band honor ensembles, as well as a guest soloist/clinician for area schools. Mr. Baltzer is excited to begin his professional career with Villa Rica!
John David Kelly
John David Kelly is in his first year as Colorguard Director of Villa Rica High School Band Program. Previously he was the Colorguard Director at Lanier High School in Sugar Hill, GA (2016-2019)
Mr. Kelly graduated from Christian County High School in Hopkinsville, KY in 2001 where he was an active member of the Colorguard. He began his teaching career in 2002 in the Montgomery County Public School System where he served as Colorguard Director at Clarksville High School from 2002-2010. His passion for the arts and teaching helped build positive relationships that helped grow the program.
Mr. Kelly embraced the opportunity to teach at the high school level and started the first Winterguard program at Clarksville High School. The program began in the Novice Class and was eventually promoted to Scholastic A National making them a four-time WGI Regional Finalist and WGI semi- Finalist.
In addition to Clarksville High, Mr. Kelly has worked with Hopkinsville High School (KY), McGavock High (TN), Lawrence County (TN) Independence High (TN), Fayette County (GA), Rockdale County (GA), Heritage High (GA), McEachern (GA) Eklipse Winterguard (TN). In his free time, Mr. Kelly loves to cook, play board games, swim, and spend quality time with family and friends.
Director of Bands-
Villa Rica Middle
Mr. Shores, originally from Villa Rica (VRHS Class of ’89), received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Columbus College and his Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Kennesaw State University. He has been teaching middle school band since 1993, which includes 21 years in Dekalb county schools and 6 years in Rockdale County Public Schools. While attending Columbus College, Mr. Shores played trombone with the Columbus and the Lagrange Symphony Orchestra. He has performed with the Springer Opera House and was principal trombonist with the Columbus College Wind Ensemble and Jazz Band. Mr. Shores was the Band director at Peachtree Charter Middle School in Dunwoody for 15 years where the bands consistently receive superior ratings at festivals and top honors at competitions. He still performs around Atlanta on a regular basis and is blessed to be a member of the Johnson Ferry Orchestra at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church. Mr. Shores enjoys movies, classic cars, grilling, riding his Harley, and is a devout Christian, dedicated husband to wife Leslie, and is a devoted father to his son Brentlin Aaron (21) and daughter Erianna Elan (19) and their 3 dogs: Gadget, Hammie, and Dexter.