MT ACDA Leadership
Jordan Lee is the head choral director at Charles M. Russell High School in Great Falls. Currently, she directs the freshmen and auditioned treble choirs, the auditioned mixed choir, and the mixed chamber choir. In the past, she has experience teaching general music in a self-contained classroom, and has served as musical director for several school musicals. Jordan hails from the tiny town of Hingham, Montana. Jordan received her Bachelor’s degree from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, where she studied with Timothy Westerhaus and Darnelle Preston. She completed her student teaching with Barbara Tappa at Ferris High School in Spokane. Interacting with singers across the state is one of Jordan’s biggest passions. She firmly believes the size of your school should not determine the quality of your musical experience. Through Youth Sings, festivals, and adjudicating, Jordan feels blessed to have learned from directors and singers across Montana.
Thomas Baty is currently in his 13th year of teaching and serves as a music teacher in Helena. His current teaching assignment includes heading up the choir program at Capital High School and assisting with 6th grade band at C. R. Anderson Middle School. He was born, raised, and educated in Missoula and holds bachelor’s degrees in Vocal Performance and Music Education from the University of Montana, as well as a Master’s of Education from Montana State University. While in Helena Baty has maintained an active performance schedule with his school choirs and co-organized many local collaborative events with his colleagues. It has been his honor to guest direct for various festivals in Montana including the Western Montana Youth Sing, the Billings Concert Choir Festival, the Polson Choir Festival and the Missoula Treble Festival. He is also an active adjudicator and has served as a judge for district festivals in Billings, Missoula, Dillon, Great Falls, and Havre and the Western Montana State Festival. When he is not teaching, rehearsing or performing, he is enjoying family time with his spouse, Jamie, and two sons, Nolan and Gordon.
Ellen McKenzie has proudly taught at Hellgate since 2014, and has been directing choirs and teaching since 2002. Prior to teaching at Hellgate, she taught in Frenchtown, Manteca (CA), and Kalispell.
Mrs. McKenzie earned her Bachelors Degree in Music Education in 2001, and her Masters Degree in Integrated Arts and Education in 2012, both from the University of Montana. She is National Board Certified in Music/Early Adolescence Through Young Adulthood. Throughout her career, she has been a very active member of her schools and communities. She has taken choirs to Hawaii, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, and Banff, Alberta.
When not teaching, Mrs. McKenzie enjoys being a performer, and participates in shows at MCT as her time allows. She loves to run, read, camp, and mostly to spend time with her husband Peter and her two wild and crazy sons, Ben and Jack.