Being recognized for excellence in teaching, leadership, and performance is nothing new for J. R. McEntyre. The west Texas oil patch native has spent only six years of his life outside Odessa; he attended college at Texas Tech, he was in the paratroopers during World War II, and his first teaching job was at San Benito, Texas. His contributions to the musical and cultural life in Odessa are legendary, and he continues to serve that area of Texas as Executive Secretary of Region VI. J. R. returned to Odessa in 1950, serving as band director at Bowie Junior High. He also worked with Hall of Fame member, Robert Maddox, band director at Odessa High. Bonham Junior High was opened in 1955 with J. R. being that school's first band director. In 1959, Permian High School opened its doors and the incredible tradition of that band began with J. R. At the helm, J. R.'s bands not only received sweepstakes awards each year that he taught, but they also received First Division ratings in each and every contest they entered. He has served as president of TMEA and TMAA.