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Chorus, Mrs. Clark
Mrs. Clark is a music educator and vocalist in her 12th year of teaching in the Norcross Cluster, and she is thrilled to be joining the team at Summerour Middle School. She is a graduate of South Gwinnett High School, and holds degrees in Music Business and Vocal Performance (Berry College), a Masters of Music Education (University of Georgia), and a Specialist in Instructional Technologies (Kennesaw State University). Prior to coming to Summerour, Mrs. Clark with the music specialist at Peachtree Elementary for 11 years working in collaboration with Summerour's elementary schools. She is also a frequent volunteer with the Norcross High School Choral Program.
As a performer, Mrs. Clark has had the opportunity to perform with touring artists at Infinite Energy Arena in a backup role as well as opening the 2016 Christmas concert season at Carnegie Hall in New York City. She has also coached students privately who have gone on to television and Broadway roles.
Mrs. Clark is a member of Georgia Music Educators, the National Association for Music Education, and Sigma Alpha Iota. Currently, she lives in Sandy Springs with her husband and their pets, Frankie and Penny Lane.
Visual Arts, Ms. Sharpe
Laura Sharpe is a Visual Arts Teacher and artist who was born in Brooklyn and raised in New York until she moved to Georgia in 2011. She studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a major in Illustration and a minor in Advertising Design. Ms. Sharpe is a huge music lover, and she was a deejay and Music Director at her college radio station, which earned her a gold key leadership award during her senior year at FIT. She has always had a passion for all arts and loves going to museums, watching movies, going to live concerts, and Broadway shows. In her spare time, she enjoys creating digital art using various digital platforms.
Just before joining Summerour Middle School, Ms. Sharpe worked for The Art Reach Foundation, which is a non-profit organization that influences and assists the growth and development of refugee youth who have experienced the traumatic effects of war and/or natural disaster. This is Ms. Sharpe’s 7th year at Summerour Middle School and her third year teaching Visual Arts.
Ms. Sharpe resides in Loganville with her three dogs, Riley, Leda and Eddie and her two cats Sadie and Poe.
Theatre Arts, Ms. Samuels
I’m so excited about teaching and learning at Summerour Middle School I have the pleasure of working with some of the most creative students in the county. Although this is my first year at Summerour, this is my 10th year in Gwinnett County. Every day is a joy as I get to witness words, ideas and watching my students perform. In the past I have the honor of see my students perform Improvisation Scenes for Fox 5. My students also participated in an Improvisation Workshop with Tommy Ford, from the television show “Martin.” I pride myself on making my classroom the venue for self-expression, diversity and acceptance. When I’m not working with my talented students, I’m usually spending time with my family and friends. I also have a spoiled fat cat named Liam. I enjoy old movies, 80’s music and yummy Italian food. Thanks for visiting my page and thanks for supporting my wonderful Theatre Arts program.
About Ms. Samuels:
- Hometown: Atlanta, GA.
- Alonzo A. Crim Comprehensive High School, East Atlanta, Ga.
- Albany State University, Albany, Ga.
- Mercer University, Macon, Ga.
- Lesley University, Cambridge, MA
- Teaching Experience
- Social Studies- 6th Grade
- Theatre Arts- 6th, 7th and 8th Grades
- Hamlet by William Shakespeare
- Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
- Seven Guitars by August Wilson
- Miss Julie by August Strindberg
- Dutchman, by Amiri Baraka
- Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry
- Lackawanna Blues by Ruben Santiago-Hudson
Favorite Actors- Check out some of the people who influenced me!!!
- Sidney Poitier
- S. Epatha Merkerson
- Angela Bassett
- Adolph Caesar
- Calvin Lockhart
- Paul Robeson
- Dorothy Dandridge
Memorable Books- Reading is an awesome hobby!
- The World According to Garp by John Irving
- Paradise by Toni Morrison
- Bud, not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
- Catherine Carmier by Ernest J. Gaines
- Fahrenheit 454 by Ray Bradbury
- Native Son by Richard Wright
Orchestra, Miss Rebecca Huong
Miss Rebecca Huong is the Orchestra Director at Summerour Middle School. A native of Lawrenceville, Georgia and graduated Cum Laude from the University of Georgia, she obtained a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the Hugh Hodgson School of Music. She also served as Vice President of the collegiate chapter of the American String Teachers Association, as well as treasurer of the Collegiate National Association for Music Education. Her studies include a concentration on violin with Shakhida Azimkhodjaeva and performing with the UGA Symphony Orchestra. Prior to teaching at Summerour, Miss Huong taught at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Athens, and the UGA String Project. She currently also teaches private violin lessons in Suwanee. The Summerour Orchestras have earned Superior and Excellent ratings at the Georgia Music Educators Association, Large Group Performance Evaluation.
Ms. Huong's favorite food group is garlic bread and she eats chocolate for breakfast.
Music Technology, Mrs. Candy Deller-Melsen
Mrs. Candy Deller-Melsen is a Music educator and singer in her 21st year of teaching. It is her 15th year teaching in Gwinnett County Public Schools and 11th at Summerour Middle School where she currently serves as Music Technology instructor.
Candy earned her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Choral Music Education from Central Michigan University. She also completed a Specialist degree in Educational Administration. As a professional singer, Candy has performed throughout the state of Michigan as well as Europe. She has served as a clinician for choral clinics and masterclasses in the state of Michigan as well as in Belgrade, Serbia. Previously, Candy served as Music Teacher at Cedar Hill Elementary in Gwinnett County and Stone Mountain Elementary in DeKalb County. She also served as Vocal Music Instructor for Newaygo Public Schools in Michigan. Candy is a member of the following professional organizations: Georgia Music Educators Association, National Association for Music Education, American Choral Directors Association, Chorus America and Sigma Alpha Iota.
She resides in Cumming, GA with her husband Peter and has four children, Brandon, Andrew, Benjamin, Rae and her dog Rosie.
Band, Rick Rodriguez
Mr. Rick Rodriguez is a music educator and freelance trombonist in Atlanta, Georgia. He is currently in his 20th year of teaching music (7th year at Summerour). He holds a Master’s Degree in Jazz Studies from Georgia State University (2009) and also attended the University of Texas at Austin where he earned a Bachelors Degree in Music Education (1992). Rick is currently serving as Director of Bands at Summerour Middle School in the Gwinnett County Public School system. Since arriving at Summerour in 2013, Mr. Rodriguez has increased enrollment in the band program to include over 260 students in four bands. The Summerour Symphonic Band has consistently earned Superior ratings at the Georgia Music Educators Association, Large Group Performance Evaluation. Mr. Rodriguez is also on the teaching staff of the Rialto Jazz for Kids program, which is based at Georgia State University in the Rialto Theater Center for the Arts. Previously, Rick served as Director of Bands at Morningside, Mary Lin & Springdale Park Elementary schools and at Inman Middle School in the Atlanta Public Schools. He also served as a band director in the Austin (Texas) Independent School District.
In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Rick maintains an active performance schedule. He frequently performs with various ensembles, including the Joe Gransden Big Band, Moments Notice Big Band, Orquesta MaCuba, Atlanta Latin Jazz Orchestra and several variety bands in the metro area. Rick has performed with Slide Hampton, Jimmy Heath, Jon Faddis, Phillip Mossman, Larry Harlow, Tony Vega, Paquito Guzman, Luisito Rosario, Kate Earl, 10,000 Maniacs, Joel Osteen, Patrick Davis and Francine Reed.
Rick resides in Peachtree Corners, GA with his wife Kelly. They have two children, Nick (24), Izzy (17) and a dog named Grits.