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Rick Rodriguez is the Director of Bands at Summerour. Prior to joining the Summerour team, Mr. Rodriguez was the Director of Bands at Morningside Elementary School in Atlanta. He also taught middle school band in Austin, Texas before moving to Georgia. Mr. Rodriguez is starting his 14th year of teaching band in the public schools.
In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Mr. Rodriguez is an avid trombonist with an active performance schedule. He frequently performs with various ensembles, including the Joe Gransden Big Band, Moments Notice Big Band, Orquesta MaCuba and several variety bands in the metro area.
Mr. Rodriguez earned a Masters Degree in Jazz Studies at Georgia State University. He also holds a Bachelors Degree in Music Education from the University of Texas at Austin. His professional affiliations include: the Georgia Music Educators Association, the International Trombone Association, the Jazz Educators Network and the National Association for Music Education.
Mr. Rodriguez resides in Peachtree Corners with his wife, two kids and a dog named Grits.
Mr. Simpson is a band director at Summerour and Norcross High. He grew up in the Gwinnett County Public School System while both of his parents were teachers in the Shiloh and Brookwood clusters. His father was a working musician in the Atlanta area in addition to being a music teacher. As a result, Mr. Simpson got the chance to perform with professional musicians from a very early age.
He graduated from Brookwood High School and received a degree in Music Education from the University of Georgia. After graduating, Mr. Simpson got the chance to tour the country with productions of BLAST! and Elton John and Tim Rice’s AIDA. He then went on to tour Japan and China with those shows. Mr. Simpson then moved to New York where he got the opportunity to perform with numerous Broadway productions including The Book of Mormon, Wicked, Next to Normal, Annie, and Kinky Boots. He is now happy to be back in the Atlanta area with his wife Kelly and their French Bulldog, Remy.
Ms. Deller is in her 3rd year of teaching choral music at Summerour Middle School. It is her 7th year teaching in Gwinnett County Public Schools and 13th year total. Ms. Deller earned her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Choral Music Education from Central Michigan University. She also has completed a Specialist degree in Educational Administration.
As a professional singer, Ms. Deller has performed throughout Europe as well as the state of Michigan. She also sings with the Gwinnett Choral Guild here in Gwinnett County and serves as the Assistant Conductor. Ms. Deller has also served as a clinician for choral clinics and masterclasses in the state of Michigan as well as in Belgrade, Serbia.
Ms. Deller is a member of the following professional organizations: Georgia Music Educators Association, Music Educators National Conference, American Choral Directors Association, Chorus America and Sigma Alpha Iota.
Mr. Mejia is the Director of Orchestras at Summerour. Before his commitment with Summerour, Mr. Mejia was the Director of the Youth String Orchestra for the Community Music School at Western Illinois University. He also taught violin and orchestra in the Dominican Republic.
Mr. Mejia earned his Master’s Degree in Music Performance at Western Illinois University. He also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music from Seton Hill University. His professional affiliations include: the Georgia Music Educators Association, and the Suzuki Association of the Americas.
As a professional violinist, Mr. Mejia has performed with the National Symphony in Santo Domingo, Quincy Symphony Orchestra (Illinois), Columbus, Macon, and Valdosta Symphony Orchestras. He is also a private violin/viola instructor of the Suzuki Method.
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 9th 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:
Alonzo A. Crim Comprehensive High School, East Atlanta, Ga.
Albany State University, Albany, Ga.
Mercer University, Macon, Ga.
Lesley University, Cambridge, MA
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
S. Epatha Merkerson
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
The Summerour Art program has its own, external website. Please visit them at the smsartroom.weebly.com.
Summerour Middle School
An IB World School, is committed to creating a culture of excellence by working hard and being nice.
321 Price Place Norcross, GA 30071