Parker Elementary School (Music and Visual Art)- Braeburn Elementary School (Visual Art)
This year, we are excited to connect children through different art forms within the same school, and with another school. Parker Elementary School is one of the most diverse title1 schools in the district, and it is also a music magnet school. Ms. Simpson and Ms. Dickinson will lead their students in connecting through a creative and innovative music and visual art project. Additionally, Ms. Dickinson will lead a visual art collaboration with Ms. Padilla and her students at Braeburn Elementary School. Together, all students will explore the connections between visual art and music!
Marianna Parnas-Simpson graduated with a Master’s degree in Choral Conducting from the St. Petersburg Conservatory, Russia. to the United States. Since 1999 Ms. Simpson has taught at Parker Elementary School, a Houston ISD Magnet school for music. In 2005, she was named Teacher of the Year by her fellow teachers at Parker Elementary. In 2006, Marianna founded Treble Choir of Houston, a choral ensemble for young women, grade 6-12. Her choirs have been selected to perform at Carnegie Hall, in Jones Hall with the Houston Symphony Orchestra, at the National American Choral Directors Association Convention, at the Texas Music Educators Association Convention, Organization of American Kodally Educators, American Guild of Organists multiple times. From 2008 to 2010 Ms. Simpson served as the Artistic Director of the summer program for the American Boychoir in Princeton, NJ. Ms. Simpson is in high demand as a clinician and conductor of the state honor choirs, festivals and workshops in the United States and internationally. Additionally, Marianna is a founding member of the Houston Chamber Choir, 2020 Grammy Award Nominee and Margaret Hillis Award recipient, professional choral ensemble. She recorded 5 CD’s on MSR and SIGNUM CLASSICS labels.
My name is Rosio Padilla and this is my 7th year teaching art. I graduated from the University of Houston in 2014 and began teaching at Braeburn Elementary ever since. In 2019 I completed my Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on Art Education. During the 2017-2018 school year I was voted Teacher of the Year on my campus. Braeburn has gone through a lot since Hurricane Harvey destroyed our building, but we have also accomplished a lot with the power of art. My classes collaborated with UpArt Studios and artist Rahmaan Statik to create a mural that was created in our community. We were recognized by Mayor Silvester Turner for our contribution to the community. During the pandemic my students collaborated virtually with local artist Marsha Dorsey Outlaw to create a mosaic for our Spark Park. I love creating with my students and watching them persevere every year through all we go through. I have lived in Houston my whole life and I am proud to continue my passion for art through art education.
Julie Dickinson has been teaching art since 2006. After graduating from Texas State University, she lived and taught in Spain, Thailand, and China. When she returned to her hometown of Houston, she taught at a charter school before founding the art department at Parker Elementary where she currently teaches. Her students’ work is displayed in Representative Ann Johnson’s office in the Capitol building. Julie collaborated with local artist, Dylan Conner to create student sculptures for the Parker Spark Park. In 2019, Julie worked with students and the Parker community to create The Manely Musical Lion Art Car which was featured at the 2020 Art Car Experience. Julie’s husband teaches at Parker as well, and both of their daughters attend the school.