Debra Ponce de Leon

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Degrees and Certifications:

Bachelor of Fine Arts, Graphic Communication

Debra Ponce de Leon

My name is Debra Ann Ponce de Leon, I was born and raised in Houston, my family moved to Alief in 1968 where I had the opportunity to be one of the first students to attend Boone Elementary, Martin Elementary, Alief Middle School and finished as part of the 1st graduating class of Alief Elsik High School. I attended Houston Baptist University and finished my Bachelors degree in Fine Arts at the University of Houston. In the past I have worked in the fashion and interior design industry. It has been a pleasure to have come full circle and return to the Alief School District. 2020-2021 is my 13th year teaching here at Miller Intermediate; I am also involved in the Alief Afterschool "CIA" Program teaching enrichment classes at Miller Intermediate. My class is an atmosphere where every student may excel, all that is needed is an effort. The elements and principles of art focused on in 5th and 6th grade Art will be expressed through drawing, painting, ceramics, fibers, and digital IPad design. Art is beauty and beauty is in the eye of the beholder.


 Jeff Gegogeine

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Degrees and Certifications:

Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Ball State University

Jeff Gegogeine

I have more than 27 years of experience teaching High School, Middle School and Intermediate Band. Teaching students at all levels, has prepared me to establish the foundation needed for all young musicians to succeed. I believe that playing an instrument is a fun method that develops the brain far beyond traditional classroom learning.  Students will learn skills, develop teamwork, and discover motivation that will impact their lives far beyond Intermediate School. Students that are members of the Miller Band will learn to read and perform music together in a fun and encouraging environment.  It is my pleasure to serve the students of the great community of Alief.


 Mary Edwards

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Degrees and Certifications:

Bachelor of Arts Master of Music

Mary Edwards

I have been teaching Choir for over twenty-seven years. I am a member of the American Choral Directors Association. My music philosophy is that students should have a thorough foundation in choir, which includes nurturing their musical expression and understanding through vocal training, quality repertoire, music theory, and improvisation and composition. With the addition of Orff instruments and Handbells, I am able to give students a comprehensive choral experience, which prepares them to be lifelong learners and future contributors to society.


 Alissa Wells

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Degrees and Certifications:

Bachelor of Music Education from Murray State University

Alissa Wells

I am pleased to welcome students to orchestra! I have more than 15 years of experience teaching a variety of music ensembles. I have taught high school and middle band, elementary music, elementary choir, middle school piano, and string orchestra. I have enjoyed more than 4 years of teaching strings at Miller Intermediate School. The music classroom is safe space for all students. We have a strong tradition of kindness and share excellent rapport. It just adds to our daily fun that we also learn to play and perform with high standards.


 Melissa Benavides

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Degrees and Certifications:

Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with specialization in Reading from University of Houston-Victoria

Melissa Benavides

Teaching has been my passion for 26 years. The last 17 years I have had the pleasure of teaching Theater. My hopes are to give students experiences that will encourage, challenge and engage them in a theatrical space where they can be free thinkers, decision makers, problem solvers and storytellers.