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SnaPShot of the Week

Fostering Community Relationships Through Art

For the past eight years, Partnerschools has been facilitating choir and art partnerships among different schools that result in concerts, exhibitions and friendships across the city of Houston. Partnershools creates opportunities for local schools to partner together creating art and music ultimately creating a stronger community. 

For the second year, Presbyterian School was partnered with Yellowstone College Prep, a newly opened Texas Education Agency-approved school designed to expand quality youth educational opportunities for households making less than the poverty line in Houston’s Third Ward. 

This week, our 8th grade students met with 6th- 8th grade students from Yellowstone Academy’s Beginning Band for some art time in the MFAH Sculpture Garden. 

PS Fine Arts teacher, Leslie Wade, and local Artist, Lia Rodi, hosted the Yellowstone College Prep students starting with a tour through the MFAH teaching students how works of art can include music for inspiration. Students then met up with Presbyterian School's Art & Architecture class for lunch and a sketching session in the Sculpture Garden. To wrap up the day, Yellowstone students visited the Glassell Junior School.

“It was a great experience making new friends, being outside, and drawing together.” said Chase Schlitzberger (‘22). Two Yellowstone students were partnered with one Presbyterian student and were asked to find a sculpture that spoke to them. Students took the opportunity to get to know each other and share life experiences and ideas. “At first when you meet someone, it’s always awkward but once you get to know them, you create this sort of amazing bond. It was really fun to get to know different people and now I’ve made some new friends!” said Diana Hernandez (‘21). 

The goal of Partnerschools is to create opportunities for students from different backgrounds to exchange ideas, learn from and with each other, develop friendships, and gain appreciation and acceptance. “What an incredible opportunity to witness our two communities coming together to enjoy art, architecture and our amazing city. I loved watching the students’ faces light up as they stumbled upon antiquities, the Grand Masters and contemporary art. Watching them huddled in the sculpture garden while sketching felt like a return to normal!” said Rodi.

“Since the pandemic began, we have been able to involve twelve schools in virtual and hybrid collaborations, and we have created multiple new programs to reach out to many more children and teachers all over the city and state! Partnerschools plays a key role in keeping students engaged and excited, and in strengthening our community!” said Partnerschools Director, Sonja Bruzauskas. This connection happens through collaboration projects like choir concerts, visual art pieces, or other shared projects. Like Maya Angelou said, “we are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.”


Read More SnaPShots

Pre-K Airlines: Cultivating Curiosity and Cultural Connection Through Immersive Learning

In the fall of 2009, PK4 teacher, Lindsay Renken, sat down with colleague, Leanne Gotcher, with a simple idea of incorporating travel into the curriculum spurred on by her personal experiences in travel. This was the beginning of Pre-K Airlines. The curriculum now encompasses multiple countries that change year to year based on students' interests and the freedom teachers have to design a unique curriculum.

PS Farm to Table Draws Students into the Community

Second grade students have spent the year learning the process of how food goes from farm to table. As a culmination of what they have learned, they presented their commercials and projects to fellow students and families at their Farm to Table Museum. 

Encounters with the Natural World is a Must See Art Exhibit

4th grade students work with Glassell School of Art staff on the installation of the Middle School Encounters with the Natural World exhibit. The artwork will be on display March 2-24 and spans two stories in the Glassell School of Art building. Read more about this incredible collaboration.

MS Day of Service Models Kindness through Compassion

Since the founding of our Middle School, the Middle School Day of Service has been an important part of the curriculum. Chaplain Brenton Smith shares, “this important practice of time set aside to actively love our city is foundational to the PS middle school faith programming.” At Presbyterian School, our goal is for every student to be involved with service to our community. 

Growing Faith through Artistry

PS Director of Communications, Andrea Lawless, is gifting the world by teaching others how they can grow their faith through her incredible artistic ability and love for crafting. Read more about how Andrea is doing God’s work through art.

5th Grade Students Host an Environmental Summit Museum

5th grade students hosted an Environmental Summit Museum this week for parents and students to learn more about our human impact on the Earth. Students researched and shared about how humans contribute to light, ocean and air pollution, habitat loss, invasive species, beach erosion, flooding and overfishing. The Environmental Summit Museum is the capstone grade level exhibition for 5th grade.

PS Families Make a Difference Through Book Donations

Nehemiah Pre-K 3 and Pre-K 4 students were the guests of honor at the PS Book Fair Wednesday. Students were able to browse through and take home books that were donated by PS families this week during the Book Drive.

PS Pop Up King Cakes Proofed to be Amazing!

PS Faculty and Staff participated in making king cakes this week at a PS Pop Up Cooking Class taught by second grade teacher Patricia Tamminga. These delicious traditional pastries were made with a little bit of cinnamon, a little bit of icing, and a whole lot of love and laughter.

Students Shine with Mock Trial at the Courthouse

8th grade students were excited to participate in a recent presentation of their mock trial case in a courtroom at the Harris County Criminal Justice Center. Students swapped out their PS uniforms for dress suits and ties Wednesday as they took their murder trial before the judge, a jury, and a galley of excited parents. 

PS Mom Creates Non-Profit to Help Down Syndrome Families

PS mom, Karmel Garcia (Augie ‘30) was given a Down Syndrome diagnosis for her daughter, Zoe, at her 20 week ultrasound At the time, the diagnosis felt unbearably heavy and she wasn’t sure what it meant for her family and for Zoe’s future. Two weeks later, she was told that Zoe would need heart surgery within the first few months of her life. What Karmel didn’t know is that this terrifying experience would lead her to creating a non-profit that is modeling kindness and cultivating compassion by helping others with Down Syndrome.

Brigette O'Brian's Talents are Reaching Stages Worldwide

Middle School Performing Arts Teacher, Brigette O’Brian’s passion for dancing has led her into the professional world of choreography. Not only is she teaching PS students during the day, but she’s choreographing dances at multiple pageants and most recently, has spent some time on Broadway. 

Project Flourish Supports PS Faculty Non-Profits

In May of 2017, First Presbyterian Church unveiled a financial incentive to entrepreneurs who were looking to transform and renew the Houston community. Project Flourish was born as a shark-tank type model where $250,000 seed money was up for grabs. PS Art teacher, Terry Flores, and Head of Middle School, Brandon Walker, are proud recipients of Project Flourish funding for the development of their non-profit organizations, ArtPark Studios and The Summer Institute.

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with Dance

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, PS will host the performers Undebel Flamenco at special assemblies in Fellowship Hall on Friday. An art form originally from Spain but which has captured the imagination of people around the world, flamenco has been described as “magical and curious,” but it has a complicated history.

PS Faculty and Staff Bring the Spirit to College Colors Day

Ahh, College Colors Day is when we show our school spirit and welcome back the collegiate fandom, and kickoff of college football’s opening weekend. PS faculty and staff dusted off their old collegiate apparel to celebrate College Colors Day with a spirit that only PS can bring. 

Rising to the Occasion with the Eighth Grade Class Trip

For many of us, strapping a 35 lb backpack, lacing up some hiking boots, and hitting the trails of Colorado for a couple of days isn’t an item on our bucket list of things to do. However, for our 8th grade students, this is an important milestone in their middle school experience. Getting outside of their comfort zone and persevering through a challenging and new experience has taught our students that the journey is so much more than the physicality of the endeavor. 

Parent Volunteers Making a Difference

Imagine what can happen when time and gifts are pooled together, shared and extended back out to the community. Every day, our parent volunteers share their time and talents to create an incredible learning environment for students.