In this very special edition of our Teacher Feature blog series, we are introducing the new 2014-15 faculty!
The level of experience, passion, and dedication that the Academy at the Lakes faculty brings into the lives of our children every day is nothing short of astounding.
The new educators that will be joining our community for the 2014-2015 school year are a hand-selected group of incredible individuals who are just as excited to join us as we are to have them.
Curious about our newcomers?
Mrs. Carolyn Waller joins us as a teacher in Early Childhood. Mrs. Waller is a graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma and has taught for over 20 years. She has extensive Montessori training and is the founder and owner of a thriving Montessori school in Colorado. Mrs. Waller has been our Middle Division and Varsity Tennis coach for the past two years, and she plans to continue to serve our community in that context as well. She is a great fit for Academy, and we are very pleased to welcome her to her new role.
Coming to Academy from Toronto, Ontario, is Mr. Douglas Greb. He holds three degrees from universities in Canada: a Diploma of Agriculture from the University of Guelph, a B.A. in Geography and History from York University, and a Bachelor of Education, also from York University. Mr. Greb has taught middle school mathematics and coached various sports in Toronto for the past seven years, and he is delighted to leave the Canadian winters in his rear-view mirror to become a member of our 5th and 6th Grade team.
Mr. Chaka Cummings joins our 7th and 8th Grade team in Social Studies after seven years in Texas, at Trinity Valley School and Fort Worth Country Day School. Mr. Cummings has also taught in Kentucky, where he earned his B.A. in Education and his M.B.A., from Berea College and the University of Kentucky, respectively. Mr. Cummings has been a successful teacher, coach, and middle school administrator, and is excited to become part of our school community.
Mr. Shawn Brown steps into two significant roles. He is our new Head Football Coach, and will also teach Middle Division physical education. Mr. Brown holds a B.S. in Business and Professional Leadership from Southeastern University and an M.B.A. with Concentration in Sports Business from Saint Leo University. He has directed sports camps, strength and conditioning programs, AAU programs, and has been the General Manager at Sports and Field in Wesley Chapel. Mr. Brown served Academy as a Middle Division basketball coach and football assistant coach in 2013-14, and we are very happy to welcome him to his new full-time roles.
Ms. Kerstin Upmeyer joins our Middle and Upper Division faculty in Technology and Fine Arts. Ms. Upmeyer has 17 years of experience teaching design, illustration, and multimedia at Keiser University and Tampa’s International Academy of Design and Technology. She holds a B.F.A. from Ringling College of Art and Design and an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction and Instructional Technology from U.S.F. In 2011’s “Best of the Bay” Creative Loafing readers’ poll, she was recognized as the runner-up in the “Best Professor” category. She will be an outstanding addition to our STEM and art programs.
Ms. Sheri Mahoney joins our Upper Division Science department after 12 highly successful years at Bosque School in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Ms. Mahoney holds a B.S. in Biology from the University of Tennessee and a Masters of Education from the University of New Mexico. She has outstanding experience in outdoor education, field-based learning, counseling, coaching, technology integration, and independent school life. Her energy, enthusiasm, and expertise made a deep impression on our Upper Division students during her audition last spring, and we are thrilled to welcome her to Florida and Academy at the Lakes.
Mr. Shawn Moore is no stranger to Academy. As a parent in our community for the past 10 years, he understands our culture and is pleased to move his teaching responsibilities across town from the University of South Florida. Mr. Moore holds his B.A. in History from the University of Maryland, his M.A. in History from USF, and anticipates receiving his Ph.D. (also from USF) this fall. He will be a member of our Upper Division History department, where his college teaching and advising experience will greatly benefit our students.
A familiar presence as a result of her frequent subbing, Mrs. Marianna Bernardino-Baker takes over the Upper Division Administrative Assistant duties from Mrs. Pitcairn. Mrs. Baker, a graduate of Western New England College, has shown us a great mix of the efficiency, care, understanding, customer service, and discipline necessary in that role, and we know that she has already earned the trust and respect of students, teachers, and parents. With her at the helm, we will not miss a beat (or a tardy).
We are excited to welcome Ms. Annette Matute to the Lower Division. Ms. Annette will be the teacher’s assistant in JK. Ms. Annette has been an integral part of Academy’s community for several years and looks forward to her new role.