Teaching Staff

Location: All | Diamond Village | Lake Alice | Newell Drive

Imari Allen

Lake Alice

Teacher

Imari joined Baby Gator in August 2017 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Health Education and Behavior. Imari has worked with children ranging from one year olds to middle school over the past 6 years doing volunteer work, after school care, children’s church, and subbing in a preschool setting. She is passionate about helping children learn and grow through discovery and play. Imari believes children are not things to be molded, but people to be unfolded. As Piaget said, “The principal goal of education in the schools should be creating women and men who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done.”

Becky Ames

Newell Drive

Teacher

Becky joined Baby Gator in August 2014. She holds an Associate Degree in Elementary Education. Becky has worked with children of all ages from infancy to second grade for the past 20 years. She is most passionate about helping children learn and grow in an independent environment, focusing on their social and emotional skills.

Angela Ankrom

Newell Drive

Teacher

Angela joined Baby Gator in March of 2012. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. Angela has taught children ranging from one to five-years-old for over 20 years in a preschool setting. She held the administrative role of Lead Teacher for nine years. She is passionate about fostering the development and success of young children and enjoys meeting children and their families.

Ludine Augustin

Lake Alice

Teacher

Ludine joined Baby Gator in February 2014. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Sciences. Ludine has worked with children from infant to nine year-olds for 8 years as a teacher, substitute and babysitter. She enjoys being part of children’s growth and development and is passionate about making learning fun.

Angie Avelino

Newell Drive

Teacher

Angie joined Baby Gator in May 2011. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in History. Angie has worked with ones, twos and threes as a teacher for three and a half years, as well as volunteer work with elementary aged children and high schoolers with special needs. She loves watching the children’s personalities develop and enjoys helping them process and enjoy all their new emotions and experiences.

Dewaynique Barton

Lake Alice

Teacher

Dee has been a part of the Baby Gator staff since March 2015, where she currently works with the toddlers. Dee has over 12 years of experience working with children, with two of those years working at Baby Gator. She believes Baby Gator defines the meaning of what an early childhood experience should be. Prior to working with Baby Gator, Dee was a courier, transporting blood throughout Shands Hospital. She received her A.S. degree in Early Childhood Education from Santa Fe College. Dee has dedicated a lot of time to caring for children and says that she wouldn’t have it any other way. With her patience, love, and understanding of how the young mind works, Dee hopes to help set the foundation for the development and well-being of children in her classroom.

Alexis Brown

Lake Alice

Teacher

Alexis Brown joined Baby Gator in July 2017. She is working towards her Associate in Science degree in Office Administration, and also working towards her Child Development Associate Credential. Her experience includes working with infants to 5 year olds for over 6 years. Fostering a sense of community in her classroom is something she strives for each day. In her spare time, she enjoys making tutu’s and customizing clothing.

Symoine Butler

Lake Alice

Teacher

Symoine joined Baby Gator in May of 2011. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Science with a concentration in Rehabilitative Services. Symoine has worked with infants to eleven year-olds for over five years in a classroom and school setting, as a babysitter and as a tutor. She is passionate about helping children to reach their full potential.

Latanya Carter

Newell Drive

Teacher

Latanya joined Baby Gator in August of 2011. She holds an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education. Latanya has worked with infants to 12 year-olds for over 15 years in a classroom and administrative setting. She is passionate about helping children to develop their social and emotional skills.

Anna Cesarotti

Newell Drive

Teacher

Anna joined the Baby Gator family in April 2017. She has a Sustainability Studies degree from UF with minors in Sociology as well as Agriculture and Natural Resource Ethics and Policy. She’s worked with children under five since she began to teach dance and swim lessons in her teenage years. She enjoys being in nature and scuba diving when she’s not teaching. She’s passionate about helping kids connect to the great outdoors, and hopes to promote environmental stewardship from young ages.

Nichole Chardain

Diamond Village

Teacher

Nichole joined Baby Gator in November of 2016. She holds an Associates Degree in English. Nichole has worked with infants to elementary school age children for seven years, primarily as an after-school and VPK assistant teacher. She is passionate about literacy and reading and loves instilling that same passion into the children she cares for.

Amanda Charley

Lake Alice

Teacher

Amanda Charley joined Baby in October 2014. She holds a degree in Family Youth and Community Sciences with a minor in Humanitarian Assistances and International Development. Amanda has worked with infants to children 13 years of age for six years in a professional capacity and ten years in informal capacity. She enjoys watching children learn, develop and grow. She loves seeing them smile, interact, reach their goals and achieve their dreams. She is inspired by children everyday and hopes to continue working with children in the future.

Dagmarie Colon

Newell Drive

Teacher

Dagmarie joined Baby Gator in October of 2014. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. Dagmarie has worked with Preschool to 12 years-old for the past 10 years. She enjoys being a part of the children’s education and loves to help them with their development in all areas.

LaQuanda Coney

Lake Alice

Teacher

LaQuanda joined Baby Gator in October 2014. LaQuanda has worked with VPK aged children for 12 years. She is passionate about inspiring children to be the best they can be. She loves seeing the children master concepts and enjoys when parents are surprised by what their children can do.

Venisher Edwards

Diamond Village

Teacher

Venisher joined Baby Gator in February 2016. She is currently working on a CDA. Venisher has worked with children from six months to three years old for over six years. She is passionate about expanding the learning of young children’s minds. She enjoys nature walks, reading, and spending time with family. What inspires her is students excited about school and learning from the environment around them.

Veronica Edwards

Lake Alice

Teacher

Ms. Veronica recently joined Baby Gator in July of 2017. She holds her Child Development Associate along with her Director’s Credential, while also working towards her A.S. in Early Childhood Education. Veronica has worked with children of all ages for the past 8 years, but has worked with children 3-5 years old for most of that period of time. Believing in children’s ability to learn responsibility and gain independence as well as teaching and exemplifying empathy, respect, and love is one of Veronica’s goals.

 

Lauren Geisenhoffer

Newell Drive

Teacher

Lauren joined Baby Gator in August 2017 after spending over 10 years working with children ages 6 weeks to 12 years old as a substitute teacher, a camp counselor, and a child care worker. This career allows Lauren to help children develop new skills and use music to do so. She is looking forward to completing her degree in Early Childhood Education.

Dina Gelep

Lake Alice

Teacher

Dina joined Baby Gator in April 2017. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with minors in Classics and Family, Youth, and Community Sciences. Dina has worked with typically and atypically developed children ranging from preschool to middle school for the last eight years as a camp counselor, volunteer, and babysitter. She is inspired by how resilient and driven children are when it comes to achieving their goals, no matter how small or big they may be.

Ariadna Guerra

Diamond Village

Teacher

Ari joined Baby Gator in September of 2011 as a full time teacher.  She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Telecommunications from the University of Florida.  As a undergraduate student at UF, Ari volunteered at Baby Gator and later became a substitute.  Over the years, she has gained experience taking care of young children and providing a loving and learning environment.

Ari Brings her love of music and dancing into the classroom.  She also enjoys integrating Spanish and other cultures into the lesson plans.  In her spare time, she enjoys listening to music, creative photography, boating and spending time with her family and friends.

Lisa Gurule

Lake Alice

Teacher

Lisa joined Baby Gator in October 2009. She holds a CDEA degree. Lisa has worked with infants and one year-olds for over 15 years. She is passionate about the children learning to talk, use silverware, and become independent.

Hope Guzman

Newell Drive

Teacher

Hope joined Baby Gator in August 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Florida International University. She has over 20 years of experience in childcare, teaching music to children between the ages of 3 and 12 and teaching Early Childhood Education to children between 2 and 4 years old. Hope enjoys creating Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math centers to engage the natural curiosity in science and nature that appears evident in preschoolers.

 

 

Debra Havlik

Diamond Village

Teacher

Debbie joined Baby Gator in July of 2012.  She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. Debbie has worked with children infants through school age for over 25 years as a teacher, summer camp counselor, a TSS (therapeutic staff) art teacher, and as a after school counselor. She is passionate about the childhood years and feels that the learning that occurs during this time should be a positive and fun experience.

Samantha Hayes

Newell Drive

Teacher

Samantha has explored and worked with children in a variety of different age groups, but has her Child Development Associate Credential in children from birth to 3. When asked what she likes most about teaching, Sam said that she loves each age group for different reasons, but in general l, loves watching each child grow into their own unique personality.

Jessica Hunt

Newell Drive

Teacher

Jessica joined Baby Gator in May of 2017. She holds a B.S. in Early Childhood Education. Jessica has worked with children ages 15 months to 5 years for the past year during her college research and internships. She is passionate about drawing out each child’s unique talents and fostering their healthy development. Most of all, she finds joy in each day she sees her students smiling while they’re learning something new.

Lily Hutchinson

Newell Drive

Teacher

Lily joined Baby Gator in the December of 2014. She hold B.A., B.Ed., M.A., degrees and pursuing M.Ed. Lily has worked with Elementary and Middle School children for over 12 years, as a lead and as subject teacher. She is very passionate about building a positive attitude in her students and inspire them to become life-long learners.

Todd Ireland

Diamond Village

Teacher

Todd joined Baby Gator in March of 2015. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Justice Studies and Early Childhood Education. Todd has worked with children aging from four to five-years-old for 8 years as an environmental educator, park ranger, and substitute teacher. He is passionate about allowing children to be creative, think for themselves, and introducing children to the outdoor environment and science.

Vicaylah Johnson

Diamond Village

Teacher

Vicaylah Johnson (Caylah) joined Baby Gator in January 2017. Caylah has worked with babies to 5-year-olds for about 3 years as a classroom teacher. She is currently working toward a career in the air force. During her free time, she enjoys spending time with her son at home and around the community. She is passionate about giving young children a great head start in their early education and can always be found with a smile on her face.

Julie Johnston

Newell Drive

Teacher

Julie joined Baby Gator in December of 2012. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Professional Studies with a concentration in Psychology and a CDA. Julie has over 25 years of experience working with many age groups from infants through adolescence, and with adults as a parent educator in classroom and administrative settings.  She is passionate about helping children develop early literacy skills and supporting parents in their role as their child’s first teacher.

KyungAe Kim

Lake Alice

Teacher

KyungAe (who goes by her last name Kim) joined Baby Gator in August 2016. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree, a Master’s Degree, a CDA, and a Director’s Credential. She has worked with many age groups from infants through college students in the United States and overseas for more than 25 years. She is passionate about building a stable, positive, creative atmosphere for children and excite them about learning.

 

Adrian Klempert

Lake Alice

Teacher

Adrian Klempert joined the Baby Gator Team on August 7th, 2017. She holds an Associate of Arts degree in Sociology, and is working on completing her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Her passion to help young children establish a foundation for learning that will last a lifetime. Adrian has worked with children, ranging from tow weeks to nine years of age, for over 8 years. When it comes to children, she is inspired by their imagination and creative thinking. During her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and gardening.

 

 

Kaitlyn Koch

Newell Drive

Teacher

Kaitlyn joined Baby Gator in March of 2017. She has worked with children 6 weeks to 9 years old for the last five years. She is passionate about helping children embrace their differences and growing together. She especially loves spending quality time with children to get to know them on a deeper, more personal level. She really enjoys small group and one-on-one time because it allows her to build a stronger, more comfortable relationship with each child. She is looking forward to continuing her education as a teacher.

Jacquetta Lang

Newell Drive

Teacher

Jacquetta recently joined Baby Gator staff with an Associates Degree in Education. She has been working in the education field for the past 6 years. Working with the kids is her passion, specifically education them. The look of children’s faces when they achieve their goal is all the motivation she needs to continue enriching their lives at Baby Gator.

Adrian Lee

Lake Alice

Teacher

Adrian Lee joined Baby Gator July 2017. She holds a Child Development Associates and has worked with one and two-year-olds for over 10 years. Adrian is planning to continue her education by pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. One of Adrian’s inspiration is seeing the happy faces of the children in her care. She enjoys making sure they have a fun filled day with lots of learning and laughs.

Irma Morales

Newell Drive

Teacher

Irma joined Baby Gator in May 2017. She holds a CDA and is now going to start on her Associates degree in Early Childhood Education. She has worked with children ranging from birth to 5 years old, children with special needs and as a homeschool teacher for about 10 years. She loves working with children because they are enthusiastic, loving and bring something new to her everyday. In the end, the children are the ones who inspire her.

Lorene Morgan

Diamond Village

Cook

Lorene joined Baby Gator in September of 2014. Before joining Baby Gator, Lorene was a cook for 11 years at Idylwild Elementary School, Joseph Williams Elementary School, and Eastside High School. Lorene has worked with children ages 3 to 15 for the past 15 years and she herself is a mother of 10. She is passionate about her job as a cook because she loves the relationships she builds with people. Lorene loves smiling and making people’s day. She loves when the children look forward to seeing her or tell her they miss her when she is out.  She is fascinated by the languages that the children speak and would love to learn more about it. In her leisure time, Lorene enjoys fishing, going to church, and giving back to the needy.

Fariha Munshi

Lake Alice

Teacher

Fariha joined Baby Gator in August 2016. She is an AMS and NCME certified Montessori teacher and is in the process of continuing her education. She has worked with children aged 3 to 6 in Montessori schools in NJ and has been teaching overall for the last 11 years. Fariha is passionate about teaching because she believes it is her calling. She believes in the children’s individual potential and believes that children see the world through a lens that adults cannot. She believes that every child’s truth is their reality and she loves that she gets to be a part of that reality as an educator.

 

Kathleen Placke

Diamond Village

Teacher

Katie joined Baby Gator in February 2015. She holds a CDA. Katie has worked with infants through 12 year-olds for over five years as a teacher. She enjoys working with children of all ages and their families. Katie loves to help build a strong foundation within each child with her fun and interactive teaching style to encourage the children to have a lifetime love of learning.

Roselyn Rasonable

Lake Alice

Cook

Roselyn joined Baby Gator April 2016. She has had a passion for cooking since she was six years old. Professionally, she has catering since 2011. Roselyn enjoys cooking because she gets to experiment with spices and she loves exploring different cultures through their cuisine. She also loves when the children try new foods and learn to like the different things they try.

Marlana Rawls

Lake Alice

Teacher

Marlana joined Baby Gator in November of 2011.  She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Family, Youth and Community Sciences and is currently working on a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. Marlana has worked with infants to five year-olds for the past few years as a teacher, volunteer, and substitute. She enjoys building a nurturing bond with children as well as witnessing their social and emotional development.

Cathy Reedy

Lake Alice

Teacher

Cathy joined Baby Gator in May of 2013. She holds an Associate of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education, is working towards a Bachelor’s, and has a Director’s Credential. Cathy has worked with infants to six year-olds for most of the last 20 years as a teacher or nanny. She loves sparking and encouraging interests in science but finds it most rewarding to help children learn about their emotions and how to appropriately deal with them. In her spare time she can be found at Disney World with her husband or feeding her space/astronaut passion.

Yecenia Rincon

Diamond Village

Teacher

Yecenia joined Baby Gator in September 2013. She has a BS in Industrial Engineering and a Child Development Associate (CDA) National Credential. She started working with children four and five years old as a VPK teacher since 2004. Yecenia is fluent in Spanish and she likes to incorporate the language into her lessons. Yecenia feels a strong commitment to her students, preparing them for all the challenges that they will have to face in the future. Her strongest motivation is to learn and remain updated about the culture, habits, and the educational system in USA.

Anne Roberts

Diamond Village, Lake Alice, Newell Drive

Music Coordinator

Anne joined Baby Gator in May of 2000. She holds a B.A. in Child Development. Anne has worked with children ages six weeks to 11 years-old for 33 years as a music teacher and Prekindergarten teacher. Anne is passionate about sharing her love of music and literacy with children and helping them to develop their own styles of creative expression.

 

Rene Rybacek

Newell Drive

Teacher

Rene joined Baby Gator in September of 2004. She has an AA degree and a CDA .She has worked for more than 25 years with children as a teacher and preschool director. She likes watching children learn all about the world around them. She believes in active learning. She thinks we should keep creativity in the classroom such as yoga, dance, art, music and play. She enjoys finding out what makes kids happy and embraces learning at school.

Jordan Sandberg

Lake Alice

Teacher

Jordan Sandberg joined Baby Gator in April 2017.She holds an Associates Degree in Engineering. After taking a gap year to serve with Appalachia Service Project (a home repair ministry in Central Appalachia) she came back to Gainesville and decided to continue her education in UF’s Family, Youth, and Community Services program. Jordan has worked with children of all ages, from newborn to 18, through church ministry programs for over 10 years. She feels called to foster healthy growth and development of all children, but she is particularly inspired by the carefree and excitable spirit of the children at Baby Gator.

Lois Schwartz

Newell Drive

Teacher

Lois joined Baby Gator in March 2017. She holds a CDA and has taught toddlers for three years. She is inspired by fun and nerdiness. In the classroom, Lois enjoys doing sensory and science projects, the messier the better. This fall she is going back to Santa Fe College to finish her A.S. in early childhood education.

Maris Smith

Lake Alice

Teacher

Maris Smith joined Baby Gator in August 2015. Maris has worked with children from infants to 5 year olds and currently works with the younger one year olds as a teacher. She loves watching them grow and enjoys developing them into unique individuals. Additionally, Maris enjoys witnessing the interaction of the children with their diverse backgrounds and their involvement with their classmates. Maris came to the United States from Cebu Philippines in 2008. She presently is working on her National certificate. As a mom of a Baby Gator graduate, she feels her child was greatly influenced by the wonderful atmosphere of Baby Gator.

Lyric Spoonamore

Newell Drive

Teacher

Lyric joined Baby Gator in February 2017. She holds a CDA and has worked with children of all ages for seven years as a teacher and volunteer. She is passionate about helping children learn and grow to their full capacity. She believes it’s a great feeling to educate their young minds to know that what you do has a big impact on their life.

Katie Stanley

Newell Drive

Teacher

Katie joined Baby Gator in June 2015. She holds an Associate of Science in Elementary Education and a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. Katie has worked with one to four year olds at A Child’s Academy and at Baby Gator. She is passionate about watching children learn and grow daily and seeing their progressions throughout the year.

Shy Thony

Lake Alice

Teacher

Shy joined Baby Gator in July 2014. She holds an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in the same field. She has worked with ages birth through ten-year-olds for four years as a classroom teacher, afterschool aide, and babysitter. She brings lots of fun, laughter and creative ideas to her Growing Gator classroom. She is passionate about teaching and providing the best tools needed for her young thinkers to strive for greatness. She enjoys children’s vibrant personalities and innocent spirits. In her spare time, Shy enjoys reading books by her favorite author (Dr. Seuss) to her two year old son.

Tina Vilca

Newell Drive

Teacher

Tina Vilca joined Baby Gator in October 2014. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education. Tina has worked with toddlers to five year-olds for more than 10 years in a classroom. She loves being part of children’s growth and development as they move through different stages and is passionate about making learning the most fun experience.

Vanessa Villavicencio

Newell Drive

Teacher

Vanessa joined Baby Gator in July 2015. She is close to completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. Vanessa has worked with children from 1 to 4 years of age as a teacher. She is inspired by the children’s imagination and their power to teach her as much as she teaches them.

Sharon Williams

Lake Alice

Teacher

Sharon joined Baby Gator in June 2015. She holds an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education and a graduate degree in Teaching and Curriculum from Penn State University. Sharon has worked with children from infant – high school seniors for more than 20 years. She likes to partner with parents in providing a great foundation for the children with an emphasis on supporting children’s motivation to learn and helping them develop positive attitudes towards learning.

Jessica Williams

Lake Alice

Teacher

Jessica joined Baby Gator in October of 2015. Jessica has worked with children from birth through five-year-olds for over five years as a classroom teacher and teacher assistant. She loves working with children of all ages and simply enjoys discovering new ideas to help them grow and reach their potential.

Karen Wilson

Lake Alice

Teacher

Karen Wilson joined Baby Gator in February 2015. She holds a Master’s Degree in Literacy and Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development/Education. She has 25 years of experience teaching, mostly in early elementary education. Karen enjoys working with children because they are so open to learning almost anything!  She hopes to provide a good base for their future and encourage them to be inquisitive about all things.

Madelyn Yurko

Lake Alice

Teacher

Madelyn joined Baby Gator in November of 2012. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s Degree in Education. She has worked with preschool children for the past 16 years as a teacher. She loves working with children of all ages and especially enjoys discovering new ideas to help them grow and reach their potential.