Teaching Staff

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

Becky Ames

Diamond Village

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.

Irmary Chaparro-Morales

Newell Drive

Teacher

Irmary Chaparro-Morales started with Baby Gator in March 2018. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Nursing. Irmary has take care of children from birth to preschool age. For the past 5 years, she has worked with children with disabilities. She is passionate about teaching children and helping to develop their love of discovering new things. She creates a positive environment where children can learn independence, be creative, and have fun doing so.

Lauren Dillingham

Newell Drive

Teacher

Lauren recently moved back to Florida from Chicago with her teenage son. She started her teaching journey in 2010 and she holds a Bachelor’s Degree from University of Arizona Global Campus in early childhood education. She has worked with infants through 3rd graders as an assistant, lead, and co-teacher. She loves the 3-5 year old age group and seeing them have those “ah-ha” moments. She also loves letting their creative juices flow through the arts.

Amanda Dong

Newell Drive

Teacher

Amanda has been working in a preschool childcare setting for over nine and a half years. She has her Associate of Science in Early Childhood Education, and is completing her Bachelor of Science in summer of 2022. She also has her Director’s Credential, Staffing Credential, VPK certification and is First Aid / CPR certified. When not at work you can find Amanda helping out at Carson Springs Wildlife Conservation educating visitors about the animals there.

Austi Farley

Newell Drive

Teacher

AJ joined Baby Gator in March 2020. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication. AJ has worked with infant to 4 year-old children for six years in home care, private daycare, and as a lead teacher in a childcare facility. She is inspired by seeing kids accomplish things that once didn’t seem possible. Knowing that learning itself is a skill and that play makes it possible to learn creates a passion for creative lessons. AJ loves playing with children and encouraging them to use manners and imagination in every phase of their day. A combination of structure and compassion allows children to grow into who they desire to be.

Katie Greeley

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.

Lisa Gurule

Diamond Village

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

Diamond Village

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.

 

 

Karlee Hawkins

Diamond Village

Teacher

Karlee Hawkins joined Baby Gator in August of 2022. She holds a degree in Early Childhood Education. Karlee has worked with infant to 7 years old, for 13 years. She volunteered for four summers as a camp counselor for Special Needs Children where she provided round the clock care for the children. She worked as an EDEP Arts and Crafts Teacher at Caroline Beatrice Parker Elementary School. She has worked in a few different preschools such as Sonshine Preschool, this past Summer. She also worked at Santa Fe College’s Preschool, Little School. She is passionate about working with children of all ages. She enjoys being a creative planner, thinking outside of the box, optimistic and loves to create new and exciting activities for children to be engaged in. Karlee is passionate about her work at Baby Gator. She enjoys interacting with many different age groups as the preschool floater and teacher here. What she loves most about her work environment is working with such kind hearted, caring and welcoming staff.

Caylynn Howard

Newell Drive

Teacher

Caylynn joined Baby Gator in October 2020. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. Caylynn has worked with infants to 4 years olds for 7 years in a preschool setting. She is passionate about helping children grow in a safe and loving environment. She believes the most important aspect of teaching is allowing the children to teach us as well.

Cherish Jackson

Newell Drive

Teacher

Cherish joined Baby Gator in may 2018. She is currently working towards completing her Associates of Arts degree in Elementary Education. Cherish has worked with children from infants up to 8 years of age. She is passionate about teaching and helping children mature. Nothing makes her happier than knowing she is making a positive impact in a child’s life.

Mahnoor Khan

Diamond Village

Teacher

Mahnoor Khan joined Baby Gator in July 2022. This is her first year teaching and during her past five months Mahnoor has had the chance to care for some incredible preschoolers, toddlers, and infants. She is 28 years old, and has received her Bachelors in Economic Development from Pakistan in 2018. She is married and has two wonderful kids, and genuinely enjoys nurturing and caring for preschoolers. Her love for kids fills her heart with joy to watch them grow. She is very excited to be part of a wonderful team of teachers at Baby Gator.

Adrian Klempert

Diamond Village

Teacher

Adrian Klempert joined Baby Gator on February 16, 2022. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Early childhood Education, and a Master’s Degree in Education with a Concentration on Instructional Leadership. Adrian has worked with ages ranging from infants to 14 years of age for 10 years. She is passionate about early childhood education. During her free time, she enjoys gardening and spending time with family. When it comes to children, she enjoys watching them master new skills and bring their imaginations to life through play and the arts.

Jamie Krasnow

Newell Drive

Teacher

Jamie joined Baby Gator in December 2018. She holds an Associate Degree in psychology. Jamie has worked with toddlers for four years, and has worked with preschool children of all age groups for six years. She is most passionate about helping young children blossom into the distinctive individuals that they are, as well as allowing them to each positively express themselves and share their feelings in their own unique way.

Lynn Macha

Newell Drive

Teacher

Lynn joined Baby Gator in September 2020. She holds a Child Development Associates Credential and has worked with infants to 5 year old’s for 17 years. She is passionate about using encouragement, and inspirations to instill love of learning in children.

Ashley Mathena

Newell Drive

Teacher

Ashley joined Baby Gator in June 2022. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Child Development and Family Relations from the University of Idaho. Ashley has worked with all ages of children for 3 years in Idaho, for her last year of school she was a co-teacher to a preschool age classroom. She is passionate about high quality early childhood education and social-emotional education. The children she works with inspire her everyday with their eagerness to learn.

Jennifer Matias

Newell Drive

Teacher

Jennifer joined Baby Gator in January 2018. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Santa Fe College. Before becoming a teacher, Jenn worked as a substitute teacher at Baby Gator in every class-from infants to VPK. Prior to joining the Baby Gator team, most of her experience comes from volunteering for many years in VPK and Pre-K ESE in Marion County Public Schools. Jennifer loves creating a positive environment where children feel comfortable and providing children with a love for school and learning. Her favorite thing is giving children the foundation they need to continue to grow into the little person they are meant to become.

Ashley Mears

Diamond Village

Teacher

Ashley joined Baby Gator in August 2022. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Psychology. Ashley has worked with children from birth to elementary-school age. She is passionate about encouraging imaginative playing and helping children learn to interact with their environment. Ashley is inspired by seeing children express curiosity about the world around them.

Angela Mesia Ruiz

Diamond Village

Teacher

Angela joined Baby Gator in July 2019. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Art from City College of New York. For the past 15 years Angela has worked with young children, as a caregiver, a teaching assistant, and a teacher of children ranging from infants to early elementary. She is passionate about early childhood education and encouraging children to explore their creativity and curiosity for the arts. Angela strives to work with each child to enhance their motor skills and language development in both English and Spanish. In her free time, Angela enjoys photography, riding her bike, going to the beach, and most of all spending time with her family.

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.

Fariha Munshi

Diamond Village

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.

 

Haley Noel

Newell Drive

Teacher

Haley joined Baby Gator in August 2020. She has an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. Haley has worked with all ages of children for 3 years. She is passionate about teaching, enjoys spending time with her family, and is inspired by kids having their lightbulb moments.

Ariana Pernalete

Newell Drive

Teacher

Ariana Pernalete joined Baby Gator in December 2020. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. Ariana has 15 years of experience working with children 4-12 years of age. She is passionate about making their first experience the best of many more to come their way.

Sydney Ray

Newell Drive

Teacher

Sydney Ray joined Baby Gator March of 2021. She will be completing her Associates of Arts Degree in the summer term of 2021. Sydney has worked with children from ages 2 months to 5 years for the past three years, working mostly with 2-year-olds. She is inspired everyday by the joy and imagination of the kids she works with.

Cathy Reedy

Diamond Village

Teacher

Cathy joined Baby Gator in May of 2013. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in early childhood education, director credential, and has worked with young children and families for over 20 years. Some of her favorite things to do with children are encouraging an interest in the natural world, helping them learn to navigate their emotions, and engaging in meaningful play experiences. Outside of the classroom she spends time with her husband, preferably at Disney. She is also very passionate about supporting and advocating for foster/adoptive families. A few of her favorite hobbies are also reading and crocheting.

 

 

Hana Remz

Diamond Village

Teacher

Hana joined Baby Gator in July 2022. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from UF and a master’s degree in early childhood education from Texas A&M. Hana has taught pre-k for the past nine years, and she has also coached elementary-aged children. She is passionate about developing children’s approach to learning and believes it’s important to teach children not what to think but how to think and problem solve.

Yecenia Rincon

Newell Drive

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

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.

 

Abby Shaw

Diamond Village

Teacher

Abby Shaw joined Baby Gator in November 2021. She holds a Child Development Associate Credential and has over 30 years of experience. In those 30 years of experience Abby has worked with a variety of age groups. She is passionate about the growth of children and loves helping them succeed with their development. With 5 older children and 6 grandchildren of her own, being surrounded by children is a true joy to her.

Maris Smith

Newell Drive

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.

Danisha Smith

Newell Drive

Teacher

Danisha Smith was a previous Baby Gator employee back in 2016, and has been recently reinstated this past April of 2021. She currently holds a Child Development Associates and has been working with infants to 2 year old’s for over 6 years. Her teaching style is that of nurturing, caring, and loving children as if they were her own. In her spare time she enjoys shopping, eating, and sleeping. One of her favorite places is the beach. Getting to see each child’s development, and learning first hand as they grown and flourish under her care is what in spires her to go to work everyday.

Savannah Thomas

Diamond Village

Team Teacher

Savannah joined Baby Gator in June 2015. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s in Special Education. Savannah has worked with infants through fifth graders over the past five years through various internships and through being a substitute at Baby Gator. She loves the challenge of developing new ways to inspire a love of learning and emotional growth in children.

Bonquisha Tolliver

Newell Drive

Teacher

Bonquisha joined Baby Gator in July 2022 . She holds a Florida Child Care Professional Credential. Bonquisha has worked with children 6 weeks to 13 years of age for 11 years inside and outside of the classroom. She is passionate about the teaching , safety , and wellbeing of all children. She’s interested in becoming a 1st grade teacher, and also loves hearing, seeing, the children she teaches use their imagination. Being the oldest of her siblings inspired her to want to become a role model and an inspiration to other children.

Maria Torres

Newell Drive

Teacher

Maria Torres joined Baby Gator in October 2021. She has an Associate’s degree in early childhood education. Maria has worked with preschoolers for over 15 years, helping her students acquire the skills they need to be successful in the future. Maria is very passionate about helping her young students master their academic and social skills. Her student’s energy and determination inspires her. Maria is aware that early childhood education is the cornerstone for future success and is more than happy to be there for her students as they overcome challenges and barriers.

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

Diamond Village

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.