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.

Tiffany Burkes

Lake Alice

Team Teacher

Tiffany joined Baby Gator September 2017. She holds a Child Development Associate Credential. Tiffany has worked with a variety of ages in the past 4 years. She is passionate about encouraging each child to embrace their personality and creativity through art and play. With her patience, love, and understanding of how the young mind works, it is her hope to bring out each child’s greatest attributes.

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.

Tanasia Carey

Newell Drive

Teacher

Tanasia joined Baby Gator in April 2018. She comes to us with over two years of experience in the Early Childhood Education field and is currently working on her Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education. The smiles that children bring melt her heart. Tanasia loves to see children’s eyes light up when they are introduced to new things. One of her favorite things to do is to run around and be goofy with the children.

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.

Irmary Chaparro-Morales

Newell Drive

Team 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.

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.

Terrance Commons

Lake Alice

Teacher

Terrence joined Baby Gator in September of 2017. He holds a Bachelors of Science in Psychology and a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology. He has 6 years of experience working and volunteering with young children. One of Terrence’s inspiration is the fresh perspective children have on the world, and he loves helping them create relationships between different concepts as well as people.

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.

Theresa Duranty

Lake Alice

Teacher

Theresa Duranty joined Baby Gator in May 2018. She holds an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education. Theresa has worked with children ranging from infants to elementary school age for the past 15 years in an early childcare setting. She is passionate about children and helping them succeed at whatever it may be. In her free, time Theresa enjoys going to the beach and spending time with her family.

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.

Maria Fernanda

Newell Drive

Teacher

Maria Fernanda joined Baby Gator in November 2017. She is working on finishing her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. Maria has worked with 2 and 3 year olds as a full-time teacher in a preschool setting for the last two years. She loves teaching children new experiences in a fun and educational manner and enjoys hearing their contagious laughs, Maria also finds joy in being a reliable person that children can trust.

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.

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

Lake Alice

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.

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

Lake Alice

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 a 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 two 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.

 

 

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

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.

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.

Ana Vazquez

Newell Drive

Teacher

Anan Vazquez joined Baby Gator in November of 2016 as a substitute teacher, and then joined us full time in the beginning of 2018. Currently, she holds an Associates of Arts degree, and is pursuing a Bachelors of Early Childhood Education. She has 3 years of experience working with children between the ages of 3 months to 12 years of age. Her drive for this profession comes from seeing young children grown into who they are, and witnessing their personalities develop.

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.