News Archive


Faculty Announcements
Posted 07/31/2017 09:00AM

Welcome New Elementary School Faculty

This is the fourth article in a series introducing new CDS faculty, administrators, and staff members for the 2017-2018 school year. We are pleased to welcome several new and returning teachers to the elementary school faculty next year.

Andrew Kim
Fifth Grade Teacher & MAP Testing Coordinator

Andrew KimAndrew Kim returns to CDS this year as a permanent member of the elementary faculty. This past March, Andrew worked with our second grade team as an aide and then as a long-term substitute teacher. He has 10 years of experience in education and also worked in the IT field as a network engineer. Before moving to Tampa from Athens, GA, he led in a team-teaching environment where he taught all content areas in a multi-age classroom of 4th-6th grade students.

Andrew was born in Seoul, Korea but attended schools in Hong Kong until he came to the United States for college. He holds a BA in History from Oberlin College and received Montessori certifications for both the Lower and Upper Elementary.

Tanya Layton
Second Grade Teacher 

Tanya LaytonAn alumnus of Carrollwood Day School, Tanya Layton returned to CDS first as a parent (daughter, Lexi, will be a 4th grader at CDS this year), and in 2014 she joined the faculty as a prekindergarten teacher at the ECC. This year Tanya moves to the elementary school where she will teach 2nd grade. Prior to teaching at CDS, Tanya had 12 years experience teaching grades 1 and 3 in public schools where she was nominated Teacher of the Year and served as a team leader for three years. Tanya earned an associate degree at Pasco Hernando Community College and her B.S. in early childhood education at University of South Florida.

As a classroom teacher, Tanya guides her students through the process of becoming self-reliant, taking charge of their learning, giving purpose and ownership to their learning. “Empowering children to see their potential and then own their progress toward that is my greatest accomplishment.  For my students, their biggest reward is the sense of accomplishment they get when completing a task to their own high expectations.”

Melissa Lisi
Fourth Grade Teacher

Melissa LisiWe are delighted to welcome back Melissa Lisi (and her son, Anthony) to the elementary school after a one-year hiatus. Melissa taught 3rd grade at CDS for eight years and returns to teach 4th grade. Melissa is an enthusiastic elementary school teacher who excels in cultivating and maintaining positive and productive relationships with parents, students, administrators, and the community.  With significant education experience and a solid foundation in best practices for all content areas, she enhances student engagement for learning by creating interactive lessons and establishes high expectations for students to help them reach their greatest potential. Melissa has proven herself to be a skilled educator who continues to expand knowledge of current best practices and strives to constantly improve. Beyond the classroom, Melissa was also an assistant coach for the CDS varsity girls soccer team.

Melissa earned her M.S. in education preparation from Medaille College and her B.S in health and human services: early childhood from University at Buffalo.

Malu Molano
School Counselor

Malu MolanoMalu Molano is experienced working with students from pre-K through high school, implementing new programs, providing guidance lessons, advisory programs, teaching study skills, facilitating parenting workshops, providing individual and group counseling, and assisting in college counseling. An advocate for Mindfulness and Yoga for children, this past March she presented at the American School Association of South America conference in Rio de Janeiro about implementing mindfulness in the classroom.

Malu comes to CDS from Brazil where she was the lower school guidance counselor at International School of Curitiba. She has also worked in Mexico City as the head guidance counselor at The American School Foundation, A.C. and taught psychology/counseling to undergraduate students at the Mexico City campus of Endicott College. Prior to her international experiences, she provided guidance and counseling services at a number of schools and agencies in Sarasota, FL and Virginia.

Malu has a B.S. in psychology from Marymount University and her M.S. in Clinical Community Counseling from Johns Hopkins University.

Lana Vargo
Second Grade Teacher

Lana VargoLana Vargo joins CDS as she begins her 18th year teaching. She graduated from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. She has worked in the Hillsborough County Public School district at Seminole Heights Elementary, Just Elementary, and Sulphur Springs K-8 Community School where she has taught first, second, and third grades and was a mentor for beginning teachers. She also worked at The Bowman Academy where she taught Pre-K 4/5.

Lana and her husband have two boys who keep her busy with all their activities, and she loves every minute of it! “I am looking forward to joining the CDS staff and working with your children.”

Elementary School Faculty Changes

As was announced in June 2017,  Stacey Hendershot has been named Assistant Head of Lower School – Elementary as part of the consolidation of the ECC and elementary school into the Lower School.

Mrs. Buscemi, Lower School Head, is pleased to announce that two additional new positions have been established at the elementary level to support the faculty in utilization of resources and implementation of key programs.

In addition to her responsibilities as a 5th grade classroom teacher, Hayley Architetto will serve as the Writing Coach. In this role she will work as a colleague with classroom teachers to support student learning and success. She will focus on individual and group professional development that will expand and refine the understanding about researched-base effective instruction, in particular the implementation of the Lucy Culkins writing curriculum and Six-Traits writing.

In the newly created position of MAP Testing Coordinator, Andrew Kim will coordinate the administration of the Measures of Academic Progress™ (MAP) testing and will work with the administration and faculty to generate effective strategies to enhance learning based on the assessment data. 

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