News Archive


Welcome to CDS
Posted 08/04/2019 02:53PM

Introducing New Faculty & Staff!

New Faculty

We extend a warm welcome to the talented faculty and staff joining CDS in 2019. They bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to our community and we are delighted to have them on board. 

LOWER SCHOOL FACULTY

 Kailey Cleary

Kailey Cleary
Prekindergarten 4 Teacher

Kailey Cleary graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. After four years of working as a substitute teacher at the ECC, she is eagerly looking forward to teaching Pre-K 4 this school year. Through her college internships, Kailey has gained experience teaching in preschool, kindergarten, and first grade classrooms.

 

 Natalie Coney

Natalie Coney
Prekindergarten 4 Teacher

Natalie Coney graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in economics in 2004. She continued her studies, graduating with a master's degree in elementary education also from the University of Florida. Upon graduation, Natalie moved to Tampa and began teaching at Westchase Elementary. Throughout her teaching career, Natalie has taught in both private and public education. She has worked with students ranging from kindergarten to 4th grade. Natalie has spent time both in and out of the classroom over the last 13 years as she and her husband, Josh, have been blessed with four children. After staying home with "number four" for two years, she returned to the classroom last spring to finish the year for a CDS Pre-K 4 teacher who was relocating to another city with her family.

 Melinda Gonzalez

Melinda Gonzales
2nd Grade Teacher

Melinda Gonzales grew up in Toronto, Canada and went to school at University of Central Florida in Orlando where she graduated with a degree in Early Childhood Education. She taught kindergarten, 2nd and 3rd grades in Orange County since 2000.  

Melinda and her three sons who will be in grades 2, 4, and 6 are all excited to join the CDS family.

 Bryan McGrath

Bryan McGrath
Computer Teacher

Bryan McGrath, aka Mr. M, is excited to be returning to CDS for his second year as our Elementary Computer Teacher. A certified I-Teach educator, Bryan received his Masters from the University of South Florida in May of 2012.  

Prior to teaching, he worked for an employee engagement and retention firm in New York City. "Praise, recognition, and celebration of accomplishments really prepared me to connect with the amazing students here at Carrollwood Day School."

When not ferrying his three kids to various school and club activities he is an avid reader, supporter of the Lightning, and enjoys a night out at the Straz with his wife, Sunita. 

 Stephanie Rodriguez

Stephanie Rodriguez
5th Grade Teacher
 

Having worked in the education field for ten years, Stephanie Rodriguez is very passionate and driven to ensure each and every child finds success academically, emotionally, and socially. After graduating from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, Mrs. Rodriguez’s life-long vision of becoming a teacher was fulfilled. She started her teaching career in Apollo Beach at Doby Elementary, and then continued her career teaching at Bevis Elementary in Lithia, FL with a year exception teaching abroad in Seville, Spain where she taught English to foreign speakers. Mrs. Rodriguez is also endorsed in teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), certified in teaching Elementary Education, Exceptional Student Education, and working towards her endorsement as a Teacher of the Gifted. She has served as an elementary STEM fair judge for Hillsborough County, and trained in screening students for identification into the Gifted Program. In 2017, Mrs. Rodriguez was recognized by the state of Florida as a High Impact Teacher, and continues her professional growth to ensure a high quality education for her students.

Mrs. Rodriguez enjoys spending time with her husband, Julio, and her two year old daughter, Sofia. Together, they share a love of adventure and travel frequently. 

 Ruth Urzola

Ruth Urzola
Spanish Teacher

Ruth Urzola was born in Bogota, Colombia. She attended La Gran Colombia University and earned a BA in teaching Spanish and English as a second language. She also holds a Master degree in teaching Spanish as a second language from “La Rioja” International University (Spain). She has the National CDA credential, Director Credential, Staff Credential, and AA in Early Childhood.

Ruth began her teaching career in Colombia. She worked as a Spanish teacher and supervisor for over twelve years; teaching students from elementary, middle, and high school. From there, she moved to Florida and worked as a bilingual lead teacher at Hillsborough County, Head Start Program for fourteen years.

“I’m excited to be part of the CDS family. I look forward to becoming a valuable asset to this prestigious academic team.”

MIDDLE SCHOOL FACULTY
Christina Haggard

Christina Haggard
6th grade Math Teacher

Christina Haggard is originally from Topeka Kansas. She moved to Florida in 2000 and earned an AS Degree from St. Petersburg College in 2003 and a bachelor degree in Physics and Mathematics from Florida State University in 2008. After college she traveled around the country and spent some time in Germany touring the sites. Christina started teaching at Pinellas County schools in 2014 and has taught pre-algebra and advanced math.

When not teaching she enjoys being outdoors doing activities like going to the beach and bike riding. "I am very excited to being a new member of the Carrollwood Day School community."

Angela Ruth

Angela Ruth
8th grade Humanities Teacher

Angela Ruth holds both a Liberal Studies bachelor’s degree from the University of Tampa and a master’s degree from the University of South Florida in American History. Prior to becoming a teacher, Angela spent several years leading Holland & Knight’s Opening Doors for Children education program and Holocaust Remembrance Project. Angela began teaching American History at Hillsborough Community College in 2015, and last year she taught World History Honors at Sickles High School. Angela had always wanted to become a teacher to younger students and looks forward to fulfilling her dream as a member of the Carrollwood Day School community and its outstanding IB program that nurtures academic and personal achievements. She is very excited about introducing new topics in humanities and watching the wonder in the eyes of her students.

Angela speaks conversational Greek and that fact comes in handy during her travels to her grandparents’ hometowns of Nafplion and Argos. She lives with her husband Daniel with whom she raised two sons. Then, they watched them fly away to live their dreams in Hong Kong and Durham, North Carolina.

UPPER SCHOOL FACULTY
 Sherri Alan

Sherri Alan
MYP Engineering and Design Tech Teacher

Sherri Alan will join our US Design Technology department this fall as an Engineering and Entrepreneurship instructor. Sherri earned a BS in General Engineering from Spelman College and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech before working in the field as an industrial engineer and business unit manager.  She transitioned to a career in education in 2017, teaching mathematics at Lyons Creek Middle and Tyrone Middle. She is excited to bring her two worlds together as she grows our Project Lead the Way engineering curriculum in the Upper School.

 Colin DeHate

Colin DeHate
MYP Biology Teacher

Colin DeHate will join the science department as our 9th grade Biology teacher. He has spent the past five years at Seffner Christian teaching biology and anatomy and this year started their dual enrollment program in biology, serving as an adjunct professor at Southeastern University. He is a Tampa native with his MA from USF in Toxicology and Risk Assessment and a BA in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from Clearwater Christian, where he also played basketball.

In addition to teaching, Colin will be serving as our Varsity Boys’ Basketball Coach.

Lisa Esch

Lisa Esch
MYP and DP Physics Teacher

We are happy to welcome Lisa Esch as our Upper School Physics teacher next year. A product of an independent school education, Lisa attended Green Farms Academy in CT before completing her BA in Physics and Astronomy at Northwestern University. She went on to pursue her PhD in Astrophysics at Yale, leaving after completing two masters degrees, an MPhil in Astrophysics and an MS in Astrophysics. Prior to coming to CDS, she was an Adjunct Professor at Pasco-Hernando State College.

 Alex Hertenstein

Alexandra Hertenstein
MYP Mathematics Teacher

Alex Hertenstein joins our Math faculty from Lutz Prep, where she taught Algebra I and Geometry. She has her BA from West Virginia Wesleyan University, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude and played basketball, serving for two years as team captain. She has coached soccer and basketball. She will be teaching 9th grade MYP Mathematics next year.

Jennifer Stanley

Jennifer Stanley
DP Psychology Teacher

Jen Stanley will be moving from our Middle School Humanities Department to our Upper School to teach the IB DP Psychology courses. Mrs. Stanley brings a wealth of experience to this position; she earned her BA in History and her BS in Psychology at Fayetteville State University and holds two MS degrees from California University in Exercise Science and Sports Management in Sports Counseling. She has six years experience as an AP Psychology teacher in Fayetteville, NC and Pasco County Schools where she also taught US History, AP US History, and Government. She is also the Varsity Cross Country and Track & Field Coach. 

 Tim Sturgeon

Tim Sturgeon
MYP History Teacher

We are excited to welcome Tim Sturgeon to the CDS Upper School Humanities Department. Mr. Sturgeon has his BA in Political Science from James Madison University where he also completed his MEd in Education. For the past 29 years he has been teaching US History, AP US History, Geography, AP Micro and Macro Economics, and US Government. For the past eight years he taught overseas at the Fudan International School in Shanghai and the Shenyang Pacific International Academy. Mr. Sturgeon has also assisted with Student Council, Debate, and Model UN. He will be teaching 10th grade US History and US History Extended (AP).

SUPPORT STAFF

 Theresa Capitano

Theresa Capitano
Welcome Center Customer Service Specialist

Theresa Capitano is a Tampa native and has three grown children. She received an Associate of Arts degree from Pasco Hernando Community College. Theresa worked for many years in her family's cigar business and was previously a substitute teacher at CDS.

Theresa is involved in her church, enjoys spending time with her family, exercising, being outdoors, and traveling.


ADDITIONAL STAFFING CHANGES

In addition to welcoming new faculty, several faculty and staff will be taking on exciting new responsibilities this year to continue to meet the needs of our growing school.

  • Lower School News: Meredith Hines, will move from being an ECC Receptionist and the Big Room and Inquiry teacher to being a Prek-3 Assistant Teacher. Former ECC substitute and after care counselor, Aubrey Hines, is excited to make the magic happen this year as the Inquiry and Big Room teacher. Two elementary teachers are moving up one grade this year: Lana Vargo will be teaching 3rd grade and Lorena Dugger joins the 4th grade team. Danielle Earle is leaving the classroom to become the Lower School Learning Specialist. In this role she will use her expertise as an Exceptional Student Education Specialist to provide support to all the Lower School faculty and students.
  • Upper School News: Upper School has added several new courses this year, including DP Film which will be taught by former humanities teacher, Steve Spaulding.

CDS is poised to begin a remarkable school year.

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