Jessica VilorioVice Principal
My name is Mrs. Jessica Vilorio. I have been in the education field for over ten years. I attended the University of South Florida – Tampa and received a Bachelors of Art degree in Political Science in May 2007. I also earned a Masters of Science degree in Educational Leadership from the University of New England. I started teaching elementary school in 2007 but later moved to work with middle and high school students. In May 2010, I was named Miami-Dade Middle School Social Studies Teacher of the Year and in October 2010 I was named as the Dr. Theron Trimble Florida Middle School Social Studies Teacher of the Year for my work with 7th and 8th graders. In June 2011, I was named as Somerset Virtual Academy’s Teacher of the Year for my work with high school students in the virtual classroom.
In August 2011, I left the traditional brick and mortar classroom to come work with Dual Diploma students full time. It has been a pleasure to work with students over the years and I am looking forward to many more years in the field of education.
Nicole OsagieAssistant Principal
I am Mrs. Nicolé Osagie. I moved to the Sunshine state from Connecticut with my wonderful husband. I am the mother to three energetic sons. I received my Bachelors of Science in Political Science from Southern Connecticut State University and my Masters in Exceptional Student Education from Florida Memorial University. I have my certification in Educational Leadership from American College of Education.
I have been an educator since 2007. I taught for 5 years in the traditional brick and mortar classroom as a Social Studies teacher. I have had the pleasure and honor of working with the Dual Diploma program since 2012 working my way from a global teacher, lead teacher and now Assistant Principal. It was an honor to be named Teacher of the Year for both institutions that I have worked for.
I believe that education, regardless of where it occurs, is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it. We must always try to think in positive ways to achieve our goals.
Auralila SerizeAssistant Principal
Ms. Aura Serize lives in Miami, FL. She is married and has a son. She also lives with 2 dogs, a bird, a parrot, many fish and 2 turtles. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Florida International University in 2002 and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University in 2010. She has been teaching at the secondary level since 2002. She has taught at Doral Academy and Pinecrest Preparatory both in Miami, FL and has been teaching Virtual School with AVE since 2011. Ms. Serize strongly believes in the potential of every student and that is what motivates her daily.
“A man is like a fraction whose numerator is what he is and whose denominator is what he thinks of himself. The larger the denominator, the smaller the fraction.” – Tolstoy
Ivette MendezLead Global Teacher
Ivette Mendez graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and a Master’s Degree in English Education. Her professional background includes certifications in the areas of English 6-12, Social Studies 6-12, Math 6-9, and ESOL. Ivette has worked in schools ranging all grade levels, from K-12. She has also worked extensively training teachers and other instructional staff. She is currently a Global Teacher at Academica Virtual Education Dual Diploma Program.
Andres CalaviaDirector of International Development
Lisa BaberLead Global Teacher
My name is Lisa Baber and I am a Global Teacher. I was born and raised in South Florida and currently still reside here. I have a Bachelor’s in Education from University of Central Florida and both a Masters and Specialists Degree in Education from Florida Atlantic University. I’ve been an educator for over 15 years. Every year has been unique and enriching in its own right and I can’t wait to see what this year brings! I’m happily married and have two wonderful children: Raegan and Callahan. In my spare time I enjoy working out, reading, and spending time with my family.
Darlene BraggLead Global Teacher
My name is Darlene Bragg and I am a Global Teacher. I was born and raised in South Florida and currently still reside there with my husband, and two children. In my spare time, I enjoy working out, traveling, relaxing at the beach, and spending time with my family. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Education from Florida Atlantic University, and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Lynn University. I absolutely love being a Global Teacher and meeting students from all over the world. My goal is to facilitate an engaging and effective classroom while helping my students become life-long learners.
Heather SimmonsLead Global Teacher
My name is Heather Simmons, and I am excited to be a Lead Global Teacher with the Dual Diploma Program. I graduated with a Master’s Degree in Education and Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, both from Troy University. I am certified to teach English Language Learners, English, Social Science, and Media Specialist PK-12 grades. I have always had a passion for learning and supporting students in their journey to academic success. I’ve had the privilege to serve as a PLC leader, Professional Development trainer, Mentor, Curriculum Developer, and Global Teacher. I was honored to have received the AVE Dual Diploma Global Teacher of the Year Award for the 2019-2020 school year.
I live in the panhandle of Florida with my husband Josh and three children, Reagan, Amelia, and Lucas. We love riding horses on our farm and going to the beach.
Lucienne AcostaGlobal Teacher
My name is Lucienne Acosta. I was born and raised in sunny Miami, Florida, but now live in Orlando, Fl. I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education from Miami Dade College and my Masters in Business Administration from Florida International University. After graduating, I have worked on earning my professional certifications in Exception Student Education, Secondary English and Secondary Social Studies as well as being endorsed to work in Reading and ESOL. I have a huge passion of working with children and enjoy every second of it. I began as a teacher’s assistant for elementary students during college. Once I graduated, I became a reading teacher to high school students as well as a behavior management teacher. I enjoy spending time with my family and have a passion for being outdoors and exploring all the beauties our earth has to offer!
Kaitlin AlexanderGlobal Teacher
Kaitlin Alexander has been an English and Social Studies teacher since 2012. She has a bachelor’s degree from Florida State University in Political Science and a master’s degree in Reading Education from University of South Florida. She lives in Gainesville, FL with her husband and three children. When she’s not connecting with her students, she loves to swim and ride bikes with her family.
Mckenna AllisonGlobal Teacher
Hello, my name is Mckenna Allison, and I am delighted to be a part of our Dual Diploma team. I am from a small town outside of Orlando, Florida known for our hills and lakes. I attended the University of Florida where I received my bachelor’s degree in fine arts and communications. After graduating, I moved back to my hometown to teach. I was able to work with students ranging from kindergarten to high school. I absolutely love teaching and thrive to connect with each of my students.
I now live in Tulsa, Oklahoma with my husband and our two large, fluffy dogs. They can most likely be found sleeping at my feet during lessons. When I am not teaching, I love painting, cooking, traveling, and playing sports. I am excited for another wonderful year with the Dual Diploma program.
Patricia AltshulerGlobal Teacher
Patti Altshuler has been an educator for over 21 years and with the Dual Diploma Program for 5 years. She holds a Master’s in Education. She believes each and every student has the potential to bring something unique and special to the world. It is her goal to help students develop their potential by believing in them as capable individuals, so they can express their own opinions and nurture their own ideas.
Patti is a mother of four young adults. When she is not teaching, Patricia enjoys traveling, hiking, cooking and loves to read.
Zuilan AlvarezGlobal Teacher
Hello everyone! My name is Zuly Alvarez and I am ecstatic to be part of your academic journey! I have taught students in all grade levels since 1997, but it was at a very young age that I realized my dream was to be in the field of education for the rest of my life. The impact teachers have on their students has a lifetime effect. Empowering them with skills and knowledge will open doors to a world of opportunities. This is why I teach! To me, there’s no greater satisfaction than knowing I was part of their journey.
Aside from being certified in English 6 -12, Social Science 6 -12 and Elementary 1- 6, I hold a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership. I live in Ave Maria, Florida with my husband and two amazing children. When I’m not teaching, I enjoy the simple things like watching a good movie or going to the beach with my family. Learning about different cultures has always been one of my greatest interests. I can’t wait to learn all about you!
I look forward to making wonderful memories with you all!
Martina ArguelloGlobal Teacher
My name is Martina Arguello and I have been working in schools and education since 2007. I have worked as a teacher in Miami, FL and Managua, Nicaragua. I studied education at Miami Dade College and later at Florida International University.
I am certified in English 6-12, Social Science 6-12 and Elementary Education K-6.
I currently live in Miami, FL with my husband and three sons. I love to read and enjoy crochet. I love being a teacher and have a great relationship with all my students. I have learned over the years that every grade level has something special about it. I look forward to meeting new students every year and getting to know them.
Tiffani AtkinsonGlobal Teacher
Tiffani Atkinson is from sunny Tampa, Florida. She graduated with both her bachelor and master’s degrees from the University of South Florida. Because of where she grew up, Tiffani was able to work at the theme parks Busch Gardens and Walt Disney World in her younger days. She loves living in a location where people come to visit and relax.
Tiffani has two children, a son named Hayden and a daughter named Elizabeth. They love to travel and vacation in different spots around the United States. Tiffani’s love of travel has previously led her to China, where she taught an intensive English language summer camp. When not teaching, Tiffani is an avid reader and thinks the best thing her students can do for themselves is to read. Tiffani is thrilled to be teaching in the Dual Diploma program and looks forward to working with her many students.
Mayte Avedo-RodriguezGlobal Teacher
My name is Mayte Avedo-Rodriguez. I live in Miami, Florida with my husband, two children, and two dogs. I attended Florida International University where I earned a bachelor’s degree in Education. I continued to further my education by attaining a master’s degree in Reading Education from Barry University. I have worked in the field of education for over 20 years in various roles, from a pre-school Spanish teacher to an administrator, and just about everything in between. These undertakings have provided a valuable collection of teaching experiences which I am honored to share with my Dual Diploma students.
Jesse AycockGlobal Teacher
My name is Jesse Aycock, and I am excited to be part of the Dual Diploma program. I am a native Floridian, born in the central Florida small town of Bartow after which moving to the Fort Myers area where I have spent my entire adult life. I graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education. In my free time I enjoy spending time with friends and family, playing sports and focusing on my physical fitness, reading, traveling, working on home improvement projects, and spending time in nature.
Laura BabbittGlobal Teacher
Hello! My name is Laura Babbitt, and I am very excited to be working with the Dual Diploma team! My family moved to Florida when I was two years old, so technically I am a native Floridian. I currently live in Wesley Chapel, Florida. I attended the University of South Florida. I obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Social Studies Education and a Master’s degree in Special Education. I have been teaching for over 26 years. For me, teaching has always been my calling – I knew from the first day of school that I would be a teacher! Over the years I have learned that each student is unique and has a story to tell. I look forward to a wonderful school year where I will get to know all of you.I have one daughter who is currently in college and a very small poodle who is always very close to me-either sitting on my lap or right next to me in my work chair. I love going to the beach and reading a good book when I have free time.
Roxana BatistaGlobal Teacher
Hi! My name is Roxana Batista and I was born in Houston, Texas. I was raised in Miami, Florida where I attended Florida International University. I am a certified teacher in the state of Florida. I am happily married and have two beautiful children named Alexandra and Freddy. Teaching offers me the opportunity to make valuable connections with students while preparing them for their academic future. When I’m not teaching, I love cooking, spending time with my family and exercising.
“In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.”
Thomas BatjiakaGlobal Teacher
I’m Thomas Batjiaka and I’m so excited to be a part of the Dual Diploma Program team this year. I am originally from New York but have lived in Florida for 5 years now. I graduated from Manhattanville College in 2015 with a Bachelors Degree in Psychology, but decided to pursue teaching shortly after graduating. When I’m not teaching, I’m either riding my bike or playing sports.
Marissa BeyerGlobal Teacher
My name is Marissa Beyer. I live in Fort Myers, Florida. I have two daughters and we are an active family. We love to explore state and national parks and just be outside as much as possible. Teaching is my passion, and my favorite thing is to be a guiding light for my scholars. I look forward to an amazing year!
Sandra BoschGlobal Teacher
Greetings! My name is Sandra Bosch. I am honored to be a part of the AIS community as a Global Teacher with the Dual Diploma Program. I was born and raised in sunny South Florida and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems from the Business School at Florida State University. Currently I live in Miami with my husband and 2 children. I enjoy cooking, reading, traveling, and spending time with my family. It is my belief that teachers need to think differently, be strategic, promote innovation, know the system, accept failure, promote a learning culture, and above all, put the student and their learning needs at the heart of their teaching mission.
Matthew BraceyGlobal Teacher
My name is Matthew Bracey. I live in Fort Myers, Florida. In my spare time, I enjoy playing sports. I am a part of a volleyball, softball, and soccer team. I enjoy going to the beach, visiting with friends, and exploring new restaurants in search of great food. Teaching is my passion and my favorite thing is being able to see a student learn something that they have been trying to figure out for a while. I look forward to a great year!
Bethany BraggGlobal Teacher
Hello! My name is Bethany Bragg, and it is an honor to be a teacher for the Dual Diploma Program. I am originally from Virginia, but currently I live in Naples, FL with my husband and two sons. I enjoy going to the beach, biking, reading, and cooking. I graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University in Ft. Myers, FL with a Bachelor of Science degree in Legal Studies. Before and after my college graduation, I worked in the corporate and government fields, but realized my true passion would be transitioning to the education field. So, in 2014, I began my new career as a middle and high school teacher with training from Florida Southern and certifications in English and Social Studies. I have learned over the years that being a teacher is a privilege and a joy, and that watching students learn and grow is one of the most rewarding experiences of my life!
Scott BraggGlobal Teacher
My name is Scott Bragg and I am a Global Teacher. I was born and raised in South Florida and currently still reside there. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Science Education from Florida Atlantic University. This year marks my 9th year as an educator. Every year has been an exciting and positive experience, and I can’t wait to share that with you. I am happily married, and I have two little boys, Ryan and Peyton. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends.
Christine BraunGlobal Teacher
Hello! My name is Christine Braun, and I have been teaching since 2005. I earned a Bachelor of Science in elementary education from Oakland University of Michigan and a Master of Education in curriculum and instruction from the American College of Education. I have experience teaching at the elementary, middle, and high school levels of instruction. I was privileged enough to be chosen as Middle School Teacher of the Year for Sarasota County of Florida in 2017.
I currently live in Tennessee with my husband and a 7 lb. long-haired chihuahua, Rio. I have a passion for travel. Travel offers real-world experiences that can only add to our ever-expanding education. I would even go into space; my love of Star Wars might have something to do with that. I feel extremely fortunate to be able to have a career in teaching, and my role as a Dual Diploma educator.
Melissa BrownGlobal Teacher
My name is Melissa Brown and I am honored to be a part of the wonderful Dual Diploma team. I have a Bachelor’s degree in English Education from Florida State University, as well as professional certifications in Secondary Social Studies, ESOL, and Gifted education. In addition to my role as an educator, I have served in school leadership roles such as Grade Level Chairperson and Literacy Committee board member, as well as sponsored many clubs such as Future Educators of America and Newspaper Club. Teaching is one of my passions, and I strongly believe that every learner can be successful. I hope to inspire my students to become lifelong learners and global citizens.
Ashley ButlerGlobal Teacher
Hi! I am Ashley Butler. I have a BA in English Language Arts Education from Troy University and an MA in English from Jacksonville State University – both schools are in small towns in Alabama. I have been teaching since 2012. I currently live in Alabama with my husband, our daughter, and our cat. I am a huge American football fan – Roll Tide! I love watching football, traveling, reading, binge watching Netflix shows, and spending time with my family. I am excited to start a new school year with AIS and cannot wait to connect and grow with my students.
Victoria Camus-MarreroGlobal Teacher
Hey there! My name is Victoria Camus-Marrero. I was born and raised in Miami, Florida. I attended Florida International University. I am certified to teach in Florida and have been a teacher since 2017. I currently live in Northern California with my husband and chihuahua Rey. Together, we enjoy long hikes and watching west coast sunsets. Being a teacher has allowed me the chance to interact with students on a deeper level and make essential connections with them. As they leave their fingerprints on my heart, I hope I do the same for them.
Grethel CapoGlobal Teacher
Greetings! My name is Grethel Capo, and I am honored to be a part of the AVE community as a Global Teacher with the Dual Diploma Program. I am from Miami, Florida and have been an educator since 2007. I have served various roles in education, from elementary through high school, and am delighted to continue this journey with my students. I have a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications, a Master’s in Education Specialized in Curriculum and Instruction, and a Specialist in Educational Leadership. I am married and have two beautiful (and energetic) children. My family and I love to travel and find it fascinating to learn about different cultures, norms, and customs. As a devoted educator, I strongly believe I can impact the education and lives of all students in a positive approach by maximizing their potential and inspiring them to attain greatness. I will continue to maintain high expectations and strive to see my students excel. Let’s make it a phenomenal year!
Cary CarbonellGlobal Teacher
Greetings from sunny South Florida! My name is Cary Carbonell and I am super excited to be part of our Dual Diploma team. I have been teaching for 20 years in Miami, where my family and I are lucky to call home. I hold a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Affairs from the Florida State University and a master’s degree in Reading Education from Barry University. I also hold professional education certificates in Social Science (6-12), English (6-12) and Reading (K-12). My family and I enjoy traveling, going to the beach, and catching up on Netflix movies. Teaching is my passion and I love engaging the students. My goal is to inspire them to be the best they can be.
“If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you.
If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.”- Zig Ziglar
Patricia CarrollGlobal Teacher
My name is Tricia Carroll. I have been teaching since 2012 and I am delighted to be a global teacher with the Dual Diploma Program. I was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and moved to Fairfax, VA (right outside Washington, DC) when I was 4. I moved to South Florida in 2016. I pursued my degree at Longwood University (VA) and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Secondary Social Science Education. I pursued my graduate degree at Lehigh University (PA) and graduated with a Master of Education in Secondary Education technology. I have taught in Virginia, Puerto Rico, and Florida! In my spare time I enjoy swimming, painting, traveling, going to the beach, and spending time with friends and family.
Cindy CascoGlobal Teacher
Hello! My name is Cindy Casco and I live in sunny Florida. I have been teaching for many years and graduated from The University of Florida. Teaching is one of my passions and I look forward to enlightening young minds across the globe. It is my goal to make my classes interesting, compelling, and educational. When I’m not teaching my amazing students, I am spending time with my husband and son. Outside of teaching, I love to read, travel, and learn about Art.
Debra ChambéGlobal Teacher
I was raised in up-state New York and moved to Florida in 1996. Currently, I reside in Citrus County with my husband of over 20 years, three children, and three dogs. I graduated with honors from the University of Central Florida with a degree in Education. I am a Florida certified teacher with reading and ESOL endorsements. My free time consists of listening to music of various genres, gaming, and instructional design. Teaching is not just a career, but a lifestyle I have dedicated many years to. The connections I make with my students are just as important as their academic growth. I look forward to both each year.
Karen ChurchGlobal Teacher
My name is Karen Church and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to teach Dual Diploma international students! My educational background includes a B.B.A., Marketing major, and M.S. in Education, Communication major. I have taught both English and Communication courses at university and high school levels in the traditional setting and online.
I enjoy every new adventure and consider life a continuous journey of learning and discovering. Favorite trips include experiencing the landscape and people of England, Italy, France, Iceland, and Holland. My hobbies include reading, kayaking, exercising, and volunteering. I live in the Charleston, South Carolina area, so I’m often exploring a nature preserve/beach, walking tour or enjoying a new music venue with friends/family. I look forward to this academic year and getting to know my international students!
Russell CieslicaGlobal Teacher
Greetings, my name is Russell Cieslica. I was born in Buffalo, New York and moved to Florida in 2006. I earned my Bachelor of Arts in History at the University of Buffalo, and also completed post-graduate studies in the Graduate School of Education at U.B. I have been a high school teacher since 2006. I enjoy traveling the world, cooking, sports and many varieties of music.
Alexandra Sasha ClarkeGlobal Teacher
My name is Alexandra Sasha Clarke, but my friends call me Sasha. I have been teaching since 2010. I graduated from the University of Virginia and have been teaching experience both nationally and abroad, in countries such as Argentina and Costa Rica. I love every minute of what I do, even the trials and tribulations. Helping students to find their voice and make them feel comfortable taking new learning pathways is a true passion of mine.
In my free time I enjoy riding horses, kayaking, hiking, surfing (among many other outdoor sports) and spending time with my family. I love to travel and have been to over 20 countries.
Tayler ColeGlobal Teacher
My name is Tayler Cole and I live in Buffalo, New York. I earned my Bachelor of Arts in History Education from Niagara University and my Master of Science in Special Education from St. Bonaventure University. I have been teaching middle and high school since 2013 and have also taught SAT prep classes for a number of years.
My husband and I love to travel as much as we can. At home, I love to garden, read and spend as much time as possible outdoors!
Alexis ColemanGlobal Teacher
Mrs. Alexis Coleman lives in Durham, NC with her husband and daughter. She is originally from Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Mrs. Coleman went to the University of Central Florida in Orlando, FL for her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. She taught elementary school students for 4 years before getting her certification to teach English and Social Studies to high school students. She loves art, reading, gardening, and hiking with her dog.
Jennifer ComiskeyGlobal Teacher
I was born and raised in Florida, but currently live in the Rocky Mountains in Northern New Mexico with my husband and fur kids. My undergraduate years were spent at Florida State University where I played the saxophone in the Marching Chiefs Band. I earned a Master’s degree in Communication from Austin Peay State University and another in Educational Leadership from American College of Education. Prior to joining the Dual Diploma faculty in 2015, I enjoyed twelve years as a middle school English and Social Studies teacher in South Florida. I absolutely love my job and I am grateful for the opportunity to work with so many amazing young people across the globe!
Welcome! My name is Giovanni Gras, and I am honored to be part of the Dual Diploma family. I was born and raised in Miami, Florida where I live with my wife and four daughters. I received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and a Master of Mental Health Counseling from Nova Southeastern University in Florida. I have over 20 years of experience in the field of Education covering Psychology, Criminal Justice, Social Studies and English. I look forward to meeting you and assisting you with your immediate goals.
Autumn CosgroveGlobal Teacher
Hello! My name is Autumn Cosgrove. I have always wanted to be a teacher to bridge my love for learning with my appreciation for social studies and human connection. Together, we will expand our understanding of the world by exploring multiple subjects and communicating regularly. You will often hear me mention my sweet daughter, Reagan, and my beloved dog, Konie! When I’m not working, you can find me doing something outside or being creative. I am thrilled to be a part of the Dual Diploma team where I look forward to connecting with and getting to know you all!
Jason CrespoGlobal Teacher
Mr. Jason Crespo earned his bachelor’s degree in English at Florida International University in 2001 and has been teaching ever since. Throughout his career, he has taught language arts, reading, special education, and creative writing (mostly in high schools), as well as being active in Miami’s spoken word scene as a performer, coach, and curriculum designer. In July of 2021, he and his family moved to central Florida in pursuit of a slower pace, and he is incredibly excited to be a global teacher with the Dual Diploma Program. He lives with his wife and young daughter, a dog, a bearded dragon, and lots of plants.
Laura CurrieGlobal Teacher
Laura Currie holds a double Master of Arts in Philosophy and Theology, and a Bachelor of Arts in English, with minors in History and Art History. She is a published writer in the field of Theology and has taught in both the virtual and traditional classroom settings for several years. Laura is passionate about helping her students find new ways to express themselves in both speaking and in writing. A native Floridian, Laura happily resides in St. Augustine with her husband and daughter, and in her spare time enjoys yoga, playing the guitar and piano, and spending time with her family.
Megan DelgadoGlobal Teacher
Megan Delgado has been an English teacher since 2009. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in English Language Arts Education from the University of Central Florida, is a certified Social Science teacher, and has an ESOL endorsement. Before making the switch to virtual teaching, she spent 9 years in a traditional brick-and-mortar school setting, teaching English, Journalism, and Yearbook. After taking a few years off to be at home with her young girls, she is happy to be back in the virtual classroom working with students again. She lives in Tarpon Springs, Florida with her husband, two daughters, and two dogs. When she is not helping students learn and strive to achieve their dreams, she loves to read, relax at the beach, and visit the local theme parks with her family.
Virgina Di MicheleGlobal Teacher
My name is Virginia Di Michele and I was born in Cordoba, Argentina but raised in Miami, Florida. I graduated from Nova Southeastern University with Bachelor’s degree in Exceptional Student Education. My teaching career began in 2002 in the traditional brick and mortar school working with students with learning disabilities. In 2010, I switched to the charter school system and worked as a Dean of Students and Activities Director for 8 years. I have been teaching Dual Diploma since 2017. I really enjoy being a virtual educator because I get the privilege to teach students all around the globe.
I have a young son named Kai. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, music, going to the beach and yoga. I look forward to another successful virtual school year.
Karalee DixsonGlobal Teacher
Greetings! My name is Karalee Dixson and I am excited to be a part of the Academica team! I am a transplant from Colorado, but love sunny Florida and have lived here for the past 10 years in Mount Dora, FL. I have both a Bachelor’s Degree in History from Mesa State College in Colorado and a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Technology from the University of Phoenix. I have been an educator for twenty years, both in the classroom and virtually. My favorite quote regarding education is “Creativity is intelligence having fun” Albert Einstein. Helping students stretch their minds and find ways to express themselves is my goal.
Victoria DoranteGlobal Teacher
Hi! My name is Victoria Dorante. I was born in Caracas, Venezuela however I am currently living near Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I am a certified teacher in the state of Florida. My best day would be one spent with family. But I also enjoy reading a good book, spending time at the beach, and teaching of course!
Hector DuarteGlobal Teacher
Hector Duarte, Jr. was born and raised in Miami, Florida. He received his bachelor’s degree in Print Journalism and master’s degree in Creative Writing from Florida International University.
Mr. Duarte has experience teaching all grades from middle school to college. He looks forward to virtual teaching and hopes to pass his love for story, literature, and history on to his students.
In his spare time, Mr. Duarte enjoys spending time with his wife and baby son, cooking, reading, writing, and watching films.
Frances EawazGlobal Teacher
My name is Frances Eawaz, and I am so excited to be your instructor this year! I have been teaching students ages 11-18 since 2002, and I look forward to adding new students to my family.
I was born in Miami, Florida, USA which is still my hometown. I have been married since 2000, and I have a son who is a Senior in high school this year! Spending time with my family and my dogs, reading, and traveling are my favorite things in the world. It is my dream to one day travel to the European continent and see beautiful places and meet amazing people. (While eating wonderful food of course!)
In 2002, I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English from Florida International University. My certifications consist of both English and Social Sciences. However, it is the small things beyond those certificates that allow me to bond with my students and hopefully make a difference in their lives. In addition to a strong knowledge base, I strive for students to know that they can rely on me to educate them, encourage them, and empower them to learn independently for years to come!
Cassandra ElliottGlobal Teacher
Greetings! I’m Cassandra Elliott, and I am excited to work with students in the Dual Diploma program. I have previously taught both middle and high school students in the Tampa Bay Area. I have a bachelor’s degree in History and a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Social Studies Education, both from the University of South Florida. Additionally, I have a master’s degree in History focusing on Public History from Southern New Hampshire University! To me, the best part about teaching is seeing students “get it”. I’m here to help and hope that our time together leaves students wanting to learn more.
When I am not teaching, I enjoy sunny South Florida adventures with my dog, learning to be creative, and cooking new foods!
Paola EspinosaGlobal Teacher
One of the highlights of my life was entering the world of Education. After graduating from college with a major in Communications, I decided to explore different facets of the media. I learned a great deal in various areas. I decided to change careers and became a teacher in 2005 – soon after, I learned I was in it for the long run. Thus, I decided to pursue additional certifications and endorsements as well as a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership. Since then, I have worked in various roles in education: teaching, coaching/mentoring, and administration. I truly believe education is my calling.
I am so excited to be a part of the AVE family! I’m really looking forward to meeting all my students and educating them to my fullest capacity. My diverse background in both the private and public sector has always served as great assets with the different roles I’ve had in education – looking forward to sharing all this in Academica’s virtual platform at AIS!
My other passion is motherhood. I am a proud mom of four wonderful children: two boys and two girls. In my spare time, I enjoy time with family and friends. My husband and I love to travel and show our kiddos a new place every year. I also enjoy reading – particularly historical/realistic fiction – and enjoy the outdoors (when not too hot, of course).
Jimmie FarrenGlobal Teacher
My name is Jim Farren and I am excited to be joining the dual diploma program. I was born in Rochester New York, but I was raised and live in Florida. I am married to my lovely wife Vicki, and we have two amazing children. I have been teaching since 2007. I have a Masters degree in curriculum design, instruction, and educational leadership. I have taught students in the United States, China, Japan, France, and Denmark. Before coming to the dual diploma program, I taught middle school English, history, and math. I am looking forward to an amazing year.
Jo Ry-Anne FellerGlobal Teacher
My name is Jo Ry-Anne Feller, I am originally from South Florida but recently moved to Massachusetts to be closer to family. I have been teaching a variety of Social Sciences since 2008. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, Master’s Degree in Sociology and Master’s in Education Leadership.
I am happily married and have four boys Hendrix, Theodore, Lennox and Kole. We also have 3 large dogs and a big extended family that keep the house loud, lively and fun at all times. I enjoy baking and I am always trying new recipes. In addition to spending time with my family I enjoy running and doing things that spark my creative side. I am extremely excited to see what this new year has in store for us all.
Elizabeth FendersonGlobal Teacher
Underneath the towering redwood trees of Northern California, Elizabeth graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management Economics. While business leadership had been her primary career focus, she has always had a passion to help shape young minds. Elizabeth’s desire to improve the lives around her and help others grow has led to this path.
Now living in Florida, Elizabeth has two girls of her own, who she is raising to be passionate, life-long learners. When not relaxing with her husband and children she loves to travel, scuba dive, camp, and cook. Elizabeth also enjoys hosting themed dinner parties and is enthusiastic about photography, a legacy that was passed down from her father. Elizabeth believes that knowledge is power and the key to success in any endeavor.
Stephanie FernandezGlobal Teacher
I graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and later attended Nova Southeastern University and received a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership. I worked in the Elementary School setting as a teacher for 7 years and one year as a school administrator. I have enjoyed every minute of my career in education and love the virtual setting!
To share a little more about me personally, I was born and raised and still live in Miami, FL. I enjoy traveling, exercising, dancing and spending time with friends and family.
Kristina FiorentinoGlobal Teacher
Hello! My name is Kristina Fiorentino and I am so excited to be your Global Teacher as part of the Dual Diploma Program. I graduated from Barry University with a Bachelors in English and went on to receive a Masters in Communications from Florida International University. I have taught in a traditional classroom setting, virtually, and in a progressive outdoor environment. I was born and raised in Miami, Florida and currently live on a farm in an agricultural area of Miami known as the Redlands. I am married and have four children who keep me on my toes everyday! When I am not teaching, I love spending time with my family and exploring new places, reading a good book, cooking a great meal, and being outdoors with our farm animals. I look forward to this academic year and am so excited to meet you!
Mari GalgueraGlobal Teacher
My love for learning is what inspires me to teach.
Hello, and welcome! My name is Mari Galguera. I live in beautiful South Florida with my husband, two daughters, and my miniature Poodle “Boston.” In my free time I enjoy going to the gym, boating with family and friends, cooking, and traveling.
I earned a bachelor’s degree in education with a concentration in mathematics, from Florida International University. Thereafter, I went on to pursue a master’s degree in TESOL from Nova Southeastern University. I have been teaching for more than a decade. My professional experience includes teaching mathematics in Coral Gables High School, as well as teaching credit English courses to international students in Miami Dade Community College.
I’m thrilled to be part of the AVE family, an institution in the forefront of the Virtual Education Movement. It is a pleasure and a privilege to be able to reach the minds of students all over the world.
Michele GarciaGlobal Teacher
My name is Michele Garcia, I was born and raised in Miami, Florida. I am married to my “high school sweetheart” and we have a silly energetic son who loves cars. I love the fall time all the pumpkin flavored things, I play guitar and sing, and love binge watching reality tv. My favorite place to vacation has always been Disney World with my family, it’s a tradition of ours to go every year!
I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education for students in Kindergarten-12th grade in 2016 and have been working with students ever since. I am extremely passionate about teaching and can’t wait to teach students from all over the world.
Ashley GaskaGlobal Teacher
Hello! My name is Ashley Gaska. I live in Tampa, Florida with my husband, two dogs, and two cats. I work as a Global Teacher in the Dual Diploma Program, and I am so excited to be part of your educational journey! I have been a teacher in Florida since 2013, the same year I earned my bachelor’s degree in secondary English education from the University of South Florida. Later, I returned to USF and earned my master’s degree in reading education in 2022. I also hold certifications in teaching English as a second language, gifted education, and social sciences.
Besides teaching, I also have a passion for painting, drawing, music, reading, writing, and playing video games. I spend most of my free time participating in one of these endeavors. I also love to travel, and I have the goal of visiting every National Park in the United States (there are 63!).
My approach to teaching is to seek student engagement through humor and interactivity, treat students with respect and kindness to promote a safe and supportive class culture, and push my limits to perpetuate my own growth as a professional and bring advanced knowledge and skills to my learners. One of my favorite quotes is from Brene Brown: “As long as we’re creating, we’re cultivating meaning.”
Amanda GetterGlobal Teacher
I was born and raised in Kissimmee, Florida, which is just outside of Orlando. I currently live in the next small town over with my three cats. You’ll find out pretty quickly that I am a lover of all things geeky and pop culture. I attended the University of Central Florida where I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in English Language Arts Education. I have education certifications in English 6-12 and Social Science 6-12, with endorsements in ESOL, Reading, and Gifted. Previously I have taught in public school at the high school and middle school levels, and I am passionate about being a Global Teacher in the Dual Diploma Program!
Monica GrasGlobal Teacher
Hi! My name is Monica Gras and I have been working for Dual Diploma since 2020! I was born and raised in Miami, Florida where I currently live with my husband Giovanni (also a Dual Diploma teacher) and our four daughters Arianna, Gianna, Mia and Ava. I received my Bachelor of Science in Special Education and Psychology and my Master of Science in Reading and Learning Disabilities both from the University of Miami. I have over 10 years of experience as a secondary teacher and have owned my own professional photography business for over 15 years. Although I love teaching, I consider myself a perpetual student, always looking for ways to improve my craft and learn new skills. For me, happiness means constantly evolving and reinventing myself. Luckily, education and discipline helps me to achieve just that.
I’m looking forward to a wonderful year getting to know everyone!
Virginia GrayGlobal Teacher
Hello! I am Virginia Gray, a lifelong resident of Broward County Florida. I am fascinated by the world we live in, inquisitive about how it works, and have a love of communicating with others. My desire to teach was strongly influenced by my mother, a middle school Language Arts teacher who was always passionate about her career. After earning a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Social Studies Education from Florida Atlantic University, I have worked in both charter and traditional public schools.
The quest for knowledge is never-ending, and my goal as an educator is to help expand the passion for learning in my students. It is so wonderful to be working with international students, embracing the intersection of education and technology!
Catherine GrimesGlobal TeacherMy name is Catie Grimes, and I am excited to share in your academic adventures! I have been teaching since 2001, and I am proud to add “Global Teacher” to my repertoire. I was born and raised in NE Florida, and my family and I adore living in our nation’s oldest city: St. Augustine, Florida.While I enjoy visiting the city, I find myself happiest in our modest home in the big woods playing with our children, horses, chickens, and dogs. If you ever want me to share what it is like to live a small farm life, feel free to ask me about it! My husband (a firefighter) and I have been married for twenty-two years, and our two sons (eighteen and twenty-one) are both currently studying for their life-long careers. One is completing his apprenticeship to become an electrician, and the other is studying Electrical Engineering at Ole Miss. We also have twin daughters who are in fifth grade and are sweet and spunky barrel racing beauties.When I am not checking tasks off my to-do lists, I enjoy doing anything that involves putting my crazy-creative brain and hands to good use. While I enjoy sharing these tidbits about me, I am incredibly eager to learn more about my students from around the world and partake in conversations that make being a teacher so much FUN!
Miranda HalabyGlobal Teacher
Miranda Halaby was born and raised in Southwest Florida. She has a bachelor’s degree in English Education from Florida SouthWestern State College with a focus on English Language Learners and reading. Before making the switch to virtual education in 2021, she spent four years working in a traditional school setting. As a virtual teacher with a global perspective, she is excited to bring learning and achievement to students across the world. In her spare time, she enjoys going to concerts, traveling, hiking, and spending time with her two dogs!
Amanda HannahGlobal Teacher
Hello! My name is Mrs. Amanda Hannah and I am excited to teach students globally through the Dual Diploma program. I currently live in Jacksonville, Florida which is in North Florida. Many years ago, I graduated with a degree in Political Science from the University of North Florida. After graduation, I worked in several local law firms as a legal assistant. I then decided to transition to something I felt was more challenging, teaching! Teaching is something I really enjoy and inherited that passion from my family. My mother was a math and home economics teacher, my great aunt taught in a one room schoolhouse and my great grandfather was an administrator of several one room schoolhouses! Teaching is very natural for me. Helping others truly understand what they are learning is my goal.
When my two daughters were born, I decided to teach online with a global tutoring company. I found a new passion for teaching the English language to Chinese and Asian students. I enjoy learning about new cultures, new places and even phrases in new languages. Building a sense of belonging and community is a big part of what I like to do in my classroom.
My hobbies include a variety of subjects such as spending time with my family, reading, baking, cooking, sewing of all kinds, watching mystery and crime series/movies, keeping up with the latest Marvel movies and finding adventures in near and far places. My future goals include traveling to Paris to see an old friend, finishing my private pilot license, helping my daughter make her prom gown and finding a home where I can finally raise chickens!
Barbara HelfrickGlobal Teacher
Hi! I’m Barbara Helfrick. I was born in Sarasota, FL, but currently live in Rochester, NY. I graduated from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Secondary English Education and a minor in the Humanities. I have also earned a master’s in Curriculum and Instructional Design from Western Governors University.
In my spare time, I love to curl up with a good book and a hot cup of tea. I also love baking for friends, traveling with my husband, and hiking with my dog, Ellie.
Cody HenaoGlobal Teacher
Cody Henao was lives in Connecticut. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish Language and Literature, and Master’s degree in Teaching Secondary Education add Languages from Quinnipiac University. Before the Dual Diploma program, Cody taught high school level Spanish for two years, but left to pursue her interest in becoming a global educator. Cody’s teaching philosophy stems from a quotation by Frank Smith that states, “One language sets you in a corridor for life, two languages open every door along the way”. Through her teaching, Cody hopes to continue opening the doors of the world for her students.”
Outside of teaching, she enjoys traveling, cooking, and spending time with her family.
Diana HernandezGlobal Teacher
I was born and raised in Miami, Florida. I lived in Costa Rica for 7 years before returning to Miami and graduating from High school. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Florida International University in 2010 and have been working with students ever since. I have worked with Dual Language students for the past 9 years and have really enjoyed the experience.
I am married and have two beautiful dogs and a cat. My most favorite thing to do is spend time with my family, whether it is at the beach, at the pool, or on a trip! I enjoy learning new things and meeting new people. I am thrilled to be part of the Dual Diploma family and work with students from around the world.
Tatiana HernandezGlobal Teacher
Teaching has always been my passion and I am so honored to be part of your Dual Diploma journey! I received my Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education in 2011 from Florida International University and graduated with my Masters in Educational Leadership from Barry University in 2016. I have been teaching for over 10 years. I am originally from Miami, Florida, but now live in Central Florida. My husband and I spend most of our free time trying to entertain our daughter and son, which means lots of trips to playgrounds, splash pads, and theme parks. I look forward to working with you!
Elizabeth HickersonGlobal Teacher
Elizabeth Hickerson resides in Tampa, Florida. While living in Tampa, she has taught in both charter and traditional public education. She graduated from the University of Rochester in upstate New York. She believes that with the proper support, every student is capable of success. Her goal is to assist students in living up to his or her potential.
Elizabeth is a mother of two boys, a high school senior and a freshman in college. Her husband, Scott works as a Civil Engineer at the water management district. She enjoys reading, traveling, and loves to be outdoors.
Erin HunterGlobal Teacher
Greetings! My name is Erin Hunter and I am thrilled to be part of the Academica Virtual Education family. I hold a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of North Florida, where I majored in English and minored in Fine Arts. I have been an educator for twenty years, both in the classroom and virtually. I have had the opportunity to teach both middle and high school students on all levels, from remedial Language Arts through Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition. I find nothing more gratifying than contributing to students’ academic successes and achievements. I love Literature and writing, and am an avid fan of and participant in both. I consider myself quite fortunate to be professionally engaged in doing what I love.
James HunterGlobal Teacher
Welcome to Academica’s Dual Diploma program. My name is James Hunter. I have taught for over 12 years in classrooms and virtually. I hold a professional certificate in 6-12 English, 6-12 Social Science, 5-9 Science, and K-6 elementary. I teach to inspire a love for life-long learning, for “I am not a teacher, but an awakener.” ~ Robert Frost
Originally from Seattle, I’m now an artist living in North Florida. I share a small farm tucked among a large nature preserve with my wife and two boys. From here, we enjoy nature-watching, fishing, and playing at the beach.
Mary JansenGlobal Teacher
My name is Mary Jansen and I have taught students from Pre-K through college and I looking forward to working with all of you this year. In my spare time I like to read, watch true crime shows, and take walks with my dog, Daisy.
Nancy JarquinGlobal Teacher
Hello! My name is Nancy and I am super excited to be your teacher! I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida. I have been working with children that speak other languages (ESOL) as well as students with exceptional learning abilities (GIFTED). I have been a professional teacher since 2004. I believe learning should be fun and exciting. I love helping students be their very best! Outside of the classroom, I enjoy singing songs to my daughter, reading books and watching theater. I also love to travel with my family and hope to one day visit all the amazing places in the world. I hope to make learning with you the most wonderful and memorable experience! See you in the classroom, Nancy.
John KallergisGlobal Teacher
I was born in Canton, Ohio and raised in the Bahamas. I am 100% Greek, bloodline-wise, and am married to a lovely Cuban lady. I have four children and two grandchildren and expect many more in the coming years.
My teaching career began in 2009 after 27 years in corporate America specializing in Finance and Real Estate ventures. Teaching was always what I wanted to do and when the opportunity arose for me to change careers, I leaped at it, and I have been happier and healthier ever since.
I am also the published author of a historical fiction novel.
I have taught students from all backgrounds and my philosophy and mantra are that you can only change your life through accepting personal responsibility for oneself and by valuing and embracing education in all forms.
Hannah KellyGlobal Teacher
Hannah Kelly was born and raised in Sarasota, Florida, but currently resides in Wilmington, North Carolina. She is a graduate of Liberty University with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a Master of Arts in Teaching. She has been in the classroom since 2015.
In her time away from school, she enjoys spending time with her husband and three kids, mainly camping, hiking, and backpacking! You can also find her in the kitchen baking breads and sweets!
Elise KleinGlobal Teacher
My name is Elise Klein, and I am originally from Johannesburg, South Africa. When I was 11 years old my family and I moved to Boca Raton, Florida and have lived in the United States ever since. I went to The University of South Florida in Tampa, where I received my bachelor’s degree in Communication in 2004.
Before becoming a teacher in 2009, I worked in the non-profit area focusing on development and fundraising. In 2013, I graduated from Grand Canyon University with my master’s in education and have been teaching high school English and Reading for the past ten years.
I love spending time with my husband Adam, our five-year-old son Camden, our Shephard/Great Dane mix named Max, and a hedgehog named Harper. Some of my hobbies include reading, jogging, cooking, and hand embroidery. I believe in empowering people with education and that we are all a part of a global community.
Stacey Knechtel BushGlobal Teacher
I am Stacey Knechtel Bush and I’m very excited to be a Global Teacher in the Dual Diploma Program. I was born in Canada but have lived most of my life in the Ocala area of North Central Florida. I earned my bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida and my passion for teaching grows each year. I love to learn and have recently started learning to repurpose and refinish furniture and home decor for myself and friends. I have two grown children, 2 granddaughters, 2 grandsons and 1 grand dog named Max! I love to garden, cook and try new foods and being crafty and creative. I’m looking forward to a great year with the Dual Diploma Program.
Llanette Llanes-GonzalezGlobal Teacher
My name is Llanette Llanes-Gonzalez, and I am a Dual Diploma Global Teacher. I am a Cuban American, who was born and raised in Miami, Florida.
I graduated from Florida International University and have obtained a Masters Degree. I have been teaching since 2016 and I am excited to be your teacher this year.
On my free time, I enjoy going to the beach, Scuba Diving, traveling, and spending time with my son, husband, family, and friends. I am looking forward to a fantastic year!
Casidy LiddellGlobal Teacher
Hello! My name is Casidy Liddell, and I am absolutely thrilled to be a global teacher this year! I was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, but moved to Florida five years ago so I could live by the beach. I have a bachelor’s degree in English with a focus in secondary education. I have been honored to teach since 2017 with experience in middle and high school, as well as preliminary English as a Second Language classes. I love reading and writing, so I feel very lucky to have the ability to share my passion for literature as a profession. When I am not teaching, I enjoy cooking, going to the beach, and hanging out with my family. I am happily married to my best friend, and we have a son named Christopher. I am eager to meet my students, get to know them, and give them the engaging education they deserve! It is going to be a wonderful and exciting year!
Alissa LongoGlobal Teacher
My name is Alissa Longo. I live in Redondo Beach, California! I have been teaching for 16 years. Gosh, what a journey it has been! I received my bachelor’s degree from Towson University in Maryland and my master’s degree from Wright State University in Ohio. I am happily married with two children, Preston and Shelby. My goal is always to create a fun and safe learning experience that my students will remember.
Janet LopezGlobal Teacher
My name is Janet Juan-Lopez. I was born and raised in sunny Miami, Florida. I graduated from Barry University with an Education degree in 2005. I cannot be more excited than to start this year with you. I am eager to meet students from all over the world and be able to educate them through technology. I am happily married and have a beautiful daughter named Demi. I love learning new things, teaching, traveling, and spending time with my family.
Christina LopezGlobal Teacher
Christina Lopez graduated from Florida International University with a bachelor’s degree in English and a Minor in Psychology. She attained her certification in teaching through Miami Dade’s Educator Preparation Institute. She has been teaching since 2010 and was highlighted as a Florida High Impact Teacher from 2015-2019. In 2020 she was nominated for “Teacher of the Year.” She is currently a Global Teacher for the Dual Diploma Program. As a teacher, Christina is passionate about instilling a sense of self-worth among all students and ensuring a lifelong love of learning.
Jill MalmanGlobal Teacher
My name is Jill Malman, and it is an honor and privilege for me to be helping to shape the minds of our future world leaders. I graduated from the University of Miami with degrees in Psychology and Photojournalism. I then went on to earn my law degree from the University of Miami School of Law, and I am licensed to practice in both Florida and California. I was a partner in my own law firm for over twenty years. During that time, I spent numerous hours volunteering in local classrooms and learned that teaching was a passion that I had never thought to pursue. I woke up one day and decided that it was time to follow my dream, and I soon closed the doors to my law practice and began my second career as a teacher. Teaching is my joy, and it has helped me to find my purpose in life.
Before joining the Dual Diploma program, I taught writing, presentation skills, and research in the Advanced Placement (AP) Capstone and Cambridge AICE programs.
I enjoy creative writing, diamond painting, hiking, and spending as much time as I can on my yoga mat. I especially love being with my family and cuddling my dog, Sophie.
Kelley MaloneyGlobal Teacher
Hello, my name is Kelley Maloney and I was born and raised in South Florida. I earned my bachelor’s degree in English Education and an ESOL Endorsement from Florida Atlantic University. Since graduating, I taught high school English and served as a Literacy Coach and Department Head. Currently, I live in West Palm Beach, Florida with my husband and my daughter. Aside from teaching, I enjoy reading, traveling and spending time with my family. I am honored to be a part of the Dual Diploma program and look forward to getting to know my students and assisting them to become life-long learners.
Emily ManceraGlobal Teacher
My name is Emily Mancera. I live in Clermont, Florida with my husband and son. In my spare time, I enjoy reading and going for walks in the evening. I also enjoy cooking for my family, watching new movies, and playing with my dogs. I take full advantage of our location by going to Disney often to watch the fireworks and eat all the delicious food. In 2019, I graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in Psychology. Shortly thereafter, I decided to pursue my passion for teaching and transition into the field of education. It is so rewarding to empower students by giving them the tools to be successful. I can’t wait to be a part of your Dual Diploma Program journey!
Nicole ManzanoGlobal Teacher
Hello! My name is Nicole Manzano and I am excited to be part of the Dual Diploma family. I currently reside just outside Miami in Pembroke Pines, Florida. I come from a family of educators, and it was their drive that gave me a passion for the field of teaching and being a life-long learner. Thus, I grabbed my degree from Florida International University and started teaching in 2005. There is nothing more invigorating than a collaborative and insightful classroom!
In my personal life I have much to be grateful for. I have a wonderful daughter who is fond of singing, and two very silly cats who make us both laugh. There is also time for hobbies of writing, reading, mindfulness, and dominoes.
“Not knowing when the dawn will come, I open every door.” – Emily Dickinson
Shelbie MarshGlobal Teacher
My name is Shelbie Marsh. I began my teaching career working in kindergarten, first, and second grade classrooms in 2013. In 2018, I joined the Dual Diploma Program as a virtual teacher. Currently, I hold a Master of Education and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership. I enjoy staying active, cooking, baking, spending time at the beach, and with my dogs.
Sofia MeahlGlobal Teacher
I am Sofia Meahl, a dedicated and passionate Global Teacher within the Dual Diploma Program. Beyond the classroom, I embrace the roles of a loving mother to two wonderful boys and a devoted spouse. I’m thrilled to embark on this educational journey, and I am always eager to ensure a productive and successful school year. I genuinely believe in the power of education to transform lives, and I am committed to helping each one of my students reach their full potential. One of the aspects of teaching that I treasure most is the opportunity to build strong connections with my students. I wholeheartedly welcome the chance to engage in conversations, get to know my students’ unique strengths and aspirations, and support their academic growth.
Sandra MeyerGlobal Teacher
My name is Sandra Meyer and I’m so excited to be part of the Dual Diploma Team. I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio and moved to Tampa, Florida in 2004. I graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York Institute of Technology. I am married and have two wonderful children, a son, and a daughter, as well as two dogs that are spoiled rotten. In my spare time I enjoy boxing as my favorite workout and reading to relax. I love to travel, and my goal is to visit and hike at least 100 of the National Parks. I love the idea of connecting with students from outside the United States and I feel they will teach me as much as I will teach them.
Ashlee MiddletonGlobal Teacher
My name is Ashlee Middleton. I was born and raised in Sarasota, Florida and attended college at The University of South Florida in Tampa. I graduated in 2009, magna cum laude, with my Bachelor of Arts Degree from the College of Arts and Sciences.
From there, I pursued my professional teaching certification and became certified in English 6-12, Journalism, and Social Sciences 6-12. I have been teaching since 2012 at the high school level. During this time, I have been honored as Sarasota County’s High School Teacher of the Year, received the Congressional Teaching Award and served my prior school as professional development coordinator and a mentor to new teachers.
I am excited to be working for AVE and with the staff and students. I love teaching and creating meaningful experiences that enhance our students’ education.
Outside of school, I am a wife and mother to two beautiful children. When I am not teaching, I am spending time with my family and creating memories to last a lifetime!
Janice MillsGlobal Teacher
Hello from sunny South Florida! My name is Janice Mills and I am a Global Teacher for the Dual Diploma Program. I grew up here in South Florida and graduated from Trinity International University in 2006. I have a wonderful husband who is a music teacher, and we have three talented children. We live in Homestead, Florida, which is a small agricultural city on the edge of the Florida Everglades National Park. Homestead is also a quick 30-minute drive to the beautiful islands of the Florida Keys. I enjoy the ocean, traveling, and sewing. I have a passion for teaching and believe that every student should be given the opportunity to discover their potential through various teaching methods, programs, and environments. My mission is to help students succeed in their educational goals in a virtual classroom by using innovative technology while creating an inviting environment that allows students the opportunity to express themselves.
Meera MahabirGlobal Teacher
My name is Meera Mahabir, and I am a Dual Diploma Global teacher. I am originally from Trinidad & Tobago and currently reside in beautiful South Florida. I graduated from Florida International University with my bachelor’s degree, and I am a Florida certified teacher in several subject areas. I have been teaching for Academica schools since 2009 and I am excited to be your teacher this year.
In my free time I enjoy going to the beach, working out, exploring new vegan restaurants, and watching documentaries (especially history related ones). I am looking forward to a fantastic year!
David “Dave” MoakGlobal Teacher
Greetings! My name is Dave Moak, and I am delighted to be a teacher with the Dual Diploma Program. I was born in the UK and grew up in Virginia, and now I live in Waterville, Ohio, with my dog Penny. I received a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Pittsburgh and completed my education training at Indiana Wesleyan University.
My teaching philosophy is embodied in a quote from Albert Einstein, who was a teacher as well as a famous scientist. He said, “I never teach my pupils. … I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.”
Sarah MooreGlobal Teacher
Hello! My name is Sarah Moore. I currently reside in sunny Tallahassee, Florida. I began my teaching career in 2010 right after graduating from Saint Leo University’s Gainesville, Florida center. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Middle School Education with a specialization in Science. Since graduating I have taught Middle School Science in several Florida counties. I began teaching with the Dual Diploma Program in 2023.
My husband, Clay, and I have been married since 2011 and we have two beautiful children. We enjoy spending time together outdoors and going on adventures together. In my spare time, I enjoy gardening, crafting, participating in church activities, and spending time with family.
My goal as an educator is to inspire and motivate students to pursue and achieve short-term and lifelong goals. I aim to do so by creating a comfortable and inviting digital classroom where students are encouraged to passionately pursue their education.
Sarah Elizabeth MooreGlobal Teacher
My name is Sarah Moore, and I am a Global Teacher. I was born and raised in South Florida and currently still reside there. I have a bachelor’s degree in Education from Florida Atlantic University, and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Florida State University. In my spare time, I enjoy working out, reading a good book, baking, and spending time with my family. I am happily married, and I have two little girls, Amelia, and Olivia. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to work as a Global Teacher and am excited for what this year will bring in terms of academic achievement. My goal is to facilitate an engaging and effective classroom while helping my students become life-long learners.
Devin MorrisGlobal Teacher
My name is Ms. Morris. I am a graduate from The University of Tampa with a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education in Social Sciences. I have taught 7th-12th grade in different social science classes. I also have a teaching certification in Secondary Language Arts. I have lived in Tampa, FL my whole life. I enjoy spending time with my 3 cats, watching movies and anime, and cooking vegan meals with my partner.
Elizabeth MottGlobal Teacher
My name is Elizabeth Mott, and I currently live in Pace, FL in the Florida Panhandle. I began teaching in 2012 after graduating from the University of Florida with a degree in Education. I spent nine years teaching middle grades science. I am excited to meet my students in the Dual Diploma program! When I am not teaching, I enjoy playing video games with my husband and spending time with my two dogs, three cats, and menagerie of other pets.
Nicole MuellerGlobal Teacher
I was born in Florida and went to secondary school in chilly Michigan. I moved back to Florida for College, where I received my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. My favorite part of college, aside from my love of literature, was studying abroad at Cambridge, England. From there, I got to travel to different parts of Europe and realized traveling and teaching were my true loves. When I am not teaching, I am finding new trails to walk with my dog, new cities to explore, or discovering beach and park paths to skateboard around.
Susan NiesGlobal Teacher
My name is Susan Nies, and I am excited to be your instructor this summer! I grew up in Buffalo, New York, and moved to Florida in my early 20s. I currently live near Tampa, Florida with my husband and three cats. Our daughter graduated from the University of Central Florida, in Orlando, and now lives a few miles away so we are enjoying our time back together.
Throughout my career, I have worked as an English, Civics, reading, and Special Education teacher in public schools teaching grades 3-8. Currently, I am a global teacher for the Dual Diploma Program and am absolutely loving it. Teaching is my passion, and I am thankful to be able to teach students at various levels.
During my free time, I love working in my Etsy shop, reading, and spending time with my family (Matt, Sierra, and our cats – Valerie, Arya, and Mr. McFluffypants).
Greg NotowitzGlobal Teacher
My name is Greg Notowitz, and I have been a professional teacher since 2005, both in the classroom and as a virtual instructor. I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of South Florida, with a major in Anthropology and a specialization in primate social behavior and communication. I am committed to helping my students become diligent and responsible life-long learners. I believe learning happens on a continuum, not a series of steps – we don’t stop learning. People learn from doing. They learn from trying things and making mistakes. They learn more from the journey than the destination. I am excited to help my students make the most of their journey.
Natalie OrtegaGlobal Teacher
Hello, my name is Natalie Ortega, and I am honored to be a part of the AVE community! I have been teaching since 2011. For 8 years I taught English and Law Studies and coached students in mock trial competitions and Model United Nations conferences. I find teaching to be both rewarding and endearing and consider myself fortunate to currently be a part of an innovative global education community.
Apart from teaching, I am a licensed attorney in the state of Florida with experience in commercial litigation. I obtained my Juris Doctorate degree from Florida International University College of Law. Though I hold a strong fervor for law and political science, my first passion was and is still tennis. I spent my undergraduate years in Tallahassee playing tennis for Florida State while majoring in Communications.
Currently, I reside in Miami with my husband and two children. On my spare time, I thoroughly enjoy reading (all types of genres), listening to a variety of music (from classical baroque to modern day indie rock), staying active (by playing tennis, swimming and cycling) and cooking for family and friends.
I am very much looking forward to getting to know my students and becoming immersed in the upcoming school year!
Rachel OsborneGlobal Teacher
Hello, my name is Rachel Osborne. I began teaching in 2013 in the Florida public school system, making my transition to teaching virtually in 2021. I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Humanities from Florida State University, a Master of Education from the University of Florida, and a Masters in Religious Studies from the University of South Florida. I currently reside in northern Florida.
On a personal note, I enjoy travelling, reading, exploring nature, learning new things, and playing video games (both with and without my kid). As a teacher, I often bring my love of science fiction, books and comics into my lessons to help explain concepts or make connections to historical events.
Cindy OsorioGlobal Teacher
Cindy Osorio graduated from The American College of Education with a Masters degree in Educational Leadership. She is also a graduate of Florida International University with a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education. Her professional background includes certifications in the areas of ESOL, Gifted Instruction, English grades 6th – 9th, English 9th – 12th, and Social Science 6th -12th. Early in her career, she spent two years as a paraprofessional. In 2010 she was recognized as the “Rookie Teacher of the Year” at Pinecrest Preparatory Middle-High. In addition to classroom instruction, she is a happy wife and proud mother of three children. She is currently a Global teacher for Academica Virtual Education’s Dual Diploma program and was awarded the “Rookie Teacher of the Year” in 2016 and Global Teacher of the Year in 2022.
“I am a firm believer in lifelong learning and hope to instill that belief in all of my students”.
William OsorioGlobal Teacher
William Osorio graduated from The University of Connecticut with a bachelor’s degree in Economics. He is an energized educator, coach, and self-starter with over a decade of experience motivating students and teams. His professional background includes certifications in the areas of English 9th – 12th, Social Science 6th -12th, and Earth and Space Science. Early in his career, he taught at Miami Sunset Senior High teaching honors United States and World History as well as Earth and Space Science. In addition to classroom instruction he is the founder of Evolve Soccer Training, a head coach at Florida Rush Soccer Club, and most importantly a husband and father of two incredible boys.
“Make your life a masterpiece, imagine no limitations on what you can be, have or do”. -Brian Tracy
Tiana CutterGlobal Teacher
Tiana Cutter is originally from Nashville, Tennessee; however, she has been in Naples, Florida for over five years now. She received her first Bachelors Degree at The University of Tennessee in Criminal Justice and English and her second in Education K-12. Before joining the virtual community, she was a teacher in the public schools for 15 years specializing in Literature and Writing. In her spare time, she enjoys singing, writing poetry and short stories, and spending time with her son and daughter.
Ayita PatrickGlobal Teacher
My name is Ayita Patrick, and I am honored to be a Global Teacher for the Dual Diploma Program. I was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, and currently reside in the Central Florida area with my husband. I have been teaching since 2010 and graduated from the University of Louisville with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a Master’s degree in the Art of Teaching. I obtained an additional Master’s degree in Special Education from Kentucky State University. Teaching and helping others are my greatest passions. I consider myself a lifelong learner and enjoy exploring nature, traveling, and spending quality time with my family and friends.
My goal is to create a virtual learning environment that is challenging, engaging, and meaningful for my students. I am so excited to have the opportunity to interact with students across the globe using the rich curriculum of the Dual Diploma platform.
Wendy PerkinsGlobal Teacher
My name is Wendy Perkins, and I live along the Gulf Coast in beautiful Pensacola, Florida. I received my degree in English and Creative Writing from the University of West Florida in 2001, and I began my career in education in 2011. I am an avid nature photographer, so when I’m not teaching, I am generally outdoors taking pictures, or I’m working on various art projects. I also love spending time with my family and my four very active cats.
Gabriel PessoaGlobal Teacher
My name is Gabriel Pessoa, and I am thrilled to be a Global Teacher in the Dual Diploma Program. I was born in Brazil and raised in Miami, Florida, where I reside.
I have greatly benefitted from a dual diploma program myself, so I look forward to comparing our experiences as we get to know each other. I speak four languages (English, Portuguese, Spanish and Italian). I have a bachelor’s degree from Florida International University and a master’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University.
I enjoy spending time with friends and family, going to the beach, watching soccer, and reading.
Let’s make it a great year.
Christa PhelpsGlobal Teacher
Hello! I’m excited to introduce myself to you. I’m Christa Phelps, a passionate educator who was born and raised in Michigan. Since then, I have traded in the snow for sunny Florida. I’ve been teaching since 2017. I went to college at Central Michigan University, where I received my bachelor’s degree in education.
When I’m not in the classroom, you can find me exploring the beauty of Florida, enjoying the pool, and seeking opportunities for my own growth as an educator.
I’m excited to be a part of your educational journey!
Vanessa PhillipsGlobal Teacher
Hi! My name is Vanessa Phillips, and I was born and still live in Miami, Florida. My husband and I have two kids, Mia and Ricky, both high school students, and we have two lovable dogs, Peanut Butter and Jelly. I graduated from Florida International University in 2005, where I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Communications. I have been an educator since 2009, and since then I have enjoyed making valuable connections with my students and helping them become lifelong learners.
Outside of teaching, I love spending time with my family, being outdoors, traveling, exercising, and watching sports. My family is big on American football! I also enjoy learning new things, trying new restaurants, and exercising the brain with word puzzles.
Lisette PickardGlobal Teacher
Lisette Pickard was born and raised in Miami, Florida and graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a bachelor’s degree in Education. Her professional background includes certifications in the areas of Elementary Education, English 6-12, Social Science 6-12, Art K-12, and English Language Learners. She worked with students of different ages in the traditional classroom for five years and made the transition to virtual education in 2014 after her son, Logan, was born. She is currently a Global Teacher at the Dual Diploma Program and has worked with students in several countries such as Italy, Spain, Israel, and Argentina. She was also named Global Teacher of the Year in 2016. She now lives in Pompano Beach, Florida and some of her hobbies include spending time with her family, reading, being in the ocean, traveling, and outdoor activities.
Kelly RamirezGlobal Teacher
Kelly Ramirez earned her Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in secondary education from Lebanon Valley College in Pennsylvania. Her professional certifications include English 6-12, Social Science 6-12, Math 5-9, and ESOL. She started her teaching career in Miami, FL in the traditional classroom setting working with culturally and academically diverse students as well as English Language Learners. Kelly was named “Teacher of the Year” in the 2013-14 and 2020-21 school years. She transitioned to virtual teaching the Dual Diploma Program in 2017.
Jennifer Reynoso-HaymondGlobal Teacher
Mrs. Jennifer Reynoso-Haymond was born and raised in California. She currently lives in California with her husband, Ian, and son, Oliver.
She holds a master’s degree in English from National University and a bachelor’s degree in English education with a minor in Spanish education from Brigham Young University-Idaho.
She has taught learners of all ages from preschool students to seniors in college. She loves teaching and feels very lucky to be a part of the Dual Diploma Program.
During vacation time, she loves to spend time with her friends and family at the amusement parks in Florida and California.
Zachary RimmeleGlobal Teacher
Following a decade working for the United States Congress in Washington DC and across the country on various political campaigns, Zack became a teacher in 2013. Since then, he has taught Social Studies, English and Business classes to Middle and High School students in the states of Pennsylvania and Florida. A former collegiate swimmer, Zack enjoys spending time at the springs and beaches of Florida with his wife and two children.
Lauren RiveraGlobal Teacher
Lauren Rivera is a native of Florida. She received her Bachelors Degree at Barry University in English and Professional Writing and her Master of Fine Arts Degree at Florida International University in Creative Writing. She lives in Gainesville, FL with her husband and their two sons. She has been a teacher for eleven years. She loves traveling, being with her family, teaching and learning.
Jodele “Jodie” RiveraGlobal Teacher
“Jodie, will you read me a story? Will you help me with my homework? Why is my best friend being mean?” I was often asked questions like these by my five younger siblings when we were growing up. I really enjoyed helping them, so it was a completely natural progression for me to become a teacher.
Growing up and living in Miami, Florida my entire life, I earned both my Bachelor’s degree (Elementary Education) and my Master’s degree (Teaching and Learning) from Nova Southeastern University. My Master’s degree was completed entirely online, so I am no stranger to online learning.
Working in both the public and private sectors, I began my career teaching first and fourth grades earning the Teacher of Excellence Award in 2007. My favorite role, however, was leading a gifted program for students ranging from first grade to high school, which included coaching the older students to the State and International levels of the Future Problem Solving Program. Leading dance and baton twirling clubs, directing a fine arts camp, and working with middle school drama students were other teaching experiences I have truly cherished.
Reading, dancing, traveling, and enjoying outdoor activities in sunny South Florida with my husband, son, friends, and family are how I enjoy spending my free time.
Leigh RodriguezGlobal Teacher
Hello! My name is Leigh Rodriguez. My husband Carlo and I live in sunny Palmetto, Florida; it is nice and hot here! Many people travel to this area for our beautiful beaches. I have three children- Lola, Cashton, and Hayes. They keep life interesting and fun!
I have a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology from the University of South Florida. Prior to joining Dual Diploma, I taught English (grades 6-12), AVID elective courses, and held an administration position as a Testing Coordinator.
In my free time, my daughter and I love baking together, and I enjoy herb gardening in my yard. My husband and I love trying new restaurants with adventurous foods. We also enjoy travel both near and far; I have been to several European countries, including Italy, France, England, and Ireland. I enjoy listening to podcasts and audiobooks, as well.
I am incredibly excited and looking forward to a wonderful school year!
Kelly RodriguezGlobal Teacher
My name is Kelly Rodriguez and I live in north central Massachusetts with my husband and our dog, Gracie.
In addition to my Bachelor’s degree in English Communication, I have a Master’s degree in Education, with a concentration in English. I am a lifelong learner and I continue to take courses related to adolescent literacy, language acquisition, and educational technology. I maintain professional teaching licenses in English and Social Sciences, as well as endorsements in English for Speakers of Other Languages and Gifted Education. I also am certified in Youth Mental Health First Aid.
In 2018, I was honored to be named the Dual Diploma Teacher of the Year.
When we’re not working, my husband and I love to travel, both in the United States and abroad. We spend our summers in coastal northwest Galicia, Spain, where his parents were born and where we still have family and friends. I also enjoy being outside in nature, cooking and baking, photography, reading, writing, and spending time with family and friends.
Lietty Roig AlomaGlobal Teacher
Lietty Roig Aloma was born in Havana, Cuba and immigrated to Miami, Florida at the age of six. She has since fused the two cultures and is a proud Cuban American. In 2016 she earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Florida International University while simultaneously earning an English as a Second Language Endorsement. After graduation, Ms. Roig Aloma earned her Social Sciences certification and began teaching middle school students U.S. History, World History, and Civics. In 2019 she earned a Master of Arts in History, concentrated on Military History, from Southern New Hampshire University. She joined the Dual Diploma team in 2021. She enjoys going to the movies, trying new desserts, completing themed escape rooms, painting, reading, and cooking with her grandmother in her spare time.
Jessica RosenfeldGlobal Teacher
Jessica Rosenfeld graduated from the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Her professional background includes certifications in the areas of English 6-12, Social Science 6-12, Math 5-9, and she has spent time in the traditional classroom teaching and mentoring in Math and English. Jessica has also worked in business settings. She is excited to help and teach young people as they prepare for their post-secondary education with the Dual Diploma Program. When she is not teaching, she is connected in family activities with her husband Max and their two children: Mordecai and Lorelei. They enjoy going to the gym; swimming; weekend getaways; and playing games around the kitchen table.
Joshua RuddGlobal Teacher
My name is Josh Rudd and I was born and raised in south Florida. I earned my bachelor’s degree from the College of Education at Florida State University. Working with kids is my passion, and I’ve enjoyed mentoring young people in a variety of educational settings throughout my life. Aside from my role as a Dual Diploma teacher, I currently assist high school athletes in finding and securing college scholarships. I enjoy the outdoors, good food and spending time with my wife and two young children.
Rachel RuddGlobal Teacher
Mrs. Rachel Rudd currently resides in Charlotte, NC. She has a husband and two very goofy children. Mrs. Rudd has studied English Literature and Language for years, as well as devoted much of her time volunteering at local libraries.
Her passion is working with students at the secondary level, she enjoys their self-motivation and ability to form connections. She loves integrating new and exciting technology into the classroom. Mrs. Rudd believes that all children are unique and learn in many different ways.
Elizabeth RuizGlobal Teacher
My name is Elizabeth Ruiz. I have been an educator since 2004. I have a masters degree in curriculum and instruction and a bachelors degree in psychology from the University of Illinois. I truly feel that each step of my career has challenged me to enhance my knowledge of teaching. I taught in Chicago for 5 years and have spent the rest of my career in sunny Miami Florida. I am very excited to be part of the dual diploma program family, as it has allowed me to live out my passion for enriching my students’ lives, reaching outside the confines of a traditional classroom. I am married with two beautiful children and have had the honor of helping my husband raise his first child. When I am not teaching, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, traveling, and enjoying the beauty of nature all around us.
Roxana Ruiz-RocaGlobal Teacher
Hi, my name is Roxana Ruiz-Roca, and I was born in beautiful Miami, Florida. I attended Florida International University and studied Communications and Business. After graduating, I worked on earning my professional certifications in English 6-12, Social Studies 6-12 as well as being endorsed to work in ESOL. Teaching offers me the opportunity to make valuable connections with students while preparing them for their academic future. When I’m not teaching, I am spending time with my family, my dogs and exercising.
“It Doesn’t matter how many times you have failed you only have to be right once”-Mark Cuban
Anacristina San GabinoGlobal Teacher
My name is Cristina San Gabino. I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. In 2003, I graduated from Barry University with a degree in Education.
I am passionate about and dedicated to the craft of teaching. I believe that knowledge is power and that each student is unique, therefore bringing forth a special contribution to the classroom and to our world. Furthermore, I believe that it is my job as an educator to cultivate and nurture the love of learning.
Currently, I live in Miami, Florida with my two children, Lucas and Mia. I enjoy cooking, reading, traveling, and spending time with my beautiful children.
Laura SanchezGlobal Teacher
My name is Laura Sanchez. I was born and raised in Miami, Florida where I live with my husband, two sons, and our dogs. I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration from Florida International University, a Master’s Degree in Education and a Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University.
I started my teaching career in 2000 serving in various grades from Kindergarten to middle school and eventually became a school administrator for over 10 years. I am excited to return to teaching in the AVE Dual Diploma program. Outside of education, I enjoy going on adventures with my family, such as boating, fishing, and camping. My hobbies include painting furniture, exercising and gardening.
Lucy SargentGlobal Teacher
My name is Lucy Sargent and I have been an international educator since 2014. I am thrilled to be a part of the Dual Diploma program! My Bachelor’s Degree is in Globalization Studies from Gettysburg College, and I completed an Educator Preparation Program with the University of West Florida. I received my Master’s Degree in Globalization and Development Studies from Maastricht University in the Netherlands.
I have experience working in person and online with a variety of international students and spent five years abroad in China, Kuwait, and the Netherlands. I am very passionate about our globalizing world and enjoy working with global learners at Dual Diploma!
Lia SeirottiGlobal Teacher
My name is Lia Cristina Seirotti. I graduated from Florida International University with a bachelor’s in Education. Then I attained my master’s in Educational Psychology from Florida State University where I focused on online instructional design. For over a decade, I have been teaching students from all walks of life and varying ages.
I believe that all students deserve the opportunity to learn in the most conducive environment, whether it be in a physical building or via a virtual school, and that the teacher’s role is to provide authentic and engaging experiences through which the student can gain knowledge in a real-world context. It is with this frame of mind that I decided to leave the conventional education system to embark on a global journey of educating students virtually.
I am passionate about teaching, writing, social media, and volunteerism and hope to continue to, through these channels, inspire my students.
Cesar SeirottiGlobal Teacher
Cesar Seirotti graduated from Florida International University and earned his Bachelor’s degree in Education. He has received a variety of educational training that has prepared him to better assist each of his students. He is eager to help all his students achieve their academic goals!
Luanne ShearGlobal Teacher
My name is Luanne Shear, and I have been an educator for over a decade. I earned a Bachelor’s degree in English and Arts and Humanities from Florida Atlantic University as well a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction. The majority of my teaching experience has been with high school English students, and I have also served as a Language Arts Department Chairperson for four years. I am so excited and honored to be a part of the Dual Diploma family and connect with the amazing students in this program.
I currently live in Deerfield Beach, Florida with my husband and son. Although Florida has a lot of rainy days, we try and engage in outdoor activities and spend time in the ocean as much as possible. Taking care of our environment and planet is something I enjoy discussing with my students as well.
Ole SheldonGlobal Teacher
My name is Ole Sheldon, and I am happy to be teaching you as part of the Dual Diploma team. I attended the University of Oklahoma on an athletic scholarship and then later completed my doctorate degree in Business administration through California Southern University. I have published my first book, The Impact of Fees on Retirement Investing, which was created from my dissertation on the topic. I currently live in Florida with my wife and two daughters. We all very much enjoy taking out our camper and spending time near the beach whenever we can. I am looking forward to a wonderful school year with you!
James SheridanGlobal Teacher
Hello, my name is James Sheridan. I am very excited to work, learn, and grow with you all during our Dual Diploma journey! I have wanted to be a teacher ever since I was a student in high school. In 2013 I graduated from Rider University’s Education Program in New Jersey. I have been honored to work with so many amazing students, families, and staff since then. After teaching in America for several years, I shifted my focus to international education. I taught students in China and Kuwait before joining the wonderful Dual Diploma family. My student-centered classes aim to be both engaging and informative. The needs of my students always come first, and their goals become my goals. I consider myself to be very lucky to work a job that I am passionate about. Thank you all for being awesome!
Alison SiegelGlobal Teacher
A Life offers infinite variables; choices are our challenges
My name is Alison Siegel and I am a Global Teacher at Academica Virtual Education Dual Diploma Program. I have been a part of the AVE family for eleven years. I am proud to have been awarded our Virtual Teacher of the Year for 2014-2015 and Teacher of the Year for 2010-2011 school year. I earned my B.A. in Education from Florida Atlantic University and live in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
I am a parent to four young adults and fur baby. My passion is helping students educationally and emotionally. I love being able to help expand a student’s knowledge and engage them in learning online.
Jason SkolitsGlobal Teacher
Hey there! My name is Jason Skolits and I live in Perrysburg, OH with my beautiful wife and our two puppies. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Miami University (Ohio). I have been teaching since 2012, and prior to teaching I was a professional singer/music director for Celebrity Cruises. I enjoy spending time with my family, ice hockey, strategy board games, and everything Star Wars.
Kristine SmythersGlobal Teacher
My name is Kristine Smythers. I live in Miami, Fl. I have my Bachelor’s in Elementary Education and my Master’s degree in Reading Education both from Florida International University. I am certified to teach grades K-12. I have been teaching since 2008. I have taught grades from Kindergarten to 5th grade in brick and mortar, middle school grades virtually through Academica Virtual, and I have had the pleasure of teaching with AIS since 2015. I am married and have two beautiful daughters named Chloe and Ava. In my spare time I love spending time with my family and traveling to new places.
Dawn StahlGlobal Teacher
Hello, my name is Dawn Stahl and I am truly honored to be a part of the Dual Diploma program. I have a Bachelor’s degree in English from Florida State University and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Florida Atlantic University. Throughout my career in education, I have worked with students of many ages ranging from elementary, middle and high school. I have been a Language Arts Department Chairperson and even a dance team coach. However, the primary focus of my career has been teaching English. Using my background and experience in education I enjoy sharing my appreciation and understanding of the English language with my students.
Sarah StecklingGlobal Teacher
My name is Sarah Steckling and I attended The University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Secondary Education. I have been teaching since 2012 and am certified to teach English 6-12 and Social Sciences 6-12 with endorsements in ESOL, Reading, and Gifted education. My passion is inspiring students to achieve their academic goals!
I reside in Florida with my husband and two dogs. When I am not teaching, I enjoy spending time with friends and family, traveling, cooking, baking, reading, swimming, and completing home improvement projects.
Ryan StuartGlobal Teacher
Hi! My name is Ryan Stuart. I live in south Florida. I earned my bachelor’s degree in 2004 from the University of Tampa in Tampa, FL and my master’s degree in 2015 from Lynn University in Boca Raton, FL. I have been teaching since 2005 and am passionate about helping students reach their ultimate goals. In my spare time, I coach baseball and enjoy watching sports.
Kelley SuarezGlobal Teacher
My name is Kelley Suarez. I graduated from the University of Miami in 2008 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and a minor in History. From there, I went on to attain a Master’s Degree in Social Work in 2010. I worked as a social worker in various educational settings prior to becoming a full-time teacher in 2017. I have earned Florida teacher certifications in Secondary English, Secondary Social Studies, Elementary Education, and School Social Work. I also hold an endorsement in English for Speakers of Other Languages.
I am originally from Miami, Florida, but currently reside in Orlando, Florida with my husband, our three children, and our Siberian cat, Chip. When I am not teaching, I enjoy dining out, reading, and traveling. Being an educator is one of the greatest joys of my life and I am passionate about forming meaningful relationships with my classroom family.
Maria TavarezGlobal Teacher
Hi! My name is Mrs. Maria Tavarez and I live in Miami, Florida, USA. I am married and have a beautiful daughter named Lucia. I have always loved dancing, cooking, and most of all, seeing new places around the world. I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Tampa and went on to finish my Masters and Doctoral degree at Nova Southeastern University. I am so excited to meet my students and enrich their minds through Academica’s Dual Diploma platform. We are going to have a fantastic year!
Leslie TorresGlobal Teacher
Hello there! My name is Leslie Torres and I am thrilled to be a Dual Diploma Teacher. I graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education. My professional certifications include English 6-12, Social Science 6-12, and Exceptional Student Education K-12.
In my spare time, I truly enjoy spending time with my family and try to get outdoors as much as I can! There is nothing quite like fresh air.
I look forward to our interactions this year!
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” -Nelson Mandela
Arielle CusmanoGlobal Teacher
My name is Arielle, and I am delighted to be a global teacher with the Dual Diploma Program. I have been teaching in the sunny state of Florida since 2013. I was born and raised in Tampa, Florida. I pursued my degree at the University of Central Florida and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Social Science Education. I am licensed in English Language Arts (6-12), Social Sciences (6-12), and Physical Education (K-12) and hold a Gifted Education Endorsement in the state of Florida. In my spare time I enjoy playing soccer, arts and crafts like making friendship bracelets, macrame, painting, and songwriting. I love going to the beach and spending time with friends and family. My goal is to create a learning environment that is engaging, empowering, and memorable for all students.
Michelle VazquezGlobal Teacher
My name is Michelle Vazquez, I attended the University of Tampa with a Bachelors Degree in Secondary Education and Masters Degree in Curriculum Design. I am certified to teach grades 6-12 in Social Science and English.
I have always been passionate about teaching and helping students reach their full potential. My goal as a teacher is to help students expand their mindset while also facilitating their growth as individuals. I am very excited to bring this ideology into the Dual Diploma program and to help reach students across the globe. I am currently living in Tampa, Florida and outside of my time teaching, I love to read, watch movies, and create art.
Joel VelazquezGlobal Teacher
Hello! My name is Joel Velazquez. I was born in Miami, Florida and still reside in South Florida today. Teaching is something I thoroughly enjoy! I graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor’s degree in Recreation and Sports Management and went back for my Master’s degree at the University of Central Florida in Educational Leadership. When I am not helping to shape young minds in the classroom, I am usually found spending time with my family
Milisse VeraGlobal Teacher
I have loved every minute of my education career. Teaching has been my passion from a very early age. I graduated from Florida International University with Magna Cum Laude Honors in 2009 and began my career in an elementary brick and mortar classroom. I loved the energy and occurrences that their young minds shared. The Dual Diploma Program was a unique and amazing transition that exposed me to the virtual world as never seen before and allowed me to meet students and families from all over the world. I also became the Social Media Club sponsor and have collaborated with students to connect from every country in the program.
To share a little about my personal life. I was born and raised in Miami, Florida and currently live in Naples, Florida. I am happily married and have two wonderful boys. I enjoy reading, bike riding, creating do-it-yourself projects, and spending time with my family. My philosophy on life is to stay positive, work hard, and make it happen.
Melody VidalGlobal Teacher
Hi there! I’m Melody, and my journey as an educator has been nothing short of amazing. Since 2014, I’ve had the privilege of being a teacher, and it’s a role I wholeheartedly embrace.
My passion for reading and writing has always been a driving force in my life, and I’m thrilled to share that passion with my students. I firmly believe that fostering a love for literacy sets the foundation for a lifetime of learning.
I hold endorsements in both English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and Reading. These endorsements reflect my commitment to creating inclusive and effective learning environments. It’s incredibly rewarding to support students of diverse backgrounds and abilities in their language journey.
Outside the classroom, you’ll find me outdoors, with a book in hand, exploring new worlds through literature.
Natasha VieccoGlobal Teacher
Natasha Viecco was born and raised in Miami, Florida. She has a Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus in Special Education, and a Bachelors degree in English Literature with a minor in Education from Florida International University.
Before making the switch to virtual education in 2016, she spent three years working in a traditional school setting. As a virtual teacher, she has truly enjoyed implementing and using technology to help her students become global learners.
In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, baking, and spending time with her family!
Casey VsetulaGlobal Teacher
Hello! My name is Casey Vsetula. I like to consider myself a lifelong learner and educator. I have a bachelor’s degree in Social Science Education from the University of South Florida and a master’s degree in Teaching and Curriculum from Michigan State University. In my spare time I like to rollerblade, watch American football, and go to the beach.
Cayci WeaverGlobal Teacher
Hey everyone! My name is Cayci Weaver and I am from Northeast Florida. I graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelors of Science in Social Sciences. I have been teaching since 2008. I currently live in Jacksonville, Florida with my two dogs, Drogo and Sansa. When I am not teaching, I enjoy traveling, reading, and watching soccer.
Desiree WeissmanGlobal Teacher
Hello there! My name is Mrs. Weissman. I have a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Florida International University located in Miami, Florida and I’ve been teaching for over 5 years. I live in Port Saint Lucie, Florida with my husband, our two children, and our dog, Krypto. I am a huge Harry Potter fan and when I am not teaching, I enjoy traveling and reading. My hope is that all my students feel like our virtual classroom is a place where they will feel safe and inspired to learn. My goal is to provide my students with an enriching and rigorous curriculum that will help them grow and reach their fullest potential
✨It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.✨ —Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Bianca WinstelGlobal Teacher
I am so honored to be part of your Dual Diploma journey! I have been teaching with Academica since 2017. I graduated from Florida International University with my teaching degree. I am originally from Miami, Florida, but now live in Clermont, Florida with my husband, daughter, and dog. I enjoy exploring nature, going to theme parks, and traveling. I look forward to working with you!
Ashley WolsteinGlobal Teacher
Ashley Wolstein was born in Traverse City, Michigan. She studied teaching at Eastern Michigan University before moving to Hawaii where she spent most of her teaching career and earned two Master’s degrees. While teaching in Hawaii, she realized that she wanted to learn more about adolescent literacy to better meet the needs of her students and enrolled in a Doctoral Reading Education program. She earned her PhD in Reading, Language, and Literacy from Concordia University Chicago in December 2022.
Ashley left Hawaii in July 2019 to join her husband in Dallas, Texas and begin teaching at an international school. This experience developed her love and passion for international education, and she is excited to teach in the Dual Diploma program. Throughout Ashley’s career, she gained experience teaching pre-AP classes and International Baccalaureate classes. She also works as an Assessment Author for the IB.
Outside of teaching, Ashley enjoys stand-up paddle boarding/canoeing, hiking, biking, and most of all, spending time with her five boys: one husband, two sons, and two dogs. She looks forward to learning with you this year!
Warren WrightGlobal Teacher
Hello! My name is Warren Wright and this year I am excited to be your teacher with the Dual Diploma Program. I made the decision to switch careers and dedicate my life to education as I began to realize my true passion had changed. Before becoming a teacher, I was a journalist in broadcast television and an investigative reporter. Outside of work, my passions include spending time in nature, searching for quality food, meeting new friends, and being around the people I love.
I am so excited to be a part of the Dual Diploma Program. I think it is a wonderful opportunity for our youth and I am grateful to be able to help be a part of their academic careers.
Christine YoungGlobal Teacher
Hello, my name is Christine Young and I currently live in Palm Beach, Florida. Originally from Colorado, my husband and I have done some moving around before settling in Florida. I graduated from University of Northern Colorado in 2015, with my Bachelor’s in Secondary English Education, then in 2017 received my Master’s in Educational Leadership, and in 2023 received my Master’s in English. I started teaching English in 2015, and then moved to California in 2017 where I taught Special Education for several years. In 2019, I became a teacher for the Department of Defense, and moved to Sicily, Italy. One short year later I was promoted to Assistant Principal and moved to Misawa, Japan. We welcomed our first daughter, Chantelle at the end of 2021 and in July of 2022 I decided to step away from education and become a full-time stay at home mom. This time has been invaluable, but I knew I missed education and being in the classroom, which is why I am so incredibly excited to be a new teacher within the AIS Dual Diploma Program!
Outside of teaching, I like to spend time at the beach and pool with my husband, Tyler, and my daughter. We also have a little dog named Loki, and we like to travel around and explore the beautiful world around us!
Chelsea GarciaCounselor/College Assistance Program Advisor
Hello everyone! My name is Chelsea Garcia. I am originally from Jacksonville, Florida. I moved around a lot as a child because my parents worked for the U.S. military. I have lived in Maryland and Hawaii, to name a few places. I graduated from the University of Florida where I received my undergraduate, graduate, and specialist degrees. I started teaching in 2017 and have enjoyed working with students of all ages. I am a married mom of two children. Our family enjoys going to the beach, grilling on our patio, listening to music, and riding our bikes together. We enjoy learning about other cultures. We also celebrate our own unique family culture that is a mix of Puerto Rican, Venezuelan, German & American heritage.
Lynn Stephanie JeanAcademic Coach
Frances OsorioAcademic Coach
Maycey RobersonAcademic Coach
Rossio WrightLead Global Academic Coach
Caroline ChartierGlobal Academic Coach
Cristina CiudinGlobal Academic Coach
Ewa DoranteGlobal Academic Coach
Stephanie EscobarGlobal Academic Coach
Patricia LaraAcademic Coach
Monique LaryAcademic Coach
Maurizio LaurentiAcademic Coach
Jessica MessulamGlobal Academic Coach
Valentina Montenegro Global Academic Coach