Administration

  • 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.

  • I am Mrs. Nicolé Osagie. I moved to the Sunshine state from Connecticut. 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 taught 5 years in the traditional brick and mortar school as a Social Studies teacher. Additionally, I have worked 3 years as a virtual teacher. It was an honor to be named both 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.

  • 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

  • My name is Kelly Rodriguez. I live in central Massachusetts, northwest of Boston. I work as a Global Teacher and Instructional Designer in the Dual Diploma Program.

    My husband and I love to travel. Prior to Covid, we spent every summer in the coastal northwest corner of Galicia, Spain, where his parents were born and where we still have family and friends.

    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 beyond my Master’s in topics related to literacy, language acquisition, and educational technology. I am licensed in English and Social Sciences and I hold 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 AVE Global Dual Diploma Teacher of the Year.

    In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, cooking, photography, reading, writing, spending time with family and friends, and playing with our dog, Gracie.

  • Ivette Mendez Johnsen 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.

Teachers

  • 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!

  • I’m Kaitlin Alexander and I’m excited to join the team at Dual Diploma. I have been a teacher in Florida since 2013, but I have been working exclusively in virtual classrooms since 2017. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Florida State University and a Master’s Degree in Reading Education from the University of South Florida. My master’s degree was a fully online program and helped me understand the perspective of virtual learners, as well as fueling my passion for the opportunities that virtual programs provide to students, free of geographic barriers.
    I have a lot of passions beyond teaching, including swimming, riding bikes, cooking and spending time with my husband and children in warm and sunny Homestead FL, where we live.

  • Hello! My name is Isabelle Beauvoir. I am excited to transition to virtual education after 13 years in the classroom. I have a Bachelor of Arts in English- Creative Writing and a Master of Arts in Teaching- English Education both from the University of South Florida. I have always known that I was going to be an educator because from a young age I watched my father’s dedication to his students in the inner city of Brooklyn. He inspired me to teach the whole child, and not just what is in the book. My goal is to inspire, motivate and empower young minds to see the endless potential they have. Once children believe that they can learn anything, do anything and be anything-infinite possibilities await them in the world. Aside from teaching, I am passionate about being creative. I enjoy spending time painting, drawing, writing, crafting, or exploring new creative outlets. Lastly, I am blessed to have an amazing husband and two toddler boys with whom I reside in South Florida.

  • 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.

    My husband and I recently moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma along with our large, fluffy dog. He is loveable and lazy and will most likely be sleeping at my feet during lessons. When I am not teaching, I love painting, cooking, traveling, and sports.

  • 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.

  • 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 South 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. I look forward to making wonderful memories with you all!

  • My name is Heidi Armstrong. This will be my 11th year teaching and I am very excited to be a global teacher with the Dual Diploma Program. I was born and raised in Southern Maryland and moved to Miami, Florida when I was in high school. I remained in Florida for college and received my bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Florida International University. I graduated with my master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the American College of Education. Throughout my years of teaching I have had the opportunity to teach students of all ages. My goal as a global teacher is to help all my students achieve success in all their endeavors, both academically and beyond. I am happily married and I have two young children, Jack and Audrey. When I am not teaching, I love to spend time with my family. We make frequent trips to Walt Disney World and enjoy experiencing new adventures together

  • 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.

  • Hello. 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.”

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Melissa Brown earned her Bachelor’s Degree in English Education from Florida State University in 2009, and since then has also earned professional certifications in Secondary English and Secondary Social Studies as well as endorsements to work with ESOL and Gifted students. In addition to her role as a teacher, Melissa has served in school leadership roles such as Grade Level Chairperson and Literacy Committee board member, as well as sponsored many clubs like FEA and Student Council. One of her fondest classroom memories is the annual, out-of-state field trip to Washington, D.C. that she organized and chaperoned for her middle school students. Melissa Brown strongly believes that every learner can be successful and hopes to inspire her students to become lifelong learners. She currently lives in Orlando, Florida

  • Marcela Camacho graduated from University of Alabama at Birmingham with a Master of Arts in Spanish Education. She has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in Management from University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Her professional background includes certifications in the areas of Spanish, ESOL, Business Education, English grades 6th – 12th, and Social Science 6th -12th.
    Because she is a military wife, she worked as a teacher in Alabama spanning from junior high through college level. Marcela moved to Miami in 2019 as her family’s final military move. While teaching in Miami, she was chosen to participate in the Aspen Challenge as one of two coaches. Outside of the classroom, she took on the leadership role of Professional Development Liaison. She has also served as the Future Leaders of America (FBLA) advisor, Spanish Club sponsor, and many more.
    In addition to classroom instruction, Marcela is the owner and CEO of the calligraphy/lettering business LetterZ from Mars. Most importantly, she enjoys the warm weather of Miami with her four daughters and husband at the beach or paddle boarding.
    Currently, she is a Global Teacher for the Dual Diploma program.

    One of her favorite quotes is: “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says… I’m possible.” – Audrey Hepburn

  • 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!

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Camille Collins currently lives in Orlando, Florida, but is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where her family still resides. She earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Secondary Education and a Bachelor’s of Arts in English during her four years at Duquesne University. Camille began her teaching career in 2016 and has taught 5th-8th grade throughout her time in education. She loves building relationships with her students and watching them grow in their learning, friendships, and life skills. In her free time, Camille enjoys spending quality time with her husband and daughter, reading, taking long walks, and teaching dance lessons.

  • Hello! I am Jennifer Comiskey. Although I was born and raised in Florida, I recently relocated to the Rocky Mountains in Northern New Mexico with my husband and two fur children, Finn & Bentley. 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 AVE faculty in 2015, I enjoyed twelve years as a middle school English and Social Studies teacher in South Florida.

  • Jennifer Cook holds a Bachelor’s degree in education, a Master’s degree in business administration, and a master’s degree in education (TESOL). Her professional background includes certifications in English 6-12, English 5-9, Social Science 6-12, ESOL K-12, and Elementary Education K-6. She has taught for over a decade across many grade levels and subjects. Jennifer enjoys baking and cooking, especially breads and pizza. She resides in New York with her husband, children, and mini-goldendoodle named Opal.

  • 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.

  • Welcome! My name is Danny Delgado. I’m excited to support you as you pursue your goal of completing Dual Diploma. I consider myself blessed to be able to do something I love for a living. When I’m not fulfilling my role as an educator you can find me hanging out with my wife and our two beautiful daughters, listening to podcasts, or enjoying some obscure music. I hope our time together is productive and inspirational.

  • 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 for 8 years. I really enjoy being a virtual educator because I get the privileged to teach students all around the globe.
    I am married and have a 5 year-old son named Kai. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, music, yoga, going to the beach, as well as, spending time with my family and friends. I look forward to another successful virtual school year.

  • 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.

  • 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 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.

  • My name is Frances Eawaz, and I am excited to be your instructor this year. I have been teaching students from ages 11-18 for many years, and I absolutely adore my students. I live in Florida, USA. 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.
    I have been married since 2000, and I have a son who is in high school. My certifications consist of English 6-12 and Social Sciences 6-12, but no piece of paper can certify you to make a difference in the lives of young people. I truly hope students know they can rely on me to educate them, encourage them, and empower them to learn independently for years to come!
    Ashlee Middleton
    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 for 9 years 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.

    This is my second year as a Dual Diploma teacher, and I am looking forward to another great year with the 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!

  • Greetings! I’m Cassandra Elliott and I am excited to join the Dual Diploma program. I have been teaching middle school for three years and I am excited to transition to working with high school students. I have a bachelor’s degree in History and a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Social Studies Education. I am currently working on achieving my Master’s in History through a virtual program. The best part about teaching, to me, is seeing students “get it”. I’m here to help, and hope that our time together leaves students wanting more.
    When I am not teaching, I enjoy sunny South Florida adventure with my dog.

  • Elizabeth Fenderson is a Global Teacher with the Dual Diploma Program. Born and raised, along side her three sisters in Southern California, she found a passion at an early age for spending time at the water’s edge. The ocean captured her heart and it is here she found her competitiveness could thrive by participating in activities such as surfing, and windsurfing. Her eagerness to learn, and desire to be top of the class pushed her to excel in these activities and her education as well.

    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.

  • 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 I am even more excited to be a Dual Diploma teacher.

    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.

  • My love for learning is what inspires me to teach.

    Hello, and welcome! My name is Mari Galguera. I live in Miami, Florida with my husband (Ernie), two daughters (Bella and Caro), and our toy 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. This will be my 15th year teaching. My professional experience includes teaching High School mathematics, as well as teaching College English courses to international students.
    I am thrilled to be part of the AVE family, an institution at 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.

  • Ashley Gaska is a Florida educator with licensure in English, English as a second language, reading, and gifted studies. Ashley graduated from the University of South Florida in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in secondary English education. She is currently working on her master’s degree in reading education. Ashley lives in Tampa, Florida with her husband, two dogs, and three cats.

  • Hi! My name is Monica Gras and I am so excited to be joining the Dual Diploma program this year! I was born and raised in Miami, Florida where I currently live with my husband (Giovanni) of 18 years and my 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!

  • 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 also 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. I am excited to be working with international students, embracing the intersection of education and technology!

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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 who both attend high school in Tampa. Her husband, Scott works as a Civil Engineer at the water management district. She enjoys reading, traveling, and loves to be outdoors.

  • Greetings! My name is Erin Hunter and I am thrilled to be entering my second year as 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 Masters 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 four-year-old Camden, and our Shephard/Great Dane mix named Max. 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.

  • My name is Fiorella Liddy. I am originally from Peru and moved to the United States when I was 10 years old. I lived in Florida for most of my life and I just recently moved to Dallas, Texas. I live with my husband, a little girl named Josefine and our playful dog, Bones. In my spare time, I enjoy making crafts, reading, watching movies and spending time with our family. Lately, much of my free time is spent training for a half marathon at Disney World.

    I hold a bachelor’s degree in Spanish Language and Literature from Florida International University and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University. My professional background includes certifications in the areas of English 6-12, Mathematics 5-9, Mathematics 6-12, Elementary K-6, Spanish K-12, and English for Speakers of Other Languages K-12. I have over 16 years in education where I have played the roles of a teacher, activities director, and assistant principal.

    I am so excited to be part of the AVE family and I look forward to meeting you!

  • 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.

  • 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 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.

  • 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.

  • My name is Shelbie Marsh. I have been an educator since 2013 and a Global Teacher with the Dual Diploma Program since 2018. I began my teaching career working in kindergarten first and second grade classrooms. I hold a Master of Education with a concentration in Elementary Education. I am currently working towards My Doctorates in Educational Leadership. In my spare time I enjoy kayaking, going to the beach, reading, crafting baking, cooking, and spending time with my dogs.

  • 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.

  • Hello, my name is Timothy Michel. I currently reside in the sunny town of Naples, Florida with my dog, Dexter. I attended the University of Florida for undergraduate studies, finishing in 2014 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration, a specialization in Sport Management and a minor in Mass Communication (Public Relations/Journalism). Following this, I attended University of Miami School of Law from 2015-2017, before deciding that I would not find the intrinsic rewards from the legal profession that I desire in my “job”/passion. In 2020, I graduated from Nova Southeastern University with a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership. During my time away from school, I support many high school students around South Florida with exam preparation and college applications. I have worked with young adults in various settings throughout my life, ranging from the baseball field to the classroom. The youthful & energetic spirit of today’s students drives me to motivate tomorrow’s future leaders within the Dual Diploma program to strive for greatness in all of their future endeavors.

  • 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!

  • Hello from sunny South Florida! My name is Janice Mills and I am a Global Teacher for the Dual Diploma Program. I graduated from Miami Dade College with a business degree and Trinity International University with a Bachelor of Arts in Education. My husband is also an amazing teacher. We have three children and live in a small city south of Miami called Homestead, Florida. It is just a quick 30 minute drive to the beautiful islands of the Florida Keys. I enjoy sewing, going to the beach and traveling. I have a passion for teaching and believe that every child should be given the opportunity to discover their potential through various teaching methods, programs and environments. I have homeschooled my own children and as a parent and teacher of virtual learning, I have a unique perspective on learning in an online environment. My goal 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.

  • Hi! My name is Meera Mahabir. I was born in 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 previously worked at a traditional brick & mortar charter school for 12 years and I am excited for my journey as a Global teacher.

    In my free time, I enjoy going to the beach, working out, exploring new vegan restaurants, and watching documentaries (especially history related ones). I look forward to being your teacher this year!

  • 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 Auburn, Indiana. 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.”

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Hello everyone! My name is Camilla Nagaoka. I am originally from Brazil but moved to sunny Florida when I was in my teens. I graduated from Florida International University and worked as a math teacher starting in 2013. I have always loved traveling and engaging with different cultures, and so in 2016, decided to take a huge gamble and move to Japan. While teaching in Japan, I met my husband, Shinji, and we had our beautiful daughter, Sofia. In March of 2020, we made our way to Florida, where we enjoyed daily beach adventures and the occasional fishing. We just recently relocated to Smyrna, GA. (We were born with wheels on our feet!) Aside from teaching, I love cooking, exploring the outdoors, traveling, and spending time with my family and friends.

  • 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.I believe learning happens on a continuum, not a series of steps – we don’t stop learning. People learn from doing. We learn from trying things and making mistakes. We learn more from the journey than the destination. I am so excited to help my students gain the most from their journey.

  • Hello, my name is Natalie Ortega and I am extremely excited to be a part of the AVE community! 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 engrossed in the upcoming school year!

  • 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 second Masters in Religious Studies from the University of South Florida, focusing on religious conflict.

    I’m a single mom of a fabulous non-binary, autistic child, who I love to watch cartoons and play video games with. When I’m not doing that, I enjoy travel, exploring nature, learning new skills (like woodworking and climbing trees), and crocheting amigurumi. I’m a huge Science Fiction nerd, also read a lot of comic books – in addition to non-fiction and a healthy dose of YA fiction. As a teacher, I often bring these interests into my classes to provide examples of concepts or make connections to historical events.

  • 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 Bachelor’s 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 has served as the English Department head, and spear headed the literacy initiative. Cindy has also lead several extracurricular activities such as FEA, Book Club, the spelling bee, talent show, girls dance team, girls HS soccer team and many more. 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.”I am a firm believer in lifelong learning, and hope to instill that belief in all of my students”.

  • 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 Page 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.

  • My name is Wendy Perkins, and I live in beautiful northwest 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. When I am not teaching, I am usually out enjoying nature and taking pictures with my camera. I also love spending time with my family and my three cats.

  • Lisette Pickard 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. She is currently a Global Teacher with 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. Some of her hobbies include spending time with her family, being in the ocean, traveling, and outdoor activities.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • “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.

  • Lietty Roig Aloma was born in Havana, Cuba and immigrated to Miami, Florida at six years old. 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 certification in Social Sciences and began teaching U.S. History, World History, and Civics to middle school students. In 2019 she earned a Master of Arts in History, concentrated on Military History, from Southern New Hampshire University. In her spare time, she enjoys going to the movies, trying new desserts, completing themed escape rooms, painting, reading, and cooking with her grandmother.

  • 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 cycling; swimming; weekend getaways; and playing games around the kitchen table.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • My name is Elizabeth Ruiz. I have been an educator since 2004. I have a masters degree in curriculum and instruction and a Bachelor’s 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 AVE dual diploma program, 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • My name is Lia Cristina Seirotti. I graduated from Florida International University with a degree in Education. Since 2010, I have taught 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 in a physical building or via a virtual school. The teacher’s role is to provide authentic and engaging experiences to gain knowledge in a real-world context. With this frame of mind, I decided to leave the conventional education system to embark on this global journey of educating students virtually.

    I am passionate about teaching, writing, social media, and volunteerism and hope to continue inspiring my students through these channels.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Hello! My name is Heather Simmons, and I am a Global Teacher with the Dual Diploma Program. I live in the panhandle of Florida with my husband and three children. We enjoy riding horses and spending time on the water. I received my Master’s Degree in Education from Troy University in Troy, Alabama. I am certified to teach English Language Learners, English 6-12 grades, Social Sciences 6-12 grades, and Media Specialist PK-12 grades. I have a passion for seeing my students learn, excel, and succeed. I was honored to be named the AVE Dual Diploma Global Teacher of the Year for the 2019-2020 school year.

    It is my belief that education can change the world. By providing my students with an engaging and effective learning environment, I am not just teaching them a skill but helping students become lifelong learners.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 am certified to teach English 6-12 and hold endorsements in ESOL, Reading, and Gifted education. I have been teaching since 2012 and have a passion for inspiring my 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.

  • My name is Trisha Stelari. I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in Social Studies and Special Education from Carthage College in Wisconsin and my master’s degree in Education from Simmons University in Massachusetts. I love being able to share my knowledge with my students, and I always learn something from them as well!

    Though I pursued post-secondary education out of state, I was born and raised in Florida and have found my way back here again. My husband and I have two adorable cats named Chauncey and Nori. In my spare time, I can be found looking for the perfect cup of coffee, playing video games, and getting lost in books.

  • 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!

  • My name is Jennifer Todd, and I am excited to be a global teacher with the Dual Diploma Program. I received my degree from Florida Atlantic University where I studied Psychology and Social Work, then realized that I could best use those tools for my passion in teaching. I am certified in Secondary Social Studies, Secondary Language Arts and Exceptional Student Education (K-12). I currently live in Tampa, Florida with my husband and three daughters. Some of my favorite things to do, consist of traveling around the world, reading, catching up on shows and spending time with my family.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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, 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!

  • 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.

  • Cody Yacavone was born and raised in Southbury, Connecticut. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish Language and Literature, and Master’s degree in Teaching Secondary Education from Quinnipiac University. Before the Dual Diploma program, Cody taught high school level Spanish for two years in Columbus, Ohio, 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.

  • 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.

Staff