Our Staff

WITH EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE IN ENGAGING STUDENTS IN THE LEARNING PROCESS
  • Certified lead teachers and assistant teachers work together in a school climate of collegiality and ongoing professional development. Resource teachers provide physical education, art, music, yoga and Spanish.

  • Each member of the Collage faculty and staff works to foster a peaceful and productive work environment for our students. Collage Day School embraces and depends upon the creativity of our team. Our teachers don’t follow scripted lesson plans developed by others. Instead, they offer subject matter to the students in an engaging way that’s tailored to the developmental stage of the student.

    Our faculty meets the rigorous standards of accreditation. Collage is working toward full membership and accreditation by the Florida Council of Independent Schools (FCIS), Florida Kindergarten Council (FKC) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The school’s VPK program is endorsed by the Florida Department of Children & Families.

     

  • Leadership

  • Dr. Katie Falwell

    CEO/Founder

    falwell@collagedayschool.org

    Dr. Katie Falwell is the founder and CEO of Collage Day School. She holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Fielding University, and a M.A. and B.A. from the University of North Carolina. Her postgraduate certification is in behavior analysis from George Mason University. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and finished her postdoctoral residency at the University of Florida. In 2006, she served as a faculty member at the University of Florida before shifting her focus in 2008 to the greater pediatric needs of the North Florida community.

    As her two young sons approached preschool age, she searched long and hard for a school that shared her vision for early childhood education. After each tour, she walked away feeling a void, and ultimately decided to build a dream school that shared her long- standing interest in the development of children. Convinced she was not alone in wanting more for her children’s education, she founded Collage Day School, an environment where relationships are at the heart of each child’s thinking and learning.

    With her training, she seeks to foster a welcoming and nurturing community that values children as competent and capable learners. She supports practices that create a place alive with inquiry, investigation, thinking, and communication. She believes in a child- centered community where the intellectual and emotional integrity of children are honored. Respect, care, and the joy of living and learning are at the core of her values and lay the foundation for the Collage Day School.

  • Tiffany Clark, M.A.

    Elementary Principal

    clark@collagedayschool.org

    Tiffany Clark is a Jacksonville native who is thrilled to be a part of a unique learning community like no other in North Florida. She brings 16 years of education experience to her role as Elementary Principal. Nine of those years include teaching special education, two years were spent serving as a general education teacher, and five years include educational administration in both the private and public school sectors.

    During her career as a public school educator, she worked with students in grades Pre- Kindergarten through grade 7. As an educational administrator, she worked as an Instructional Coach, Curriculum Coordinator, and a Special Programs Coach, where she supported teachers and parents to meet the individual needs of each student. At Collage Day School, she previously worked as the Director of Curriculum and Instruction during the school’s inaugural year, where she met with the leadership team to review student data to ensure each student realized their full potential.

    She holds a M.A. in curriculum and instruction and a B.A. in special education. She is a Florida Certified Teacher in the areas of pre-kindergarten, kindergarten to grade 6 and special education, kindergarten to grade 12. She also has endorsements in pre- kindergarten disabilities, English as a second language and reading. In addition to being a busy mom of three children, she is currently pursuing a second master’s degree in educational administration and working on an endorsement in gifted education.

    With an interest in project based learning, she is dedicated to fostering a preschool and primary educational environment based on meaningful experiences that foster student led knowledge and spark curiosity.

  • Rochelle Golomb

    Preschool Principal

    Golomb@collagedayschool.org

    Rochelle Golomb has over 30 years of experience as an early childhood professional, and she serves at Collage Day School because of her sincere desire to make a difference in the lives of children and families in the community. She values and respects the youngest learners at the school while supporting the families and educators who work with them. With an open door policy, she effectively works side by side with faculty to improve learning and teaching goals. She embraces collaboration and reflective practices to help children reach their full potential.

    Rochelle holds a B.A. in psychology and early childhood education from the University of Maryland. She has a certification of specialization in special education and a Florida Advanced Child and Education Director’s Credential. She has worked as an early childhood educator, resource teacher, parent program facilitator, preschool administrator in multi-accredited schools, and designed professional development for educators. She believes a love of learning happens through curiosity, a sense of wonder, and meaningful interactions with the environment.

    She is a proud daughter, wife, mother, and grandmother and loves spending time with her family.

  • Dr. Gigi David

    Education Specialist in Residence/Pedagogista

    david@collagedayschool.org

    Dr. Gigi David is a bilingual Jacksonville native who brings a creative perspective combined with over 30 years of educational experiences including preschool and elementary classroom teaching, school administration as Head of School, Director of Education, Curriculum Designer, Program Evaluator (arts-integration programs), Education Consultant and University Professor. She is a published children’s author and has designed a variety of supplemental curriculum and resources for teaching children ages 3-12. She earned an Ed.D. in educational leadership from the University of North Florida, a specialist degree in early childhood education from the University of Florida, an M.Ed. in educational leadership from the University of North Florida, and a B.A. in Elementary Education.

    An active lecturer in her community, she has presented at the local, state and national level including multiple times at NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children and NTI (National Training Institute). Her presentations include School Museum Exhibitions; Social Skills: Promoting Preschool Friendships; ABC Literacy: Art, Books, Community. Her dissertation research received the Mulkeen award for practice centered inquiry and her research articles are published in Creativity Research Journal, Early Childhood Development and Care, Journal of Research in Childhood Education.

    She is honored to be the Pedagogista / Learning Designer and Facilitator for the faculty at Collage Day School. She works closely with teachers to empower students to be skilled communicators, keen observers of nature and creative thinkers. Embedded in her educational philosophy is a quote by the cognitive psychologist Jean Piaget. He states, “The principle goal of education in the schools is to create men and women who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done; men and women who are creative, inventive and discoverers, who have minds which can verify, and not accept, everything they are offered.” Piaget’s words shine a light on a very important goal embraced at Collage Day School– to provide engaging activities and projects that appropriately challenge students on a daily basis. Dr. Gigi David’s passion lies in helping students to become confident, innovative leaders, and with her expertise, Collage Day School is a unique and transformative learning environment where children and faculty are called to investigate, discover, create and thrive!

  • Dr. Kristin Lunsford

    Director of Training and Support

    lunsford@collagedayschool.org

    Dr. Kristin Lunsford holds a Ph.D. in curriculum, instruction, and assessment, a M.A. in teaching from Georgia College and State University and a B.A. in history. She has ten years of classroom teaching experience at the middle school and high school level in Florida and Georgia. Common themes in Kristin’s work involve planning innovative and differentiated instructional activities that motivate and inspire individual students. After analyzing data from assessment, she creates and uses various instructional activities and manuals to assist students in the learning process.

    At Collage Day School, she facilitates a range of educational issues: she ensures that all children in the early learning and preschool communities receive individualized instruction; she consults with teachers on the best practices to differentiate their lessons in order to meet the individual learning needs of each of their students; and she also

    meets with all families to discuss the goals they have for their child, collaborating with teachers and parents to ensure lesson plans meet those specific goals.

    Outside of work, she enjoys family time with her husband and two children.

  • Emily Vasquez

    Director of Health & Wellness

    vasquez@collagedayschool.org

    As a highly creative physical education teacher and outdoor learning enthusiast, Emily is thrilled to serve Collage Day School as Director of Health and Wellness. She fully supports the school’s dedication to developing the head, heart, and hands of students. She ascribes to the mental and health benefits of a wide variety of physical activities; therefore, at Collage Day School, students daily take the learning outdoors.

    With 12 years of experience as a physical education teacher, preschool teacher and owner of a fitness activity program for young children, Emily believes in creating a positive environment where children can explore their potential. Moreover, her experience has afforded her a well-rounded skill set, which includes organizational and motivational skills.

    Emily has a solid educational foundation and a passion for physical education and fitness. In addition to her professional certificate in physical education, she holds a B.A. in psychology and a M.A. in education. Currently, she is pursuing her yoga certification with a specialty in pediatrics, and she is honored to be a certified instructor of TimberNook.

  • Sheila Tabassian, B.S.

    Director of Admissions

    tabassian@collagedayschool.org

    Sheila Tabassian earned a B.A. in biology from Virginia Commonwealth University and has 16 years of lead preschool teaching experience at both Accotink Academy By The Sea and Mosaic Day School. Sheila’s focus is helping families navigate their educational choices. Not only does she guide parents through the enrollment process, but she also ensures that students and families feel supported and warmly welcomed to the Collage Day School community. She recognizes that finding the right educational environment is crucial to a child’s development, and she’s thankful for the opportunity to serve students and families.

    Sheila has lived in the Jacksonville area for over 20 years. Currently, she resides in Ponte Vedra Beach, where she enjoys cooking and exploring nature with her husband and two children.

  • Karen Carmichael, A.A.

    Director of Administration

    carmichael@collagedayschool.org

    Karen Carmichael is a Chicago native who moved to the Jacksonville area in 2000. Prior to becoming Director of Admissions, Karen served on staff at a child development center and was the lead VPK teacher at Accotink Academy by the Sea. She holds an A.A. in early childhood education and studied liberal arts and sciences at Auburn University, as well as communication design at the University of Illinois.

    She is the proud mother of four children, one of whom has special needs. Her first-hand experience as a parent with children who utilize various learning styles and her years of classroom teaching, shapes her enthusiasm for education and her desire to positively impact the lives of the families she assists at Collage Day School.

  • Elizabeth Engelman

    Director of Advancement Communication

    Elizabeth Engelman received her MFA from the University of Tampa, where she was honored with the Outstanding Graduate Award. She also holds an M.A. in Poetry from Lancaster University and a B.A. in English Education from Carson-Newman University. In May 2017, her essay “Mother Tongue” was published by The New York Times. She was the recipient of the 2017 Emerging Writer Award from the Key West Literary Seminar, and her essays have been published in Endeavor Magazine, a publication of the American Society for Deaf Children. In 2014, her poem “Filling Empty Spaces” was published in LETTERS, Yale’s Literary & Art Magazine. She has over ten years of high school and college level teaching experience, and she writes the blog www.ondeafness.com. Elizabeth is new to St. Augustine, having recently relocated with her family in order for her profoundly deaf son to attend The Florida School for the Deaf and Blind. She’s excited to be the Director of Advancement Communications, where she will use her writing skills to share the exciting stories of Collage Day School’s students and teachers with the larger North Florida community.

  • Faculty

    The Collage Day School faculty and staff are a dedicated, collaborative team of professionals who bring a variety of experiences from public, private and independent schools. They are constantly reimagining education to benefit their students. The teachers exceed state certification qualifications as many have earned Master’s and Doctoral degrees in early childhood, elementary education, art education, math and science. Collage Day School staff and faculty support individual and community achievement by instilling the critical thinking skills and enthusiasm our students need to become leaders of tomorrow.

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