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 and yoga.

  • 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.

     

  • Lauren Halstead

    Chief Operating Officer/Head of School

    halstead@collagedayschool.org

    I received my bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Florida. I have completed my 45 training hours of Early Childhood Education from the Department of Children and Families and currently hold an active Florida Child and Education Director’s Credential.

    Prior to joining Collage Day School, I worked for nine years in human resource management and as a director of two preschools. For Collage, I provide day-to-day school leadership and management that mirrors our mission and values. Bottom line: Build and maintain a beautiful school community.

    I like to stay involved with the community by participating in local triathlons and charitable races as well as being a member of the CrossFit community, but my real joy right now is my new husband, his son and our beautiful new baby girl!

  • Kristin Lunsford, Ed.D.-Education

    Director of Education

    lunsford@collagedayschool.org

    After receiving a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in teaching from Georgia College and State University, I taught middle school for nine years and high school for one year in Florida and Georgia respectively. Recently, I have been working on my doctorate degree in curriculum, instruction, and education while taking care of my two young children, Jake (4) and Abby (3).

    I enjoy planning innovative and differentiated instructional activities that motivate and inspire individual students. After analyzing data from assessment, I create and use various instructional activities and manuals to assist students in the learning process.

    At CDS, I assist in the day-to-day operations and provide leadership, training and support to the faculty. My goal is to create a supportive and team-driven environment. Collage Day School’s educational approach of providing varying hands-on and real-world curricula based on each student’s individual needs align with my own philosophy of educational best practices. I am very excited that Collage is opening in Ponte Vedra Beach and am eager to begin the new school year.

  • Tiffany Clark, M.A.-Curriculum and Instruction

    Director of Curriculum & Instruction

    clark@collagedayschool.org

    I bring 10 years of special education teaching experience to Collage Day School, eight of which occurred in St. Johns County. During my career as a public school educator, I have worked with students in self-contained, inclusion and co-teaching settings in pre-kindergarten through grade 7. In addition, I have taught third grade as well as served two years as an instructional coach where I observed and assisted teachers with the implementation of instruction and intervention.  

    At Collage Day School, I work with the leadership team to review student data to ensure the curriculum and instruction is meeting each student’s individual needs.

    I have a bachelor’s degree in special education and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. I am a Florida Certified Teacher in the areas of pre-kindergarten, kindergarten-grade 6 and special education kindergarten-grade 12. I also have endorsements in pre-kindergarten disabilities, English as a Second Language and reading. I am also a busy mom of three children: Campbell, Colton and Canon.

  • Emily Vasquez, M.S.-Education

    Director of Health & Wellness

    vasquez@collagedayschool.org

    As a highly creative physical education teacher, I am thrilled to serve Collage Day School as its director of health and wellness. I fully support the school’s dedication to promoting the health of our students. We all experience a wide variety of physical and mental benefits when moving our bodies in healthy ways. Our students will be learning outdoors in a natural environment in order to truly enhance this experience.

    With 10 years’ experience as a physical education teacher, preschool teacher and owner of a fitness activity program for young children, I believe in creating a positive environment where children can explore their potential. Moreover, my experience has afforded me a well-rounded skill set, which include organizational and motivational skills.

    I have a solid educational foundation and a passion for physical education and fitness. In addition to my professional certificate in physical education, I have a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in education. I am currently pursuing my yoga certification with a specialty in pediatrics.

  • Karen Carmichael, A.A.-Early Childhood Education

    Director of School Operations

    carmichael@collagedayschool.org

    I am a Chicago native, and I have lived in the Jacksonville area since 2000. I taught at Collage’s predecessor, Accotink Academy by the Sea, a private school serving 18 months to third grade, and a Jacksonville child development center. I have always had a passion for working with children, including my own four, one of whom has special needs.

    Prior to teaching, I worked for a medical foundation supporting quality of care studies. I studied at Auburn University with an emphasis in liberal arts and science and the University of Illinois at Chicago in communication design.  I received my associate degree in early childhood education in 2010.

  • Sheila Tabassian, B.S.-Biology

    Director of Admissions

    tabassian@collagedayschool.org

    I have a degree in biology from Virginia Commonwealth University and have been a lead preschool teacher for the past 16 years. Prior to becoming Collage’s director of admissions, I taught at both Accotink Academy By The Sea and, most recently, a Jacksonville child development center. I find the education field fulfilling because I am able to make a positive impact on the lives of young students. I look forward to meeting many wonderful students and their families in my new role.

    I have lived in the Jacksonville area since 1997 and currently reside in Ponte Vedra Beach with my husband and two children. I love spending time with my family, cooking and exploring nature.

  • Our Faculty

    Office Staff

    Sara Goldsmith, Administrative assistant and Aftercare teacher

    Early Childhood Development Community

    Infants:

    Ashley Hobbs, Lead Teacher

    Lela Parker, Assistant Teacher

    Walking Ones:

    Desiree Blackman, Lead Teacher

    Shannon Mead, Assistant Teacher

    Toddlers/Twos:

    Nora Chambers, Lead Teacher

    Aimee Santimauro, Assistant Teacher

    Nicole Rhoden, Lead Teacher

    Amanda Fowler, Assistant Teacher

    Primary School Community

    Preschool:

    Amanda Beaver, 5-Day Lead Teacher

    Sharon Mathews, 3-Day Lead Teacher

    Lisa Caffey, 3-Day Assistant Teacher

    VPK:

    Shari Goldman, 5-Day Lead Teacher

    Silimona Hamrick, 5-Day Full Day Lead Teacher
    Tina Rihlmann, 5-Day Full Day Assistant Teacher

    Donna Buchholz, 4-Day Lead Teacher
    Erin Whitaker, 4-Day Assistant Teacher

    Amanda Greer, 5-Day Half-Day Lead Teacher
    Teresa Erickson, 5-Day Half-Day Assistant Teacher

     

    Elementary School Community

    Kindergarten:

    Fallon Lundy, Lead Teacher

    Jenn Currie, Lead Teacher
    Hannah Witt, Assistant Teacher

    First Grade:

    Patti Rossi, Lead Teacher

    Taylor Johnson, Assistant Teacher

    Upper Elementary

    Nicole DeLaCruz, Lead Teacher
    Judy Ord, Lead Teacher

    Enrichment

    Savannah Vanderhorst, Enrichment Coordinator

    Art:

    Erin Hunter, Teacher

    Garden Resource:

    Laurie Simmer, Teacher

    Music:

    Mark Williams, Teacher

    PE/Timbernook/Yoga:

    Emily Vasquez, Teacher

    Spanish:

    Monica Sevlever

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