University of North Florida 2008
Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education
Certified to teach Kindergarten through 6th grade
Endorsements for Exceptional Student Education and English for Speakers of Other Languages
Prior to joining DePaul, Heather taught at New Berlin Elementary for nearly eight years. She then spent a couple years helping struggling students who needed a little extra support outside of the classroom.
"Teaching has always given me such a sense of purpose because it's one area in life where you have the opportunity to truly make a difference. I absolutely love the look on a child's face when they grasp something for the first time. There is so much pride and satisfaction in that moment! I wish that was a feeling I could bottle up and sell to the world.
"One of my favorite things at DePaul is the way the kids embrace and encourage each other. They each know how important it is to celebrate strengths. They learn that it isn't what you can't do, it's simply what you haven't learned how to do yet. They come to school with eager minds and, even on their bad days, they love their school and that makes a huge difference for everyone.
"I do my best to foster a desire for reading because it's also one of my favorite things: getting lost in the characters and storyline of a new novel, winding my way through a twisting plot or a mysterious turn of events, discovering a new land as it's painted in words.
When she's not at DePaul, Heather can be found walking a whole pack of dogs, having a coffee, or hanging out at the beach.
Heidi Guzman loves students who are afraid of math.
“The best thing about teaching is reaching students where they are—teaching them to embrace their uniqueness and believe in their unlimited potential to reach their goals.”
Heidi became a familiar face around DePaul when her youngest daughter enrolled as a student a few years ago. At the time, she was teaching at GRASP Academy (2018’s Teacher of the Year). Then she joined our faculty in 2019.
Heidi graduated FSCJ Magna Cum Laude with a BS in Early Childhood Education in 2016, and she’s already established herself as DePaul’s math whiz.
Every day, her classroom echoes with her enthusiastic, connective style of instruction.
“I can make my lessons shorter or longer, depending on the needs of my students. My primary focus is the academic experience and well-being of my students. My ability to differentiate instruction supports my students learning styles and embraces their learning differences. In addition, it gives me the opportunity to get to know my students and develop a strong bond with each of them. At DePaul, we teach the way students learn and make sure that they feel loved and supported every day.
“The hardest part of teaching is waiting for students to realize their true potential. Once they have a growth mindset, it’s incredible to see them overcome obstacles and surprise themselves with their amazing accomplishments.”
Heidi is certified in Elementary Education K-6, 5-9 Math and ESOL (ESE and Spanish - January 2021) She has two daughters and is an active advocate for learning differences. In her free time, she likes to entertain family and friends, read, crochet, quilt, bake, go for long walks, play tennis, and garden.
Angelina Moss’s classroom is a place of wonder.
Day after day, she’s up on her feet delivering lessons with as much creativity as she can muster.
Making Venn diagrams out of hula hoops.
Singing songs about the days of the week.
Helping kids who fear reading find the perfect book.
“Last year, we were able to read Wait Till Helen Comes. One of my favorite tools is Reader’s Theatre. The kids get excited about the activity, and that makes them so excited to read the book.”
It’s an incredibly wholehearted way to live and work, though it wasn’t that way for Angelina at first.
“I always wanted to be involved with children. I enrolled in FSU to be a child psychologist, but that quickly changed to social science education. I know my heart, and I was afraid to get to attached to the kids. I changed to teaching because I figured I’d have so many loves that I wouldn’t get be so affected by this particular one, or that particular one,” she says with a twinkle in her eye.
“That didn’t quite work out the way I planned.”
Angelina got her degree in May 2010, and was working at Catapult Academy by August.
It wasn’t long until she landed a job at a dropout intervention program, where those human connections happened almost instantly. She spent more than two years coaching students between the ages of 16-21, helping them earn a diploma or GED.
A school closure led her to DePaul, where she began teaching and earned her Masters Degree in Educational Instruction right after the birth of her first son in 2015.
“I love learning. I wanted to be a better teacher. Here, I wanted to bring definite structure to my curriculum, going beyond just standards to make sure it was effective for our students. I do the best I can to teach the students and keep them on track. Today, I can plan more to what the students need, and apply strategies to the way they learn, using methods that help them to get it.
The hardest part of my job is there aren’t enough hours in the day. I wish I had more time to reach every child’s need.
The easiest part? I love the kids. They are so easy to love.”
Donna Pulito was sitting in a classroom at a local school as an observer, in the course of studying Anthropology of Education at UNF, when she noticed it.
“It was coming from the teachers,” she says, still embarrassed at the memory. “It made me feel like there were things I could change, and maybe do better.”
It wasn’t long until Ms. Pulito changed her minor to Education. “It changes things, viewing education through an anthropological lens. I love kids. Why not be the difference for them?”
Ms. Pulito grew up in Jensen Beach, Florida, a small town on the east coast just north of Palm Beach. She started out studying Journalism at Marymount Manhattan College in NYC before moving to Jacksonville, where she graduated from the University of North Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology.
For many years, Ms. Pulito has studied the intricate similarities and differences in how children from different cultures consume knowledge. Throughout college, she worked with children of different ages and learning differences in a variety of settings. Previously, she spent summers working as a Camp Counselor with the Martin County Parks and Recreation Department and as an After-School Program Leader at the J.A.S.E. Program. She interned at St. Clair Evans Elementary School and Twin Lakes Middle School, and after graduating was a Long-Term Substitute Teacher at the Waverly Academy.
A few years ago, Catapult Tutoring brought on Ms. Pulito to work with kids in Reading, Language, and Math at DePaul School of Northeast Florida, and that’s where she found her home.
“These kids want to learn so badly. They work so hard for those gains, just struggling to be everything they can. They pay attention in class, but it still takes time for them to get it. I want them all to be successful. They deserve that. At DePaul, we find those strengths and show them just how awesome their potential is.”
Each DePaul teacher brings a different strength to the classroom, and Ms. Pulito’s learning space is full of humor.
“I show the kids we can be silly and have fun in the course of learning a lesson. Our kids are used to school being boring and robotic, so when they see me laughing and dancing around the room, they know they can be themselves, make mistakes in trial and error, and let loose of their worries.
I teach the kids to love themselves and be proud of their accomplishments, even celebrating the little things. Seeing their faces light up, watching their confidence just build and build—there’s just nothing like it.”
Reeyan Staine is a dedicated, compassionate, and enthusiastic educator who hails from the strikingly beautiful country of Belize.
The value of education is something she has understood since childhood, as her parents instilled in her an enduring passion for learning. Reeyan’s teaching persona has been shaped by her mother, who is an educator for students with disabilities.
Reeyan’s teaching career began in 2009 as a 2nd grade elementary teacher in Belize. After completing her studies at UNF, she continued her teaching career at DePaul School of Northeast Florida, where she has taught since 2013.
In 2013, she graduated magna cum laude from the University of North Florida (UNF) with a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Elementary Education.
During her undergraduate studies at UNF, Reeyan had the opportunity to work with students from Waterleaf Elementary, Woodland Acres, Lakeshore Middle, Joseph Stillwell Middle, Twin Lakes Middle Academy, and Florida School for the Deaf and Blind. She was responsible for creating and managing positive learning environments, developing and implementing lesson plans, and tutoring students who struggled in reading and mathematics.
As a versatile educator, Reeyan has truly enjoyed teaching a diverse group of students to include those with dyslexia, auditory and visual processing disorders, ADD, and ADHD.
During her tenure at DePaul, she has effectively instructed students with specific learning differences in all subject areas, coordinated the school’s safety patrol team, and mentored student interns. She also participates in the professional learning opportunities and practices needed to effectively meet the unique needs of her students. These opportunities include attending professional development workshops with Florida Diagnostic & Learning Resources System (FDLRS), Summit Professional Education and Lindamood-Bell.
Recently, Reeyan had the privilege of teaching basic sign language to a group of students at Twin Lakes Academy Middle, where she serves as the Vice President of the Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA).
Reeyan enjoys reading, traveling, serving in her church choir and dance ministry, engaging in community outreach opportunities, and most importantly, spending time with her loved ones.
Reeyan’s ultimate goal to nurture, love, and instill the love of learning in all of her students. She is committed to providing her students with a secure, caring and stimulating atmosphere in which they will thrive, growing socially, emotionally, physically and intellectually.
Educator and coach Aaron Unthank originally hails from St. Louis, MO.
Over the past 20 years he has taught ages ranging from elementary and middle grades to college classes and adult learners.
Venues include classrooms, concert stages, and lecture halls.
He studied music at Evangel University and has worked as a professional musician for years. In 2007, he decided to change course a bit and go back to school to earn his degree in education. He holds a bachelor degree in education and has begun master studies in educational leadership.
Over the past two decades, he has also sung from coast to coast across the U.S. in venues far and wide. He taught at Steve Hurst School of Music for more than 20 years.
Aaron now makes his home in Jacksonville, FL where he is immersed in local music culture and artistry.
Amber Oliveira, Ed.D. became DePaul’s Head of School in August 2016.
Oliveira joined DePaul after eight years working with Episcopal Children’s Services, having last served as the Assistant Director for Head Start in five northeast Florida counties. Prior to that, she was the ECS Director of Education and Vice President of Early Learning, overseeing a program with over 100 teachers serving more than 600 students.
She joined ECS when she became Lead Instructional Coach for the Jacksonville Early Learning Partnership. Her first experience in education was as an elementary school teacher in Duval County Public Schools.
After graduating from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, Oliveira returned to Jacksonville. There she earned a Masters of Elementary Education and a Doctorate of Educational Leadership from the University of North Florida.
Oliveira and her husband have two children, a boy and a girl.
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Charlotte is a devoted wife, mother, volunteer, and employee of DePaul School. She has been married to her husband for sixteen years and has a son who attends the school and is now in the seventh grade. They both came to DePaul in 2008.
Charlotte has consistently volunteered in a leadership capacity at the school. Last year, she was the President of the DePaul Parent Association. She has worked effortlessly to enrich the lives of our students through creative activities, events, and fundraisers to help make DePaul an exciting place to learn and grow.
Charlotte brings many years of experience to her new position as the Office Manager at DePaul School. Prior to DePaul, Charlotte was self-employed as a successful small business owner and real estate agent. She also worked as a licensed home child care provider, substitute teacher, and athletic coach at Providence School coaching volleyball, softball, and cheerleading.
Charlotte also attended Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida as an English Major with a minor in Speech. She received her education for pre-school and real estate licensure at FCCJ in Jacksonville, Florida. Currently, she still holds an active real estate license as a Certified Distressed Property Expert. Charlotte takes great pride in helping others and especially has a heart for working with children of all ages; inspiring them to be the very best they can be. This summer she was a host mother for two exchange students from Spain for the entire month of July.
Last but not least, Charlotte enjoys spending quality time with her family, going to church, singing, and volunteering for many types of organizations.
Our Office Assistant Wendie Crook volunteered for DePaul for several years before joining us permanently in 2017. Ms. Wendie helps make DePaul what it is! She works with enrollment, finances, operations, and assisting teachers. We couldn't do this without her!
Ms. Wendie has two sons, including Jacob, who is a graduate of DePaul School.
Mom knew exactly where to find the office of the guy in charge of 504 plans at my public elementary school, because she was always there.
When she quizzed me in spelling, I counted letters on my fingers. I knew it was wrong if the letter count was off.
Public school just wasn’t set up for my dyslexia.
Some years I had great teachers, but overall, it wasn’t working… especially when the dyslexia really started showing in 3rd-4th grade.
Then Mom found DePaul.
I was there for one year—sixth grade. I had issues with Math, and was able to take classes for my level. I was advanced in other subjects, like History, and took classes for that level, too.
After a year, I’d learned how cope with things, how to work. DePaul took the answer the best way I could give it. They knew how to access the information I’d learned. They had figured out what I couldn’t articulate as a 12-year-old 6th grader.
I also learned that smaller classes were better, which came in handy when I picked a college.
That foundation changed everything.
After graduating college with a BA, I took a job as special assistant to clerk of the court. For two years, I managed the jury and witness department, trial operations, the grand jury, and more. Once I got on at the Bar Association, I was made chief of staff in 2017. Now I’m Executive Director. I might have dyslexia, but I can do a lot of different things at once. My mind is organized, but don’t look at my desk!
It’s hard to explain on a resume why I’m qualified… it’s all relationships. In many cases, I can bring a different perspective. It’s one of my strengths.