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.
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.
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.”
Becky Waldron graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education K-6 from Florida Christian College (later Johnson University Florida) in 2000/2001.
She is Orton Gillingham trained, and specializes in Reading, Exceptional Student Education, and English for Speakers of Other Languages.
Becky began teaching in Orange County, Florida out of her internship. She moved home to Jacksonville where she worked for Duval County Public Schools, teaching at Kings Trail Elementary and Hendricks Avenue Elementary.
After discovering her son had dyslexia and searching for the perfect school to fit his needs, she found DePaul. A year later, she discovered she was needed at DePaul as a teacher, and the rest is history.
Becky has a daughter and son with her husband and several furry (and scaly) friends. She loves to solve puzzles, play board games, search for shark’s teeth, and bake.
Becky believes that everyone learns best when they feel loved and comfortable. She wants each child to feel like they are “Mrs. Waldron’s favorite!”
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.”
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.
Miranda has taught for 17 years at Duval County Public Schools in both elementary and middle grades, with a focus on Math.
She is excited for this new challenge of her educational career and to be a part of The DePaul School. For her, the best reward of being in a classroom is watching a student have an "aha moment," becoming self aware that they ARE capable of mathematical thinking and problem solving.
Away from work, Miranda is kept busy with supporting her daughter's musical and theatrical talents, reading a good novel, and cheering on her favorite college sports teams.
“By molding instruction for each student’s specific needs, I will be the facilitator in getting them one step closer to the door of opportunity--A warm, caring, and enthusiastic classroom changes mundane to marvelous and that is contagious!”
Dana developed a love for teaching from one of the greatest role models, her mother, while growing up in Miami. She attended Florida State University for her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Exceptional Student Education. She taught at Pinecrest Elementary School for 11 years, where she served on the leadership committee for introducing new strategies to differentiate instruction. “We need to build the bridge, meeting the needs of every child.”
When Dana’s husband proposed, they decided to move to Jacksonville to pursue his career and start their lives as newlyweds. She fell in love with the area, and soon after, they married in St. Augustine.
“It is important to love where you work, as much as loving what you do," says Dana. "Seeing all the teachers, students, and staff so happy at DePaul finally made me feel like Jacksonville was my home. The positivity here is truly magical." and a place I am honored to work for.”
Principal Reeyan McCullough is a talented educator who has used her signature combination of intuition, humor, exuberance, assertiveness, and nurturing spirit for more than a decade.
McCullough always knew she would be a teacher. Her parents instilled in her an enduring passion for learning from an early age. Her unique teaching persona was shaped by her mother, who is an educator for students with disabilities.
McCullough’s career began in 2009 as a 2nd grade elementary teacher in her beautiful native country of Belize. After completing her studies at UNF, she continued her teaching career at DePaul School of Northeast Florida.
She graduated magna cum laude from the University of North Florida (UNF) with a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education, and later obtained a master’s degree in Elementary Education.
During her undergraduate studies at UNF, Reeyan had the opportunity to work with students from many schools in Jacksonville, including Waterleaf Elementary, Woodland Acres, Lakeshore Middle, Joseph Stillwell Middle, Twin Lakes Middle Academy, and Florida School for the Deaf and Blind.
A versatile educator, McCullough has truly enjoyed teaching a neurodivergent 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 disabilities in all subject areas. She also participates in professional learning opportunities aimed at expanding her knowledge and practice needed to meet the unique needs of her students. These include attending extensive Orton Gillingham training, as well as professional development workshops with Florida Diagnostic & Learning Resources System (FDLRS), Summit Professional Education, and Lindamood-Bell.
In 2023, Reeyan McCullough was named DePaul School of Northeast Florida’s first Principal. Her 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.
In her spare time, she 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.
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.
Teri has a story coming!
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.