Student Support Spotlight, by Alissa Plaisance
Welcome, parents! It is hard to believe I am starting my sixth year at TCS. It has been such a blessing and an adventure to say the least! This year brings another step in our journey to develop great learners with new faculty and programs. I am so excited to introduce you to the newest members of The Bridge and the Student Support Center (SSC). It has been incredible to witness this team already starting their pre-planning time with chemistry between one another, collaboration, and passion for the students they will teach.
I believe TCS has become a landmark in Orlando that supports all kinds of learners. Our Student Support Center programs and The Bridge are prime examples of how we nurture learners to be successful in many ways. Within the SSC, we will continue to have our Enrichment program, Academic Support, and Intensive Reading opportunities. 20-21 also brings the inaugural year of The Bridge which serves students with dyslexia in grades 2-4. Our teachers will specialize in teaching the Orton Gillingham approach to reading and will utilize multisensory math techniques to make math memorable. Additionally, our teachers will build upon dyslexic strengths such as creativity and thinking outside of the box to support their social emotional needs and self-confidence.
I invite you to join me in prayer for our new teachers and programs at TCS. I am honored to introduce the SSC and The Bridge team to our TCS family!
Courtney Morgan, 2nd grade Bridge teacher, earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish Linguistics from the University of Iowa. Courtney’s experience includes teaching in both public and private schools to a wide range of age groups from Pre-K through 12th grade as well as adults in corporate settings and students with language and learning differences. Courtney holds a reading endorsement and is trained in Orton Gillingham and Multi-sensory Math.
Meredith Schott, 3rd grade Bridge teacher, earned her Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Learning Disabilities and Emotional Disturbances from Florida State University. She also holds a Florida Teaching Certification in K-6 general education and K-12 ESE education. Meredith’s experiences include 9 years of teaching in the state of Florida working with students with learning differences providing small group instruction.
Kathy Whitman, 4th grade Bridge teacher, earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Florida State University. She also holds a Florida Teacher Certification K-6, Gifted Education Endorsement, and is trained in Orton-Gillingham and Multisensory Math. Kathy has been an educator for over 20 years, in both public and private schools, including 12 years at The Christ School. She’s blessed to be returning to TCS and excited to be a part of The Bridge program this year.
Meggen Breen, multisensory math teacher, received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education and her Master of Arts in Elementary Education from the University of Florida. She is also a Wilson Dyslexia Practitioner. Meggen’s experience includes teaching in public school, serving as a reading coach and as a private tutor. She is pursuing additional certifications in Orton Gillingham and Multi-Sensory Math. While she is not at school, Meggen loves spending time with her family at the beach.
Jennie Farrant, Bridge Instructional Specialist, attended college at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Child and Adolescent Psychology. She went on to earn her Interrelated Special Education Certification from the University of Georgia and then a Master of Education degree in Reading Instruction and a Reading Endorsement from the University of West Georgia. Mrs. Farrant is an Associate with the Academy of Orton Gillingham (OG) and is currently working toward certification at the Certified Level. She has also been trained in Multisensory Math and is pursuing Practitioner Certification. Mrs. Farrant has been in education for over ten years in a variety of capacities. She has experience teaching in both a private and public school setting, in general and special education classrooms, and working one-on-one with students as a tutor. In her free time, Mrs. Farrant enjoys spending time with her husband and two boys, reading, shopping, and doing puzzles.
Nicole Hamilton, Bridge reading teacher, earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Health with a minor in Health Education from University of North Florida. She is certified in ESE, Prek-3rd, and Varied Exceptionalities. Nicole’s career has focused on children with developmental disabilities and learning differences. She has taught in both private and public school settings, in addition to private tutoring. Nicole is pursuing her Associate level certification through the Academy of Orton Gillingham Practitioners and Educators. When Nicole is not at school she can be found running around with her 2 year old son, crafting with her 5 year old daughter, and laughing with her husband. Nicole is excited to join The Christ school team to be in a Christ-centered learning environment and be near her daughter as she enters TK.
Yvonne Doria, Academic Support and Intensive Reading Specialist, has her bachelor’s degrees in both theater and journalism from the University of Florida (Go Gators!) and her master’s in Education from New England College. Throughout her career, Yvonne has worked in the public school and private school setting as well as a private tutor as an executive functioning coach and remediation specialist. Yvonne’s educational experience spans nine years in both the Northeast and in Florida as a learning specialist, intensive reading teacher, English teacher, and acting teacher across all grades (elementary through high school as well as adults as a private coach). She is trained in Wilson and Orton Gillingham and specializes in the remediation and intervention of Dyslexia, executive dysfunctions and behavior. This is Yvonne’s second year at The Christ School. This year, she will be joining us full-time along with her daughter, Linea, who will be starting her first year here at TCS in TK. Outside of school, Yvonne’s happy place is in the mountains.
Evelyn Salinero, Enrichment and Academic Support teacher, obtained a Master’s degree in Reading Education from the University of Central Florida, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Exceptional Student Education from Barry University. Evelyn is also ESOL endorsed and working towards a Gifted and Talented endorsement. She has over 17 years working with children in varying roles in both private and public schools. Evelyn’s passion is to reach each child’s potential and help them thrive. Having worked in the Caribbean with students with learning differences is one of her proudest moments.
Vicki Taulbee, Academic Support and Classroom Assistant, earned her BA in special education from FSU. Vicki has worked as a classroom teacher and homeschooled her three children for six years before bringing them to The Christ School where she has worked as a receptionist and first grade aide for the past two years. During that time she received Orton Gillingham training and worked with small groups of students to improve their reading skills. Vicki is thrilled to have the opportunity to work more closely with the Bridge program, supporting both students and teachers.