Faculty and Staff Directory
I was born and raised in Brooklyn New York. I grew up in a family of educators, which included my own parents, who were both high school teachers.
I always dreamed of becoming an elementary school teacher and had a love for children from early on in my life. After graduating college in 1991 from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri with a B.A. in History, my life went in a different direction. I began working in Manhattan at a law firm as a paralegal and then at various financial institutions for the next 13 years.
After experiencing first-hand, the events that took place during 9/11, I decided to pursue my passion and become a teacher. I began working for the Diocese of Brooklyn in 2002 as an elementary school teacher. I took on numerous responsibilities and after school projects to support the children and provide engaging and unique experiences for all students. I had a love of education and finally found my calling in Catholic education.
At that time, married with two children I entered a program and earned my M.S. in Education and Special Education from Touro college and continued on to receive my M.Ed. in Educational Leadership at the University of Cincinnati. I served as a teacher for close to 10 years in the Diocese of Brooklyn and then went on to become a director, assistant principal and then interim principal.
My husband and I made the decision in 2017 to relocate to Florida with our two children, who are now in college. I immediately began working for Epiphany Cathedral Catholic School in the Diocese of Venice as a Preschool Director, teacher and then Assistant Principal. I was then offered a position in Sebring at St. Catherine Catholic school where I was principal for a year and a half.
In 2020, I accepted the position as principal back at Epiphany Cathedral Catholic School. I am aware of the many challenges families, educators and administrators are facing in today’s world, as children begin returning to school in the wake of the pandemic. As I begin my third year as Principal, I have a renewed commitment to enhancing our Catholic identity and the spiritual lives of our students and families.
My name is Jennifer Butler, I am the administrative assistant to the principal. I have been at ECCS since June 2017. My husband, Brian, and I moved here from North Georgia and are parishioners at Epiphany Cathedral. We have four adult children: Luke (wife-April), Jake, Silas and Abbie (husband-Andy). We have two granddaughters: Norah and Kate. I have a degree in Music Education from Kennesaw State University and enjoy cantoring at Epiphany Cathedral. Being in the front office, I get to know all of the students and their families and the faculty and staff. It is such a blessing to work with these wonderful people. When we were planning the move to Venice, I kept praying Proverbs 3:5-6, asking the Lord to direct my path. I am so thankful He led me to Epiphany Cathedral Catholic School and Parish!
Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
I am a Wisconsin grown, cheese loving, Packer backer! In 2007 I married the love of my life and with God’s loving hand we have created a beautiful, blended family. I am a mother of 5, stepmother of 5 and a grandmother of 8. In 2018, after much prayer and thought my husband and I decided to relocate our family to Florida. We were instantly attracted to Venice because of Epiphany, the beach and the community. I feel God’s hand guiding me every day to Epiphany! We enrolled our 4 youngest children at Epiphany and now I am also working at Epiphany, God hears our prayers.
We love to spend time at the beach, searching for shark teeth and shells. Our favorite way to spend time as a family indoors is to play cards. We love to play Uno, 100 Point Rummy and Canasta.
God has never left my side and he has walked this amazing path with me. Jesus, I Trust in You!
Whatever it is, Pray on it, Pray over it, but most of all Pray Through It!
I am pleased to have transferred from Epiphany Cathedral Catholic Church to my new position of Accountant here at the school. My family and I moved to Lakewood Ranch from Staten Island, NY three years ago. My husband and I have three children and I am proud to say they have all graduated from college within the last three years. I worked on Wall Street for twenty years and worked for the Archdiocese of New York for twelve years, up until I moved to Florida. I enjoy traveling, boating, warm weather and jigsaw puzzles.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves.
I graduated from Florida Tech in 1993 with an AS in Electronic/Computer Repair.
I married Vicki who joined the US Navy and we moved to San Diego, Ca. where I worked at 5th Avenue Computers. We returned to Florida in 1995 and I eventually started working at American Computer Express in Sarasota. A.C.E. closed its doors in 1997, but before they did God led me to Epiphany. I was the first computer technician to be hired in the diocese, when all the schools were still having teachers try to fix their technology problems.
I wear many hats here as I am responsible for all the maintenance and upkeep of the networks, the computers, printers, servers, TVs, radios, all electronic components, and all the technology programs. I have coached many of the school sports teams which have included boys’ and girls’ soccer, boys’ and girls’ basketball, boys’ football, and golf. I also drive the bus when needed.
Life for me is a blessing. I Love my family and I Love my job. My three oldest children attended ECS and now have graduated high school. My oldest son works for the Sarasota County Sheriff’s department as a dispatcher and call taker in the Emergency Response Center. My youngest son is in the US Navy working on the nuclear propulsion of an aircraft carrier. My oldest daughter is the preschool director at a local preschool. My youngest daughter is here at Epiphany keeping me on my toes every day.
To be here around all our children, who share their love with me, is very fulfilling. When God directs your life great things can happen, and for me, this is one of those things.
Always remember that God loves you unconditionally and I strive to do the same.
I am proud to be an alum of Epiphany Cathedral Catholic School, class of 1994. I also attended Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School, class of 1998. I then went on to play volleyball at the University of Montevallo and was pursuing a degree in Elementary Education when I made the decision to transfer to University of Florida. I graduated with a degree in English and went on to teach at Cardinal Mooney, Mount Pisgah Christian School (Alpharetta, GA) and King’s Ridge Christian School (Alpharetta, GA). In 2016, I pursued my dream of coaching volleyball at the collegiate level at The College of Coastal Georgia. We spent the past four years immersed in college volleyball and it was a wonderful experience! In May 2020, we moved back home to Venice and are happy to be here. I began as the Director of Development in August 2020. It feels great to be back at Epiphany as parishioners and as parents!
Hello ~ My name is Shannon Dalton and I am the Lead Resource Teacher at Epiphany Cathedral School. I have been a proud part of Epiphany since 1995 and consider this special place to be my ‘second home’. I am originally from Upstate New York and hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from the State University of New York at Oneonta with a minor in Educational Psychology.
I provide children with support and/or enrichment to ensure a positive and successful academic year. Every child I teach holds a place in my heart. I believe children are unique and bring something special to a class. Smiles are an important part of everyday. I always say “A smile happens quickly, but the memory of it lasts a long time”.
A little information about me… My husband Maurice and I are the proud parents of two amazing boys, Evan and Carter. Both boys attended Epiphany Cathedral Catholic School. Evan is now a college student and Carter is now a high school student. We enjoy spending time together as a family and playing with our silly dogs.
A bit of wisdom: Learning is a life-long journey, and every day is a new adventure. Grab ahold of that excitement and never stop exploring the beautiful world God gave us to enjoy!
One of my favorite prayers is the Peace Prayer of St. Francis.
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon; Where there is doubt, faith; Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light; Where there is sadness, joy.
O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand; To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive, It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying that wear are born to eternal life.
Mrs. Tylka is originally from Ohio and most recently lived in Northern Virginia prior to moving to Florida in 2020. She has taught in all 3 States in various roles including Substitute Teacher, Title I Reading Specialist, Elementary Classroom Teacher, School-wide Intervention Resource Teacher and Coach, and has been a mentor for pre-service teachers. She earned an Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education from Stark State College (Ohio), a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education with Reading Endorsement from Walsh University (Ohio), and a Master of Arts in Education with a focus on Curriculum Instruction and Design from Eastern Mennonite University (Virginia). Mrs. Tylka believes that establishing positive relationships and rapport with her colleagues, students, and their families is the foundation to helping each child be successful. She lives with her husband; John and they have 3 adult children. Returning to a Catholic School truly feels like home to her and she looks forward to sharing her faith and serving the students and families of Epiphany Cathedral School
I moved to Venice a year and a half ago from Charlotte, North Carolina. This school year will be my 22nd year as a School Counselor. I received my Bachelor’s degree from Francis Marion University and my Masters degree from the University of South Carolina.
My daughter ,Elizabeth , is a sophomore at Western Carolina University and my son, Anthony, is a Senior at Venice High. My husband and I have been married for 22 years! We love the beautiful beaches of Venice and enjoy being outside! I am very excited to join Epiphany this school year! I look forward to meeting everyone and working with others to share God’s love.
Hello, I am Mrs. Jacqueline Stuart. I really love teaching! Everyday is always a new adventure and a gift from God. The children's wonderful smiles and great stories always fill my heart with joy. I joined the staff of Epiphany Cathedral School in 1992. I am so blessed to be a part of this community where I am able to share my faith every day with my students.
I attended the University of South Florida and graduated with my Bachelors of Science degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. I later attended Barry University and earned my Master of Science degree in Exceptional Student Education.
My Florida certifications include
From the Diocese of Venice, I have my Intermediate Catechist certification.
Junior Kindergarten is a year of great exploration with an emphasis on phonemic awareness skills and number sense development. In our class we enjoy many STREAM activities. Cooking in our classroom is a marvelous activity that includes all of our five senses that God has given to us. The rule is everyone must take a two bite taste test. To this day, the taste test rule is used in the homes of former students who are now parents.
A great educational and spiritual foundation is what I strive to give to all my students. I believe that a positive self-image and strong self-esteem are two of the greatest assets a child can possess. I strive to insure that all my students achieve these qualities. A well- rounded holistic, social, emotional, academic program is provided in this Catholic Environment.
The song, All Are Welcome by Marty Haugen exemplifies how our Catholic identity and faith are share in my classroom.
Let us build a house where love can dwell and all can safely live, a place where saints and children tell how hearts learn to forgive. Built of hopes and dreams and visions, rock of faith and vault of grace; here the love of Christ shall end divisions. All are welcome, all are welcome, all are welcome in this place.
In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family, relaxing at the beach especially at sunset. Reading, often with my granddaughter, biking, sightseeing, baking, and cooking in general are wonderful family activities I enjoy. My husband says, “Our kitchen always smells like something yummy.”
My name is Chris Collins. I have an A.A. Degree from Manatee Community College, Venice, FL, and a CDA Degree also from Manatee Community College. In addition to my degrees, I have taken continuing educational classes thru USF and Sarasota Technical School. I started at Epiphany Early Childhood in Feb. 1991 in the After School Program and became the Junior Kindergarten Assistant in Aug. 1991 to the present time.
I believe in a Catholic Education because it is rich in academics and rooted in faith. My parents gave me a Catholic education because they saw the importance of having religion in my life. The students that attended the Preschool are now college graduates and responsible adults. Several of Epiphany graduates have become doctors and lawyers. I enjoy working with the children on the computer and see how they improve their skills, proficiency and independence.
My teaching philosophy: All children are miracles and they deserve the opportunity to show it.
My favorite quote: “We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
My favorite Bible verse: In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success. Proverbs 3:6
I am so excited for the 2022-2023 school year! We have so many fun things planned, and I am thrilled your child will be at Epiphany this year. I grew up right here in sunny Venice, Florida and I have my Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. I have been teaching children between the ages of 1-7 years old for 17 years. My husband and I have two children and one dog, and we love to stay busy outdoors and spending time with friends and family.
“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” Proverbs 31:26
My name is Mrs. Gaither and I absolutely love teaching our littlest learners here at ECCS. I was born and raised in Florida. I married my high school sweetheart, and we have four beautiful daughters. I love spending time with my family and friends. We enjoy getting out to the local beaches and parks! I have a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and have worked with ages birth-5 years old. I have been working in the field for 10+ years now. I have a passion for working with young children and being a part of their growth and development in the early years. I am excited to be able to get to know and work with you and your children this school year.
My name is Linda Slak and I am from Frankfort, Illinois where I graduated from Concordia University. I have always known I wanted to be a teacher! I recently moved to Florida so that my whole family could be together. I love living in Venice! I have experience ranging from K-8, but mostly Kindergarten and First Grade. Last year, I was an assistant in the Pre-K classroom. However, I missed having my own class and decided to come back to teach Kindergarten. I enjoy watching children learning and especially enjoy seeing the children develop a love for books and reading! I always look for ways to make learning fun and find pleasure in creating new games and activities for the children in my free time. I am very grateful to be able to have such an impact on teaching.
I moved to Venice, Florida 5 years ago with my husband and 18-year-old daughter. We moved here from Littleton, Colorado. I taught Pre-K in a charter school for 6 years while working on my degree. In my free time, I enjoy doing things outdoors with my husband and daughter. I especially love hiking, biking, and kayaking. When I lived in Colorado, it was my mission to hike to every waterfall. I also enjoy playing games. My family and I have created a tradition of playing either a board game or card game while eating dinner together. Another thing I like to do is listen to stand-up comedy. I have a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. With this degree, I received my reading and ESOL endorsement. This will be my second-year teaching at Epiphany. I also did some fieldwork in this school before I worked here. During my time here, I have fallen in love with the school and the staff and love being part of the team. There is nothing more special to me than to be able to teach a faith-filled curriculum! Teaching has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. I believe every student can learn but maybe not in the same way or at the same pace. It is my mission to try to help every student feel and be successful. My hope is to instill a love of learning and a growth mindset in each of my students. Most importantly, I also hope to instill a love for and trust in God and his teachings.
My name is Mary Guarino and I am the first grade teacher. I have been at the Epiphany Cathedral School for the past 10 years.
My passion is teaching children and I have worked in this field for over 30 years after receiving my Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Rivier College in Nashua, New Hampshire. Along the way I have taken countless courses and workshops to keep current as teaching strategies and theories continue to evolve.
I grew up in a Catholic family and always believed that helping others and being kind is the greatest way to be true to my Catholic faith. I enjoy attending church on Fridays with the children and helping them to understand the mass. Teaching the children to be loving and honest human beings is the most important part of my job.
My family and I moved from Massachusetts to Venice several years ago to get away from those frigid winters! We love the small town feel of Venice to go along with the most beautiful beaches we have seen. My son Dante is 23 and is working on his MBA in Business Analytics.
I enjoy drawing, painting and especially running. I am part of the Venice V-Pack Running Group and participate in many of the local races. The children love to hear how the races have gone and what place I came in!
My experience educating children has run from 3 months to 7 years of age. I love learning all of their unique personalities and styles so that I can present material in the most effective way.
My expectations for the children are that they are always rested and ready to learn each day. That they will use kind words with each other and remember the “Golden Rule”, which is to treat others as you want to be treated. They also need to use good manners and follow directions the first time they are given.
I believe it is critical that a teacher makes every child feel comfortable and confident. I take pride in creating an enjoyable environment that every child wants to be a part of each day.
I am Elizabeth Akers and I am so blessed to be teaching second grade at Epiphany Cathedral School for my second year. I was born and raised in Florida and I am a happy product of Catholic schools. I am grateful for my Catholic education and I am excited to pass the torch on to the next generation. I have been married 22 years and we are blessed with four wonderful children, ages 16-21. I enjoy the outdoors, cooking, and traveling with my family.
Our Lady is my hero and her fiat is a constant source of inspiration to me: “I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to Your word.” Luke 1:38
Hi, I’m Nicole Semlow and I am the 3rd grade teacher at Epiphany Cathedral Catholic School. This is my second year teaching at Epiphany and I feel so blessed to be a part of this community. I grew up in Homer Glen, Illinois and moved to Florida about 6 years ago to continue my education. I attended Indian River State College, where I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Early Education with ESOL and Reading Endorsements. I graduated top of my class in 2021 and relocated to Nokomis, Florida.
Teaching is a passion of mine where I receive fulfillment at the end of every day. Being able to witness a child grow academically and build a strong and trusting relationship with God is extremely rewarding to witness. Being there for the children is my biggest priority. I tailor my teaching to fit the needs of each child and the way they best learn.
When I am not entertaining a classroom of children, I am usually home entertaining my two-year-old son with my husband. We have many family members visiting weekend to weekend, so our schedules are very busy and filled with lots of activities and fun. We love going to the beach, on bike rides, visiting different parks, and doing crafts and DIY projects.
I look forward to this school year and all that it has in store!
Hello, I am Cherie Navarro. This is my second year teaching at Epiphany. However, we have been a school family since moving back to Florida in 2016 and I am no stranger to this wonderful community. I am both proud and blessed to say that all four of our children attended Epiphany. I graduated Summa Cum Laude from Barry University, a Catholic University in Miami, where I earned a degree in PreK/Primary Education. I taught primary education in both Florida and Washington state. I come to Epiphany from Grace United Methodist Preschool on the island of Venice, where I taught both V.P.K. and 3 year old classrooms. My passion is to incorporate all the senses in my teaching. When I am not in the classroom singing and dancing, you can find me looking for shells on Nokomis beach or bird-watching around town. I am also known to be in continual prayer. I find solace in the Mass, Rosary, Adoration, and reading scripture. One of my favorite Bible passages is Mark 4:35-41, where the disciples are fearful of perishing at sea in a storm. Jesus reminds them about faith as he directs the sea and wind to be still. When we recall that Jesus is in our boat, we can regain peace even during the storms in our lives. I pray that you and your child see Jesus through my actions and words.
Hi, I’m Julie Collins and I am the 4th grade teacher at Epiphany Cathedral Catholic School. This is my fourth year teaching at Epiphany, but I was a substitute here for seven years before that! I was born in Peoria, Illinois and moved to Tampa when I was 10 years old. I attended Catholic school from Kindergarten through high school. I studied Elementary Education at Wingate University in Wingate, North Carolina and graduated from there in 2001. I began teaching at the elementary level and taught for six years until my husband (Epiphany Alum) and I started our family and I stayed home to be with our daughters. Currently, our daughters all attend Epiphany and are in grades 8th, 7th, and 3rd.
I grew up in a Catholic family that valued education. I truly love teaching at a Catholic school and enjoy attending mass on Fridays with our students. I feel blessed that I can share my Catholic faith with my students. Teaching our students to be kind and loving is my most important job—in fact, you’ll find me and several other teachers wearing our Be Kind shirts on Tuesdays! It’s a great reminder for us and our students to Be Kind!
I enjoy reading, running, and spending time with my family. My girls take up most of my free time since they are involved in dance, gymnastics, soccer, and anything related to arts and crafts! They definitely keep us busy!
My favorite Bible verse is Matthew 6:25-34. “Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:14
The 2021-2022 school year will be my sixteenth year teaching at Epiphany Cathedral School. I earned my Associates Degree in Elementary Education from Manatee Community College and my Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education from the University of South Florida. I am certified in both Elementary Education and English for Speakers of Other Languages.
I attended Epiphany Cathedral School (Class of '95!) and Venice High School (Class of '99!). I am very fortunate to still be residing in Nokomis with my husband, Jesse, our beautiful daughter Emma (Epiphany alumni) and our handsome son Jack(Epiphany 6th grader).
I am very anxious to meet each of my students along with their wonderful families and am looking forward to a spectacular year!
My Teaching Philosophy
I truly believe that every child deserves to and can learn; however not on the same day or the same way. Because of this I feel teaching through differentiated instruction will best benefit the student. I also believe that children learn best when they are part of a positive, non-threatening learning environment. This type of environment helps to develop a sense of self confidence which in turn assists in promoting an eager learner. Also, being part of a social environment where children can converse with other children, helps to expand language and their thinking. This is where I believe cooperative learning groups are necessary. Children learn best through “hands-on” experiences where they are encouraged to question, explore, and discover. I feel through an integrated curriculum children can be engaged in real-life activities and learning centers. I believe that I need to set high expectations for my students and encourage them to show courage, practice honesty, have compassion, and be fair. I will have an open communication with my students that will not only build their trust but also show them that I too am human and make mistakes. I feel children learn best when there are positive parental influences not only in the home, but also involved with the school and in the classroom. I want my room to be comfortable for my students and their parents as well.
Said to the students,
“Come to the edge.”
“We might fall.”
The teacher again said,
“Come to the edge.”
“It’s too high!”
The teacher demanded.
And they came…
Listen to directions
Enter and exit prepared
Always try your best
Middle School Teachers
I have a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Elementary Education. After attending Catholic schools myself, I have always had a strong desire to do my teaching in a Catholic school. My first teaching job was at St. Basil Catholic School in Michigan where I taught grades 6-8th Math and Science for two years. At that time, my husband and I moved to Florida and I accepted a high school math position. I taught classes ranging from Algebra 1 thru College Algebra at Key West High School for six years. When I was offered a position to teach grades 6-8th Math and Science at The Basilica School in Key West I could not refuse. When our second son was born we moved and I began to stay home with our boys. We now call Venice our home and love the Church and all it has to offer.
I am so thankful for the Catholic education that I received while growing up and would not be the person I am today without it. Teaching in the Catholic schools allows me to give back to our faith community. I am excited to be able to share my love of teaching with my students while always instilling a love for God and the Catholic faith.
Ms. Garces is from South Florida and has been a middle school English Language Arts teacher for 6 years. She has a Bachelor's degree in English Literature with a minor in history, and a Masters in Business Adminstration. She is a product of Catholic education, both in elementary school and high school, and she is looking foward to working with Epiphany Catherdral School in fostering the sense of family and community through Christ.
I have recently embarked on a new adventure, trading the bustling streets of Washington DC for the sunny shores of Florida. For the past five years, I have shared my passion for teaching at a Catholic school in the metropolitan area, with a rich teaching history spanning a decade and a diverse array of subjects and age ranges. I hold a Bachelor's Degree in Science from Providence, Rhode Island, and a Master's Degree in Education and Curriculum Design from Portland, Oregon. Growing up in a military family granted me the incredible opportunity to travel the world, and this global perspective has been an invaluable part of my life's journey. Now, as I settle into Florida, I'm accompanied by my identical twin sister and a cherished pet turtle, eagerly looking forward to the next exciting chapter in my life.
Ever since I got my first microscope and sea monkeys one Christmas in elementary school, I knew Biology was in my future. I even went on to win the 6th grade science fair on those sea monkeys! Over the years, I had almost every pet imaginable and even “rescued” animals in my neighborhood much to the dismay of my parents!
After high school I left Miami to go to the mountains of North Carolina to earn a degree in Biology. I was interested in seeing different types of flora and fauna. I loved all the opportunities that opportunity provided and took advantage of the many opportunities to discover organisms in different parts of the county and abroad.
After graduation, I worked as a microbiologist but wanted something more than the laboratory setting. I went on to pursue a Masters in Elementary Education and right after that was hired as a Middle School Science teacher in Fort Lauderdale.
Now, I get to combine my two loves- science and teaching.
I feel so blessed!
“Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” ~Colossians 3:17
As I enter my 6th year at Epiphany Cathedral School, my heart is filled with gratitude for a vocation where I can not only share my gift for teaching but my passion for our Catholic faith. I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in English and Master’s Degree in Education from Washington University, St Louis. Having spent 16 years teaching in the public schools, I know what it’s like to teach, guide and counsel children without the benefit of faith. I believe the faith factor is the critical piece to help insure our children will grow into loving adults who will make a positive contribution through their families and/or vocations. I take my catechese pledge seriously and strive to incorporate it each day into my lessons and classroom. My goal is that each student builds a personal relationship with Christ, not just knowledge of Christ.
This year I will embark on two new assignments. I will be the Religion instructor for our middle school students as well as the Religious Director for our entire school. I am honored to have been chosen for these roles and eager to give my best through the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit.
In my years of experience, I have never met a child who did not have a special gift or talent given by God that makes them a gift to the world. I value the unique learning styles in each person and strive to insure all grow both academically and spiritually.
I respect and honor the role of parents in the formation of their children. The family is, after all, according to Pope John Paul II, the “Domestic Church”, the place where the groundwork of faith is laid and nurtured. It is in partnership with this Domestic Church where our children are best served.
I am blessed with a wonderful husband, Patrick, as we enjoy our personal sanctuary home here in Venice. We love spending our leisure time together creating a space that is soothing and inspiring for ourselves,our family, friends and neighbors....Translated that means lots of yard work!
I reflect each day on my intention to go where He leads me and only where He leads me and to be worthy of the vocational gift I’ve been given.
"Today a reader, tomorrow a leader!" ~Margaret Fuller
Hello, my name is Faith Allen, and I am the school librarian. This will be my 12th year at ECS after spending several years working in the Sarasota County Schools.
I was born and raised in the great state of Ohio, where I received my bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and Varying Exceptionalities from Muskingum College in New Concord, Ohio. I was a resource teacher at both the elementary and middle school grade levels before taking time off to raise our children.
My husband Bill and I moved to Florida in 1993 and loved raising our children in the wonderful community of Venice. I am the proud "Grandma" of five fun-loving grandchildren who fill our lives with a tremendous sense of happiness and pride.
I love my role in the library at ECS after being in the classroom as a teacher's assistant for nine years. There is absolutely nothing I enjoy more than sharing my love of reading with our students. I am thrilled that I have the wonderful opportunity to interact with our eager little preschoolers to our wonderful 5th graders!
I consider it a true blessing to be a part of such a remarkable and caring school and am looking forward to a fun filled year of developing each student's love for reading while encouraging them to use their knowledge and imagination to achieve their dreams!
I look forward to my 7th year teaching at Epiphany and am excited to become our Technology Teacher and STREAM Coach. I am a daughter of God, wife to Ken, and mother to Matthew, who just graduated from Epiphany in May.
My path can be summed up by Proverbs 3:5 - Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. I am a career changer, coming from the business world with an AAS in Business Administration from Briarcliffe College (NY) and a BS in Accounting from SUNY Old Westbury. I was blessed to stay home with my son before he started school. We moved to Florida from Stony Brook, NY in 2010, and since then I have volunteered at Englewood Elementary, taught in an afterschool reading program, worked at Venice Middle as a paraprofessional and a secretary, and attended a Teacher Certification program at SCF. I was called to volunteer as a Catechist in Epiphany's Sunday School program, which led to filling a long-term substitute position and I was proud to be hired at the end of that year.
One of my favorite things about teaching at Epiphany are the students! I love watching them learn and grow throughout the years, and now I get to work with all students each year. I am especially proud when I see my students lead in church by being our Altar Servers, Lectors, Cantors and choir members. It is blessing to start each day in prayer with my students and fellow teachers. I fell in love with this school community at my very first morning gathering!
In my free time, I love to read (my students are NOT surprised!) and spend time with my family. The best perk about living in Florida is being able to go to the beach year-round! I have always enjoyed sharing literature with my students and now I am looking forward to sharing technology with them. My goal is to instill a love of learning and encourage them to become lifelong learners.
St. Monica is near and dear to my heart, and Blessed Carlo Acutis will be the patron saint of the Technoloy Lab this year
Miss Koolakian is a preschool-eighth grade Spanish teacher. This will be her 5th year teaching Spanish at Epiphany Cathedral Catholic School. She has taught elementary and middle school Spanish for the past 29 years and various other private schools. She received her bachelor’s degree in Accounting from SUNY Oswego, NY, and her Master’s degree in Education with a concentration in Spanish. She is looking forward to another great school year.
My name is Angela Ramsey, and I am proud to be an Epiphany Cathedral Catholic School Tiger! I am originally from Missouri, received a Bachelor’s Degree in Health, Physical Education, & Recreation from Missouri State University. I am in my first year of teaching as a PE Teacher/ Athletic Director and I love every minute of it!
My passion has always been in helping students discover the joys and benefits of physical activity. From educating and encouraging my students to build strong, healthy bodies to creating unforgettable moments of fun, faith, and teamwork. I’m very dedicated to nurturing a love for exercise in our students as well as instilling good sportsmanship through Saint Sebastian (Patron Saint of Sports) and their faith in God.
Personally, I have been married for 15 years and we have two beautiful grown children who are 24 and 26. We love walking our sweet little dog, Hobbes, spending time with family, playing paddleball at the beach, fishing, jogging, playing pickleball, or any other outdoor activity/sport. When I’m not rooting for our ECS Tigers, I’m watching/rooting for St. Louis Cardinals baseball….Go Cards!! I also enjoy March Madness, college football & volleyball as well as attending golf tournaments.
I am always looking forward to inspiring the next generation to lead healthy, active Catholic lives!