* All of Our Classroom Teachers are Florida State Certified **
& meet the NCLB Highly Qualified Standards
Juniper Di Giovanni: Principal/Third Grade Language Arts
Ms. Juni has earned a Master's Degree in Education and a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology. Her prior teaching experience includes all elementary grades, and middle and high school P.E., Math and English. Her special interests are all of our students, music, traveling, jewelry creations, health and wellness, and our environment.
Michelle Peters: Kindergarten Teacher/ Afterschool Dance Club Instructor
Miss Michelle has a Master’s in Education and a Bachelor’s in Health Sciences from the University of Florida. She is experienced in presenting academics and social skills to young students in an organized, peaceful manner. She enjoys dance and yoga and looks forward to teaching our students in these areas.
Jennifer Lowery: First Grade Teacher
Ms. Jennifer is thrilled to be a part of the Expression’s family. She loves working with students and parents in a cooperative, creative environment. Ms. Jennifer has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Kennesaw State University in Georgia. Her experience includes classroom teaching and directing early childhood programs. When not teaching in the classroom, she loves spending time with her family and their many, many pets.
Alyssa Dortch: Second Grade Teacher
Ms. Alyssa is beginning her 4th year of teaching and we are excited to have her join us at Expressions. Ms. Alyssa has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida in Education. Her past and present experience includes gymnastics, dance, figure skating, and lacrosse. She recently got married and enjoys spending time with her husband and her two dogs.
Johanna Weiss: Third Grade Teacher/Music & Band Instructor
Ms. Johanna has been an educator for 25 years; is certified in Florida for K-12 Music, and K-6 Education; and has her Bachelor of Music and Education from U of Victoria, B.C. Canada. Johanna performs regularly in Gainesville with her Jazz quintet (Stardust), and Klezmer Band.
Cynthia Spangler: Fourth Grade Teacher
Ms. Cynthia has Master's Degrees in Special Education and Sport Administration, and a Bachelor's Degree in International Affairs. She has been an educator for 13 years. Ms. Cynthia has also taught high-school students who receive exceptional student education services. Additionally, she has six years' experience coaching high school cross-county running. Her special interests include running, musicals, art history, and traveling. Ms. Cynthia is delighted to join the Expressions team and looks forward to incorporating art into the curriculum.
Lonnie Zukas: Fifth Grade Teacher
Ms. Lonnie has a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration/Marketing & Retail Design. Lonnie’s prior classroom experience includes teaching in multiple elementary school grades. Additionally, she has over 25 years of professional business experience. Her special interests include design, painting, music, gardening, yoga, and reading. Ms. Lonnie enthusiastically shares her love for learning by infusing the arts and literature into her core curriculum.
Scot Davis: Drama, Chorus
Mr. Scot has more than 16 years professional experience in drama and performing arts in Gainesville. He has worked in children's theater as a member of the Fable Factory. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Florida.
Aimee Fernandez: Spanish Teacher
Ms. Aimee teaches Spanish at Expressions.
Cheryl Valantis: Administrative and Educational Consultant
Ms. Cheryl founded Expressions Learning Arts Academy in 1999 to present a comprehensive academic program enhanced by the arts in public elementary setting and served as the school's principal. You will continue to see Ms. Cheryl at Expressions as the Administrative and Educational Consultant, Program Coordinator, Gifted Consultant and Compliance Specialists. She has earned a Master's Degree in Education from the University of Florida. Her interests include playing music (especially harp and mandolin), travel, and nature.