Director’s Credential from SCTI (Suncoast Technical College)
CDA (Child Development Accreditation) from St Thomas University
Betty started her career with St. Marks in 1979, at that time classes were available for 2’s. 3’s, 4’s and K-5th grade. She taught 2 year olds for 3 years and eventually moved to teaching 3’s.
In 2002, Betty stepped into administration as the Assistant Director for the school. In all facets of her career she has valued each child as an individual and respected their strengths, skills and abilities. The goal for all from both an administrative and teaching perspective is to create a safe caring community where children can blossom and grow.
Betty has two children, both of whom are alumni of St. Mark’s and three grandchildren. When not working, she enjoys working out, gardening and crafts!
CDA Certified – Charlotte County Technical Institute
State of Florida VPK certified teacher
Amber was originally hired as a teacher in the Day School in 2012 and taught VPK until she was hired as the Administrative Assistant in 2021. She is an integral part of the team that makes the day to day functions of the school run smoothly. She is often the first face you see when you enter the school.
Amber has lived in Florida since 2004 after moving from Tennessee. She lives in Venice with her husband, Ryan, their three children; Camden, Brycen & Fae, and their two dogs; Leia & Ellie. In her spare time, she enjoys going to theme parks, hanging out at her pool and spending time with her friends & family!! She loves to read, watch Tennessee football (GO VOLS!) and is a bit of a nerd of fantasy and all things sci-fi!!
Amber chose to work in a school as she loves watching children explore the world around them and grow into individuals.
Lexi Wagner is our Toddler Room teacher here at St. Mark’s. She was born in Sarasota and has lived in Venice her whole life. Last year, Lexi moved to Gainesville to explore, but missed Venice and decided to move home. Before that, she was the toddler teacher here at St. Mark’s for almost two years.
Lexi attended Venice High School for two years of high school then transferred to the State College of Florida Collegiate School. There she completed most of her Associates along with her high school diploma. She is currently working toward her AA in Early Childhood Education and will be finished in spring 2024. She has two siblings; a brother Antonio and a sister Abby.
Lexi comes from a long line of teachers! Her mother, Laura has been at St. Mark’s for over 10 years and is currently one of the three year old classroom teachers. Her grandmother was a preschool teacher and director for over 30 years.
Lexi’s interest in teaching began when she was volunteering in the summer camp here at St. Mark’s throughout high school and then at 18 when she began working in the toddler room. She is so excited to be back working with her favorite age group and helping them learn and explore the world around them.
Childcare Development Specialist- Suncoast Technical College
Director’s Credential- Florida Childcare and Education Program
Erika joined the St. Mark’s staff in the summer of 2022. She is originally from Peru. and has been living in Sarasota with her husband Scott and son Christian since 2000. They then moved to Venice three years ago. Erika was an Early Child Development Teacher in Sarasota for 23 years before joining the St. Mark’s staff. Working and enjoying every day with children in the classroom is her passion. As an Educator Erika believes that every child is an individual with different needs and abilities and it is our job to help them meet these needs through hands-on activities in a warm nurturing atmosphere. She is so excited and honored to have an opportunity to be a part of the children at St. Mark’s “whole child” development.
Careers in Education Certificate – Seacoast School of Technology
BA in Early Education – Degree in progress – University of Southern Maine
Caitlin was hired as a Threes teacher in 2022, shortly after her move to FL from NH, where she grew up. Currently she is in school for her Early Childhood Education degree and will work while she goes to school online.
She has a love of both children and singing and was very involved in theatre in NH. Caitlin is happy being in the classroom at St. Mark’s and is especially enjoying being a part of the church choir.
Sarah has worked in the Early childhood field since 1993 and joined St. Mark’s in Nov 2006.
Sarah’s teaching philosophy is to help children learn through play in a supportive and nurturing environment where students know that they can look to her for guidance, trust and support. Sarah believes that the child’s greatest potential is reached when teacher and parent are in collaboration and how important it is to build these relationships.
Sarah has lived in Venice with her husband and daughter since 2005. In her spare time she enjoys paddle boarding, cooking, traveling and spending time with family and friends.
CDA (National Child Development Associate Credential)
State of Florida VPK certified teacher
Laura began her teaching career at St. Mark’s as a volunteer. She then followed her dream of teaching and was hired full time in the toddler room. She has been teaching at St. Mark’s since 2012 and over those years has worked in/taught all of the different ages here until she found her place in the Threes in 2016.
Having a mother as a lifelong educator sparked Laura’s love of teaching. She especially enjoys watching children grow and learn, they are so full of wonder and curiosity. In Laura’s classroom, you will find she teaches both social and emotional skills so that they can then focus and learn the academics that will soon follow.
Laura has three children; Alexis, Abigaile, and Antonio and lives in North Port Florida with her Fiancé.
Jenn has been working in Childhood development since 2004. She has been at St. Mark’s since 2009. Jenn says, “Working with children is such a rewarding career, it excites me to watch the children learn and grow.” Early childhood education is so important; we are the building foundation and giving them the stepping stones they will need for their future.
Jenn was born In Connecticut and moved to Florida with her family when she was five years old. She graduated from Venice High School, class of 1999 and lives in Venice with her husband, Ryan, her two boys; Nolan and Leyton and their Golden Retriever Maui. Jenn loves going to the beach, swimming, shopping and traveling with her family.
Early Childhood Education – Reading Area Community College, PA
State of Florida VPK certified teacher
Steve has been at St. Mark’s Day School since 2019, as one of our VPK teachers. He took the job after moving here to be closer to his parents. Steve has been working with young children for 10 years, whether it is through coaching or organizing Celebrate Children. He is very happy to be in a classroom setting here at St. Mark’s, seeing the joy and hearing the laughter in a young child.
When he is not in the classroom, he enjoys spending time with his parents and is quite the handy-man, often using his skills in the classroom! He has 3 children and 3 grandchildren.
Commitment and dedication are what Steve values in the teaching field. Having these values helps children reach their full potential.
Early Childhood Education/Human Growth & Development
State of FL Certified Teacher -Prekindergarten/Primary Education (Age 3 to Grade 3)
Rachel has been an early childhood educator since 2007 and here at St. Mark’s beginning in 2017.
As a teacher, she enjoys creating entertaining, engaging, and creative classroom activities that promote learning as well as social, cognitive, and emotional development. She feels that students need time for free, unstructured play to explore areas of their interest. Rachel believes that high expectations result in high achievement and is committed to being the best teacher for each student that she has the opportunity to teach.
B.A in Child and Youth Studies- Florida Gulf Coast University
A.A.- State College of Florida
State of Florida VPK certification (in progress)
Savannah has a long history at St. Mark’s. She graduated preschool here and attended the afterschool program during her elementary years. At sixteen, she started working at St. Mark’s while getting her high school diploma and A.A. degree. At eighteen, Savannah left for FGCU to complete her bachelors degree. She missed St. Mark’s so much that she returned after graduating in 2023 and we are lucky to have her back.
Savannah’s passion for teaching is inspired by her sister, who has worked with children for around 10 years. She loves working at St. Mark’s with all our amazing children and is excited to grow in her knowledge of early childhood education and her future here at the school.
Keni has been working at St. Mark’s since 2021. Although she has never worked in a school, she has been a mother of three for 26 years. She spent a lot of her time volunteering in organizations at schools and church.
Her favorite thing about St. Mark’s is making the children smile. Every single one has given her a bit of happiness, every day.
Helen has been a teacher at St. Mark’s Day School since 1992, beginning as a 2 year old/Toddler teacher. Since then she has continued her education and became a VPK teacher which is where she was for 11 years, before becoming an Enrichment Room teacher in 2023.
Helen’s has always had a passion for books and that passion flourished through her job at a local bookstore. The school is lucky as her love of books is evident in everything she does at St. Mark’s. This love of reading and exploration is what became the foundation for our Enrichment room, a Montessori based room that encourages free exploration and nurtures children’s creative minds.
Helen relishes discovering new authors and reading and especially enjoys sharing that love of literature with her students. She is the grandmother of 9 children, and looks forward to traveling with them and making memories together.
Attended Pima College, AZ, Rose State College, OK and Manatee
Community College, Venice FL
CDA – Manatee Community College
Certified Angel Bear Yoga Instructor
Coursework in American Sign Language
Nancy has been at St. Mark’s in various roles, since 1994. She was semi-retired but decided to return to the school in 2022 to work alongside Ms. Helen in the Enrichment Room. She shares a love of reading, free exploration and loves to nurture children’s creativity. As a certified children’s yoga instructor, one of her greatest gifts to the school is teaching children mindfulness through yoga. You can often find Nancy tending our Children’s Garden, where she works alongside the children in the school, guiding them toward a love of nature and creation.
When she is not working at the preschool, Nancy is very interested in taking care and learning about our environment, gardening and yoga! She is an invaluable volunteer at St. Mark’s Church as well.
Cindy has been a preschool teacher since 1991 when she was employed at the Venice YMCA for 3 years. Following that time, she then worked at the Children’s First Head Start program for ten years. In 2004 she made the switch to St. Mark’s and has been one of our VPK teachers since!
She prides herself in providing a safe and nurturing environment for the children that will promote development of social, emotional, and self-help skills that are success not just for Kindergarten but for life.
When Cindy is not in the classroom, she enjoys going RV’ing and four-wheeling with her family and her dogs. She has two children and two grandchildren that live nearby as well.