All of Our Classroom Teachers are Florida State Certified

Juniper Di Giovanni: Principal

Ms. Juni has earned a master’s degree in Elementary Education and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Ms. Juni is a co-founder of Expressions Learning Arts Academy. 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, outdoor activities, jewelry creations, rocks and minerals, health and wellness, and our environment.

Cheryl Valantis Cheryl Valantis: Administration
Ms. Cheryl founded Expressions Learning Arts Academy in 1999 to present a comprehensive academic program enhanced by the arts in public elementary setting. Ms. Cheryl is a part of the Administration team at Expressions, Program Coordinator, Gifted Consultant and Compliance Specialist. 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.
Abigail Buigas:  Office Manager
Ms. Abigail has over 9 years of experience of teaching elementary school.  She is amazing with students, staff, and parents. After having children of her own, she transitioned into this executive Office Manager  position, where her expertise and follow through are indispensable.  
Abigail Darius: Kindergarten Teacher   
Ms. Abi has 8 years of experience in working with preschool- elementary school aged children. She earned an AA in early childhood education and a bachelors in elementary education at the University of Florida. She is currently earning her masters in Entrepreneurship. In the classroom, Ms. Abi believes in progress, not perfection. Continuously working towards a goal and not giving up is a lesson she hopes to instill in her young students. When not teaching, Ms. Abi enjoys baking, going to the pool and spending time with friends and family.
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.

Karen Meyers:  Second Grade Teacher
Ms. Karen has master’s degrees in Elementary Education, a bachelor of Science in Public Relations/Journalism with a minor in Psychology.  She strives to inspire a love of learning in all students. Ms. Karen wants her students to become lifelong learner and to understand that education doesn’t end in the classroom, but serves as a means to open doors to opportunities in life.  Ms. Karen enjoys music, the beach, reading, and being out in nature.
Rainy Blakely: Third Grade Teacher
Ms. Rainy has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Florida. She loves doing hands on activities with her students and encouraging their creativity. She strives to bring the joy and magic to learning. When she isn’t teaching, she likes to travel, cook, and play music.
Davi Peraino: Fourth Grade Teacher
Ms. Davi has a master’s degree in Elementary Education and Bachelor’s Degrees in Chemistry and Technical Writing. Ms. Davi has taught in the elementary classroom for the past twelve years. She enjoys making music, reading, yoga, and spending time with her family.
Anna MontMarquette: Fifth Grade Teacher
Ms. Anna has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and 6 years of Elementary teaching experience.   She enjoys bringing art and science into the classroom.  Ms. Anna has over 20 years of performing arts experience.
Chelsee Florence: Art Teacher/ After Care Facilitator
Ms. Chelsee is a certified elementary teacher who loves bringing creativity and artist expression to her students.  Ms. Chelsee believes it okay to get messy. Her art and life experience are internationally diverse.  She loves traveling, creating, being outside and all things canine.
Scot Davis Scot Davis: Drama, Chorus
Mr. Scot has more than 25 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.

Johanna Weiss

Johanna Weiss:  Dragon Band Instructor (4th/5th): Ms. Johanna has been an educator for over 25 years. She 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.


Mariam Galoustian: K-3 Music Teacher and 4th Grade Band assistant.  Ms. Mariam has a Master’s Degree in Music. She has been teaching Music at Expressions for 4 years and loves to share the language of Music to her students.  Ms. Mariam enjoying creating games and crafts to reinforce music concepts.  Ms. Miriam is fluent in 5 languages!

Aegis Duensing: K-5 Performing Arts Assistant:  Mr. Aegis is a Gainesville native who began acting, dancing, and participating in the performing arts from a very young age.  He has been teaching elementary school age students dance classes for many years now. Mr. Aegis is very excited to join the Dragon Staff. 

Aimee Fernandez: Teacher’s Aid, Spanish
Ms. Aimee assists all teachers at Expressions.  She is always there to help all of our students, parents, and staff.  Ms. Aimee enjoys traveling and outdoor activities.
Inez Ellerbe Coleman:  After Care Facilitator

Ms. Inez has many years of experience working in the county in after school programs.  She enjoys being outside with the kids.  During the school day, Ms. Inez works at Rawlings Elementary School in the Food Service department.  She also coaches Pop Warner Gators cheerleaders.

Lisa Servidio:  After Care Facilitator

Ms. Lisa has many years of experience working in the county in after school programs.   During the school day, Ms. Lisa also works at Idylwild Elementary School in the Food Service department.  She enjoys being outside with the kids and their energy.   Ms. Lisa frequents coffee shops and loves going to the beach.