Faculty

All of Our Classroom Teachers are Florida State Certified

Juniper Di GiovanniJuniper 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, health and wellness, and our environment.
Cheryl ValantisCheryl 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.
Cindi Leavell: Kindergarten Teacher
Ms. Cindi has a bachelor’s degree in Human Biology, a Doctorate in Chiropractic, and is a K-6 certified Florida Educator.  Ms. Cindi enjoys bringing the love of learning to all of her students.  She is extremely creative and ambitious when it comes to planning and implementing educational and fun lessons.   She loves animals, especially dogs, biking and any outdoor activity.
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.
Krissi Barnard Norford:  Second Grade Teacher
Ms. Krissi has master’s degrees in Elementary Education, English and in Teaching English as a Second Language.  Ms. Krissi has been teaching at Expressions for 4 years.  She has found a love of incorporating art into the curriculum whenever she can. Ms. Krissi enjoys knitting, reading, and being outside.
Kaity Ireland:  Third Grade Teacher
Ms. Kaity comes to us all the way from Montana.  She has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education.  She has 6 years of teaching experience in elementary school.  Ms. Kaity loves to teach math with art projects.  She also enjoys traveling and outdoor activities.
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 ten 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 4 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 DavisScot 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 WeissJohanna Weiss:  Dragon Band InstructorMs. Johanna has been an educator for 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
Ms. Mariam is extremely enthusiastic about her students and music.  She is an expert at teaching music theory and implementing engaging activities.  She brings her international  experience and culture into the classroom.
Shay Smith: Performing Arts Department
Ms. Shay has extensive experience and background in Dance, Movement and teaching children and adults professionally since 2014.   She brings her excitement and love of dance and movement to all at Expressions.  She enjoys being outside, biking, and traveling.
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.
Luke Crummer:  After Care Facilitator
Mr. Luke has many years of experience working in the county in after school programs.  He enjoys being outside with the kids.  His interest is in science and is currently working towards being a Radiology Tech.