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.  
Julia Saenz: Kindergarten Teacher
Ms. Julia has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology, a 6-12th grade social sciences Florida teaching certificate and is a currently teaching in field with a K-6 elementary certificate.  Ms. Julia 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 working with her students, drawing, rocks and minerals, and getting out in nature. 
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.
Kaity Grinde (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 7 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 eleven 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 5 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:  K-3 Music Teacher and 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.
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.

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 also works at Loften High 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.