Our teachers, staff and board members have a passion for life, learning, children, the Kingdom of God, family, books, nature, music, relationships, truth, and beauty.
Board ChairpersonBA History, University of Florida
Tyler is the practice manager at Sabal Direct Primary Care. While at the University of Florida he completed a six-week program on Elizabethan England at the University of Cambridge. He serves on the board of HUGs Charities. He and his wife CJ have two boys, Elijah and Samuel. They have been a part of Ambleside since 2014. He also enjoys golf, cooking, baking, and Gator basketball. He is also the founder of Spackler Cup.
Founder, Board MemberBA International Business, San Diego State University
In 1994 Mrs. Ausley received her degree in International Business from San Diego State University. Her studies included 6 months studying at Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. She also studied one semester in Universidad Autónoma de Baja California in Tijuana, Mexico. After college, she worked for seven years with Campus Crusade for Christ during which time she met her husband, Ken. They relocated from San Francisco to Ken's hometown of Ocala in 2002. They have three children. Mrs. Ausley's interests range from reading, swimming and paddle boarding to house and garden projects that often disappoint.
Founder, Board MemberBA History, Florida State University
Mr. Ausley is a principle and the CEO of Ausley Construction Company, LLC. He graduated from Florida State University in 1990 with a Bachelor of Arts in History. After graduation, he worked for twelve years with Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) serving as a director in Tampa/St. Petersburg and the San Francisco Bay Area. He remains active in the non-profit community through his service on various boards. These include the Children’s Advocacy Center/Kimberly’s Center for Child Protection, the City of Ocala’s 2035 Vision Leadership Group, the Ocala/Marion County Chamber and Economic Partnership and The Community Foundation for Ocala/Marion County.
BA, M. Ed., University of Florida
Board MemberBS Mechanical Engineering, University of Florida Licenced Professional Engineer by the State of Florida
Alan is a licensed engineer working at Kimley-Horn, Inc. He graduated from the University of Florida in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. While in college he met his wife and they began their adventure shortly thereafter. Alan has 15 years of engineering experience in areas mainly focused on hydrology and hydraulics.
He remains active in the non-profit community through his service on various boards including the advisory board for Taylor College, the Florida Engineering Society, and Grace Church. Alan and his family have been involved in Ambleside for 8 years and he and his wife taught algebra and art respectively for 2 years. In his downtime, he enjoys spending time with family, freshwater fishing, skeet shooting, and a variety of other outdoor activities.
Reverend Dr. Rhella Murdaugh
Bio coming soon!
PrincipalBA Journalism, Ohio State University firstname.lastname@example.org
In 1993, Mrs. Romine received a BA in Journalism from The Ohio State University, and spent the next ten years in the corporate world prior to starting her family. She discovered Ambleside while investigating educational options for her young children, and was delighted to make the connection between L'Abri, Francis and Edith Schaeffer's family, and the work of Charlotte Mason. In reading For the Children's Sake, by Susan Schaeffer, Mr. & Mrs. Romine connected deeply with the philosophy, and they enrolled their son in the first stand-alone Kindergarten class at Ambleside eight years ago. She began working in the classroom that year, and continued served in various capacities, including teacher and admin, prior to becoming principal in 2011. Her love and commitment to the school and community, coupled with spiritual and relational emphasis at Ambleside serves as inspiration for her in her work. She enjoys watching God at work in the lives of the community she loves, and considers her position a "good and perfect gift from above." (James 1:17)
Dean of StudentsBS, Biblical Counseling, Lancaster College MS, Biblical Counseling, Carin University
Mrs. Olwagen earned her BS in Christian Counseling from Carin University (previously Philadelphia Biblical College). She arrived at Ambleside as a parent when her son Josh entered Kindergarten and she loved it so much she decided to have it become part of her life's work. Some of her favorite things are Live Oak Community Fellowship, reading and spending time with her family.
Kindergarten TeacherBS, Education, Health Sciences, MS, Education , Health Sciences University of Dayton
Mrs. Charske has been married to her husband for over 18 years and has five children. She enjoys many activities: rollerblading, weight lifting, relaxing at the beach, reading, exercise classes at the YMCA, traveling with my husband, hiking in the mountains and especially snow skiing in the mountains. Steamboat Springs, Colorado is her favorite place to snow ski. As a family, she really enjoys sitting down for a family meal and sharing "highs" and "lows" of the day. She loves being a part of her woman's group who study God's word and pray regularly.
First Grade Teacher, Ambleside AfternoonsBS Child Psychology, minor in Social Welfare,University of North Florida
Bio coming soon!
Second Grade Teacher, K-2 Instructional Team LeaderBS Psychology, University of Florida
Mrs. Works is married with both children attending Ambleside. Before starting a family she was actively involved in theater, both on stage and behind the scenes. Although she enjoyed performing, she decided she did not want it to be her life’s work. She changed her major and received her Bachelors of Science for Psychology from the University of Florida. She enjoys running, traveling, and spending time with her family. She can still be seen performing, whether she is on stage or not.
Third Grade TeacherBA Human Services, minor in Psychology, Geneva College
Mrs. LaValley heard about Ambleside through her husband’s family after her step-daughter began attending the school. She has a heart for helping children and growing them in the knowledge of who Jesus and also enjoys building relationships with people. She loves being silly with her family, eating dark chocolate, and drinking coffee.
Fourth Grade Teacher, Arrowsmith Teacher, Third, Fourth, and Fifth Instructional Team LeaderBA Education of the Speech & Hearing Handicapped, MS Speech & Language Pathology SUNY-Fredonia
Mrs. Lacefield has been part of the Ambleside community since January 2007. She passionately embraced Ambleside philosophy, working with founders, Ken & Shari Ausley in the early years to share this education and grow our community. Aside from teaching Kindergarten, Second and Third Grade, she served as a Board Member and Head of School. She holds a BA in Education of the Speech & Hearing Handicapped as well as an MS in Speech & Language Pathology from the State University of New York, College at Fredonia. This background, and Arrowsmith Certification, equips her for her role as a teacher in the Arrowsmith Program.This program supports students with specific learning difficulties by identifying and strengthening cognitive capacities. She also coordinates our Title 1 program in relationship with Marion County Public Schools. Mrs. Lacefield considers herself a life-long learner and therefore has many interests. Mrs. Lacefield and her husband, Jerry, have three daughters, the youngest of whom is in eighth grade at Ambleside.
Fifth Grade Teacher
Bio coming soon!
Sixth Grade TeacherBA Biblical and Theological Studies, Covenant College; M. Div. Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando
Mr. Walkup was ordained as a pastor in the Presbyterian Church in America in 2010 and has served in Youth and Family ministries throughout the southeast since 2005. He and his wife, Rhoda, have two lovely daughters. The Walkups were introduced to Ambleside and Charlotte Mason through family and friends as their oldest daughter approached school age. Mr. Walkup enjoys running, reading, coffee, music, and playing games with his girls.
Seventh Grade Teacher, Algebra IIBA, Business Administration, Florida Institute of Technology; ADN Nursing, Midlands Technical College
Follower of Christ, wife to Josh, and mom to Lyric, Jacob, Justin, and Kody, Mrs. Phillips grew up in Illinois and moved to Florida after graduating nursing school in 2004. After completing her business degree and working as a registered nurse for several years, she chose to begin a family with Mr. Phillips and stay home with their children. She went on to homeschool her three youngest children where she learned of Charlotte Mason and a living education. Mr. and Mrs. Phillips are active in their church community where, through God's divine strategy, they were introduced to Ambleside School of Ocala. Their three youngest children are now attending Ambleside (the oldest is off to college), and Mrs. Phillips knows it is a gift from the Lord to have the opportunity to teach and love the students in her class.
Eighth Grade TeacherBS Psychology, University of Central Florida
Mrs. Gibboney loves connecting with people, especially young adults. Her heart is to help them grow in healthy relationship with one another and God. She and her husband, John, love the Florida Gators and their fur child, Gabby. Mrs. Gibboney is proud to serve on the board of directors of The Arnette House.
Middle School Instructional Team LeaderBA Sociology, Education Minor, University of Florida
Mrs. Owens graduated from The University of Florida in 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a minor in Education. She is a wife to Shane since 1999 and a mother to three children, all of whom attend Ambleside School. She grew up in Miami, FL and is the oldest of six. Mrs. Owens can be trusted to explain any and all variations on our weather, and to point out any and all birds on campus! You'll hear her infectious laugh if you're within a mile of campus!
Music TeacherBA Vocal Performance, Liberty University
Mr. Head builds a creative community at Ambleside, centered around joy-filled, Christ-exalting singing. He’s served at Ambleside for seven years, bringing a passion for corporate worship to our mornings. He teaches composer study for 3rd-8th grades in addition to elementary music each week. Primarily a family man, Mr. Head draws much inspiration from his wife and five kids, as well as from the students on campus. When he isn’t teaching, Mr. Head is usually working on the next musical instrument on his list to learn.
Middle School Music Teacher
Ms. Miles has always had an enormous love and passion for music. She has studied music for 15 years with 3 of those years being at the College of Central Florida where she studied Music Theory, Sight Singing, Music Literacy, Composition and Performance. Her love of performing started at age 15 when she performed in New York City in the production “Paradise Lost: Shadows and Wings”. This experience helped her sing and play in cities like New Orleans, Atlanta, Tampa and Disney World. Performance was her main passion until 3 years ago. She was offered a teaching position at Grace School of the Arts in Ocala. This job changed her heart from wanting to perform, to desiring to teach and inspire children with music and the word of God at the same time. She was introduced to Ambleside in 2017 and began assistant-teaching Middle School Choir. She now directs this choir as well as our High School Choir.
Mrs. Lewis is originally from Ocala and has lived here most of her life. She has an AA degree from CFCC and has been artistically creative from an early age. She was introduced to the Charlotte Mason method three years ago when her 2 youngest grandchildren began attending Ambleside. She has always believed art was a very important part of any child's education so voluntarily taught elementary art in a local Christian school where her youngest son attended. She also taught middle school math classes at the same school. She enjoys crafting, reading, biking, swimming and kayaking as well as any other outdoor activity. She also loves spending time with her grandchildren. She and her husband are semi-retired and travel to Charlotte NC as often as possible to visit their son and daughter-in-law.They also enjoy refurbishing houses. She considers it an honor to work with such amazing teachers and staff at Ambleside.
Kindergarten Teacher AssistantAA History, College of Central Florida
First Grade Teacher Assistant, Ambleside Afternoons
Ms. Stark has lived in Ocala her entire life. Though she loves spending summers in North Carolina working at summer camp, she has continued to gain a greater appreciation for the city of Ocala. Through working with children in various ways and settings for most of her life, Ms. Stark discovered the immense joy found in teaching. She also delights in learning from children about the beautiful way our Heavenly Father sees us and sees it as an incredible responsibility to be able to help shape how children see themselves. Ms. Stark was able to connect with families through working at Grace Episcopal VPK and feels both privileged and blessed to now be apart of the incredible family that is Ambleside. Ms. Stark loves experiencing God’s creation through hiking through the mountains, kayaking, swimming, and road-tripping.
Second Grade Teacher Assistant
Bio coming soon!
Algebra I Honors TeacherBS Education, SUC Oneonta; MA Education and Reading, SUC Oneonta; Ed.S Education Leadership, University of Florida.
Mrs. Butler and her husband Del are both children of dairy farmers and love being outdoors. After receiving her Master’s Degree, Mrs. Butler moved to Florida in 1983 where she taught in the Marion County Public School System for 30 years. She also served as an adjunct professor at the College of Central Florida since 1989. Mrs. Butler holds a Florida Teaching Certificate in multiple areas from elementary education all the way up to twelfth-grade math. Her and her husband have been married for over 30 years and have raised six children, three boys and three girls. They also have six grandchildren, including Kaitlin who is in second grade at Ambleside. Mrs. Butler enjoys singing, playing the guitar, riding horses, researching, and skating. So far her youngest student has been a four-year-old learning guitar and her oldest student was 86 years old and learning to read her Bible.
Part-time TeacherAA Nursing, Anderson University
Mrs. Dersch received her Associate Degree in Nursing in 1986, soon after marriage to her high school sweetheart. After a 10 year career in cardiac critical care, she transitioned home to educate their growing family. She embraced homeschooling her children through their elementary years with a passion that they have opportunity to love the act of learning. Their family joined our Ambleside community in 2011 when their youngest child was adopted internationally. Four of her children have attended Ambleside and Mrs. Dersch has spent countless hours on our campus as a volunteer. She loves our community well through nurturing our flower beds, encouraging others in the world’s best and hardest job of parenting, overseeing our Shakespeare costumes and being willing to serve where needed with a joy-filled heart.
High School DirectorBS, Pre-Law, John Brown University, Siloam Springs, AR, MTA, University of Tulsa, Tulsa, OK
Mr. Zedler has worked in and around education for almost 20 years, teaching in a variety of settings. He was an Ambleside teacher for 5 years before going to work for a company that develops and provides tutoring in literacy and language programs. He is excited to be back at Ambleside to work with the high school students and staff in this brand-new program. Mr. Zedler's areas of interest include history, theology, and philosophy, and on the lighter side, superheroes and adventure stories. He loves spending time with his family in both indoor and outdoor activities.
Tenth and Eleventh Grade Humanities TeacherBA Religion, University of Florida, MA History, Southern New Hampshire Univerity
Mr. Dease received his BA in Religion from the University of Florida and his MA in History from Southern New Hampshire University where he focused on American history and the development of the African American Church. He and his amazing wife, Ashley, have two incredible children, Jules and Davy, who keep them happy and tired. He is passionate about history, theology, literature, and art. He has been involved in church ministry in various capacities since 2006 and has been teaching since 2015.
Ninth Grade Literature and Composition, Middle School Technology TeacherBA English, minor in Spanish, Florida State University
Bio coming soon!
High School Biology TeacherBS, Food Science, MS Food Science, University of Florida
Mrs. Lewis stayed at UF for graduate school, researching the phytochemical and antioxidant properties of guava fruit for her thesis project, and earned her Master’s Degree in 2005. Upon graduation, she worked as a food scientist for 6 years before leaving the food industry to start a family. She then happily stayed home with her two children for the next 6 years. She is passionate about science, education, and the Ambleside philosophy and enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, reading, outdoor activities, cooking, and baking in her free time.
A carpenter by trade, Mr. Romine brings a natural love and appreciation for the language of mathematics to his middle school classes. Originally from Ohio, he spent almost the first ten years of his time in Ocala building equestrian barns and custom homes before transitioning out of the industry. Mr. Romine is passionate about Jesus, and helping people close the gap between religion and relationship. He pastors a little church, Live Oak Christian Fellowship, and loves to spend time tinkering with motorcycles or broken things in need of repair.
Bio coming soon!
Photography and Filmography Teacher
Bio coming soon!
Self-Reliant Living TeacherAS Dental Hygiene, Columbus State University
Mrs. Ferguson, her husband Gary, and their three children moved to Florida from Georgia five years ago. Mrs. Ferguson is passionate about nature and the God who created it. She loves to spend her time in her yard and greenhouse, embroidering, and reading. After 20 years of teaching her children at home, she is delighted to join Ambleside to teach two of the subjects she enjoys the most: nature study and handwork.
Mrs. Lilholt, along with her husband David, and their three teenagers, moved to the Ocala area in 2006. In July 2015, after 26 years of serving, Emmy retired her position as a Children's Pastor and joined Ambleside's administration team. She continues to serve in ministry within our community as well as traveling with her Fireflies Coaching Network over her weekends.
Mrs. Cochrane was first introduced to Charlotte Mason while researching methods for homeschooling her three children. Charlotte Mason's ideas and philosophy of education immediately resonated with her as truth. After several years of homeschooling in the method, her two youngest children began attending Ambleside. Mrs. Cochrane is grateful that she has the privilege of participating in meaningful work and serving in such a great community. She enjoys nature, being with her family and discovering more fully who God created her to be. She also has a strong desire for people to understand the finished work of Christ on the cross and God's unfathomable love for them.