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.
I studied elementary education in my native country, Chile, the place where I was born and raised. I‘ve been actively involved in Christian Children’s Ministries for more than 15 years, currently serving as an instructor for a teenager’s Pathfinder Club. I had the opportunity to teach a foreign language in community outreach programs. I have a passion for education and from the moment I learned about Ambleside’s educational philosophy, I was driven to be a part of its wonderful community. I knew this was the school my three girls should attend. Listening to classical music, singing, spending time in nature, swimming, hiking, or kayaking with my family, are also my favorite free time activities.
In anything I can find beauty, I will find myself there. Thus, I find myself educating for education is to seek beauty inside the soul of men.
Kindergarten Teacher, Physical Conditioning TeacherBS, Education, Health Sciences, MS, Education , Health Sciences University of Dayton firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs. Charske graduated with her undergraduate degree in Health, Physical Education and Adapted Physical Education in 1996 and then continued on to pursue a Masters in Education in 2002 from the University of Dayton. She began her thirteen year long professional teaching career at Kettering City Schools in 1997. She taught Health, Physical Education and coached Track and Field for four years before she took a short break to care for their first son. Once returning back to the teaching profession she enjoyed four more years teaching for Kettering Schools at the middle school level. She ended her last five years of teaching at Southdale Elementary School. After their family of seven moved to Florida, she taught one year for Marion County before stepping into her beloved position, teaching Kindergarten and Physical Education for Ambleside. She has been married to her husband for over 22 years and has five beautiful children, ranging from college to fifth grade. She enjoys many activities: relaxing at the beach, exercise classes at One Hot Yoga, traveling with her husband, and spending time with family and friends. She loves being active in her church community.
First Grade TeacherBS - Liberal Arts Multimedia Productions - Bloomfield College, Bloomfield, NJ email@example.com
Ms. Clayton was born and raised in Ocala, FL and is mother to Kierce Luckett, who has attended Ambleside since the 3rd grade! After attending college up North, she worked her way back down to Sunnyside Florida where she pursued her passion for real estate and property management. Ms. Clayton has always worked wonderfully with children, is truly honored for the opportunity to teach 1st grade and wants to create impactful positive impressions in the lives of growing and learning children!
Second Grade Teacher, High School CounselorBS Psychology, University of Florida firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
K-3rd Instructional Team LeaderBA, MA, Early Childhood Education, University of Florida email@example.com
Mrs. Miller moved to Ocala after graduating and marrying her husband, Michael. While finishing her Masters degree, she met Ken and Shari Ausley and made a connection between For the Children’s Sake and their newly formed Ambleside School. She taught for five years (First and Third grade) before staying home with sons born in 2014 and 2019. She is passionate about connecting and serving moms, spending time at the lake, playing games with her family and traveling.
Third Grade TeacherBA Human Services, minor in Psychology, Geneva College firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs. LaValley heard about Ambleside through her husband’s family and from her step-daughter attending the school. She has a heart for helping children and growing them in the knowledge of who Jesus is and also enjoys building relationships with people. She loves spending time with her family, eating dark chocolate, and drinking coffee.
Fourth Grade TeacherBS, Educational Studies, Western Governor’s University email@example.com
Ms. Menchaca earned her Bachelor’s degree in Educational Studies from Western Governor’s University along with a Child Care Management Certification. She knew she had always wanted to be a teacher ever since she was young and impacting young minds. She's been substitute teaching since 2019 for the public school system and God brought her to Ambleside. She enjoys serving at church on the worship team and children’s ministry, spending time with family, and exploring new and adventurous places with friends.
Fifth Grade TeacherBS Elementary Education, University of Central Florida firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs. Schultz earned her BS in Elementary Education, endorsements in Reading K-12, and E.S.O.L. certification from the University of Central Florida. After meeting her husband early in high school and wanting a family of her own some day, Mrs. Schultz knew she wanted her life's work to focus around children. She has spent the majority of the past 12 years teaching and helping children grow. It's her passion and joy watching children learn, and learning from them. While taking some time away from the classroom to raise her own young children, Troy and Falyn, she came across Ambleside. God drew her here, it was a perfect fit for their family. Mrs. Schultz enjoys serving at her church, hunting with her husband, having family movie nights in her back yard, and raising their children to love and serve God.
Sixth Grade TeacherBA Biblical and Theological Studies, Covenant College; M. Div. Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 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 Teacher, 4-8th Instructional Team LeaderBS Psychology, University of Central Florida email@example.com
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.
Director of AdministrationBA Sociology, Education Minor, University of Florida firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs. Owens graduated from The University of Florida in 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a minor in Education. She and her husband, Shane have been together since 1999 and together they have three children. She grew up in Miami, FL and is the oldest of six. Mrs. Owens can be trusted to explain any 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!
Kindergarten Teacher Assistant, Ambleside AfternoonsAA History, College of Central Florida
Second Grade Teacher Assistantnlacefield@amblesideocala.com
Ms. Lacefield joins our staff as an Ambleside alumni. She first attended Ambleside as a student in 1st grade until she graduated 8th grade in 2014. Her love for the children and people of this community has inspired her to continue her education. She currently attends the College of Central Florida majoring in Special Education. Ms. Lacefield has lead worship at Live Oak Community Fellowship for 6 years. She enjoys outdoor activities, yoga, and spending time with friends!
Music TeacherBA Vocal Performance, Liberty University email@example.com
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 18 years with 3 of those years being at the College of Central Florida where she studied Music Theory, Sight Singing, Ear Training, 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 and places like New Orleans, Atlanta, Tampa, and Disney World. She has also played in marching band, wind symphony, jazz band and drum corps. Performance was her main passion until 5 years ago when she was offered a teaching position at Grace School of the Arts in Ocala. This job changed her heart from wanting to perform, to instead 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 music program.
Spanish Teacher, Art Teacher for 5th-8th firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs. Ovalle and her husband were thrilled by their discovery of the Ambleside community while researching methods of education. After enrolling her two daughters, she joined our staff as our Elementary and Middle School Spanish teacher! She considers herself blessed to partake in our children's education and strives to engage their language-learning skills. When she is not planning what to teach, she is planning how to have fun in nurture groups through her role as a Trust-Based Relational Intervention Practitioner. Her heart longs for all children (and adults) to know how precious they are, especially those who have had or are going through trauma. On her time off she enjoys being in nature with her family, worshipping, creating, reading, and being a catalyst for positive change!
Middle and High School Drama Teacher, Ninth Grade LiteratureBA Communication Studies, Florida State University email@example.com
A native Ocalan, John has been a working actor in Los Angeles, California for the last thirty years and has accumulated over twenty five film and television credits. He appeared in more than twenty national commercials and performed in over sixty stage productions during his time there. He has been the proud member of an award winning Christian theatre company in the heart of Hollywood for most of those years, serving on their board of directors, production committee and public relations committee as well as performing on stage in musicals, classics, contemporary plays and world premiere new works. He is happy to be back home again with his dog, Blue, and cat, Ernest T. Bass, and is thrilled to be working at Ambleside.
Math Teacher, Instructional Team Leader for K-12 MathBS Business, Liberty University firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs. Martin earned her BS in Business from Liberty University, with minors in New Testament Greek and Communication. She enjoyed a career in marketing before making the shift to becoming a stay-at-home mom. While her children were small, Mrs. Martin and her husband began a photography business, mainly serving clients in Marion and Alachua county, which they still enjoy today. She has three children at Ambleside - two in middle school and one in high school. When her oldest was in 2nd grade, Mrs. Martin began volunteering in our library. She continued in that capacity for six years before joining as a staff member. Her hobbies include reading, baking, traveling, and spending time with her family.
Part-time Teacher, ASI Board MemberAA 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. Dorothy Dersch is an ASI Board Member.
First Grade Teacher AssistantEcola Bible School email@example.com