Meet the Team | Oakleaf

Cathy Hardison

Center Director

Cathy graduated from Camden County High School in Kingsland, Georgia. She is currently furthering her education in hopes of receiving her degree in Early Childhood Development. Cathy currently holds a Child Development Associate and her Florida Directors Credential.

Cathy and her husband have two beautiful children and reside in Middleburg, Florida. Cathy feels that she has found her true calling in this profession. She wakes up very excited about what’s in store for her each day at the center. She knows there is something new and exciting happening with the children. Cathy says, “You just never know what a child will say nor do that will put a smile on your face”. That’s what she looks forward to the most.

Shekeah Goar

Assistant Director

Shekeah graduated from Brunswick High School. Shekeah has her Child Development Associate and her director’s credentials. Shekeah has over 13 year of experience in the early childhood industry. Ms. Keah chose to work in this field because she loves children and she loes to watch them discover the world around them and gain self-confidence.

In Shekeah’s spare time she enjoys watching sports, spending time with family and friends and binge watching her favorite TV shows.

Annette Coleman

VPK Teacher

Annette graduated in Raleigh, North Carolina. Ms. Annette studied special education at the College of Ablemarble and has been working in early childhood education for 16 years. Ms. Annette chose to work in early childhood development because she enjoys helping children achieve their potential in order to get to the next step in their development and in life with a positive attitude. She enjoys watching their innocence and real expressions about life and their surroundings.

In her spare time she enjoys decorating her home and working in her garden.

Breanna Kuchta

VPK Teacher

Ms. Breanna is currently studying education at St. Johns River State College. She has her CDA and over 6 years’ experience in Early Childhood Education. Ms. Breanna chose to work in early childhood education because she has always had a passion for children. She wants to help them learn and grow into young adults. Ms. Breanna loves the curiosity and wonder with which children approach the world.

In her spare time, Ms. Breanna likes spend time with family and friends. She enjoys reading, traveling and going to the each and movies.

Angela Stephens

VPK Teacher

Ms. Angie earned her associates degree in Early Childhood Development from Florida State Community College. She has been working with children for the past 8 years. Ms. Angie says, “It is very important to make sure we shine as much light as we can on children. They are our future.” Ms. Angie enjoys watching her students grow throughout the year.

In her free time, Ms. Angie enjoys spending time with her family and cleaning; She loves to clean!

Gloria Stewart

VPK Teacher

Gloria is a graduate of Reseda High School in Reseda, California. Gloria began working in real estate and after many years discovered she had a passion for young children. Gloria began working in the early childhood industry to explore her love of children and the future that they hold. She knew this was her calling so she pursued her education by receiving her Child Development Associate. Ms. Gloria says, “It’s so rewarding to see the smile on the faces of the children when they understand what we are teaching! Watching them grow and change is the best experience a teacher can have.”

Gloria has 3 children of her own and enjoys spending as much time with her family as she can. In her spare time, she enjoys planting flowers, swimming and yoga.

Denise Caraballo

VPK Teacher

Ms. Denise has been working in Early Childhood Education for 9 years. She believes that children are our future and she wants to “surround them with positive influences so they can make a difference in the world.” She loves working with children because they are free spirits and excited to learn. Ms. Denise holds a degree in medical assisting and business from Florida Technical College.

In her free time, Ms. Denise enjoys fishing, hiking, boating and spending time with her children.

Chari Roderick

Pre-K 4 Teacher

Ms. Chari graduated with her Associates in Arts in Early Childhood Education. Chari has over 11 years of hands on experience working in the early childhood industry. In Chari’s words, “One thing I love most about working with children is their thirst for knowledge and unconditional love.” She chose to work in early childhood education because it makes her feel good to be able to help young minds reach their full potential.

In her spare time she enjoys photography, watching movies and spending time with her family.

Katie Hicks

Toddler Teacher

Katie graduated from Ribault High School in Jacksonville, Florida. Katie has over 16 years of experience in the early childhood industry. Katie enjoys working with young children of all ages. She loves engaging in each child’s learning experiences and how creative their minds can be. Ms. Katie’s favorite thing is to make her children laugh!

Katie has 1 child and in her spare time enjoys spending time with her family, listening to music and reading a good book.

Amanda Rossi

Toddler Teacher

Amanda graduated from Oakleaf High School in Orange Park, Florida where she received her training and experience in early childhood education. Upon graduation Amanda was awarded her Child Development Associate. Ms. Amanda has worked in early childhood education for 4 years. Ms. Amanda says working with toddlers is very rewarding. “To see how much they grow and learn in just a year is so amazing. I love when we can see them finally grasp a concept we have been working on.”

In Amanda’s spare time she enjoys painting and being crafty. She sings, plays the piano and takes trips to Disney World as often as she can.

Yen Pham

Infant Teacher

Yen graduated from High School in Vietnam. Yen furthered her education at HIMC University and the Straford Career Institute in Washington DC. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in English and Early Childhood Education. She also continued her studies and was awarded her Child Development Associate in early childhood education with a focus on infants and toddlers. Yen has been working in the early childhood industry over 22 years. Ms. Yen knows that children play a very important part in our future. She believes that as an infant teacher she helps children establish an educational foundation for the rest of their lives. She loves children for their curiosity and willingness to explore new things. Ms. Yen says that when she is with young children she is uplifted by their energy, innocence and joy.

In her spare time, Ms. Yen enjoys gardening and cooking.

Michelle Aguinaga

Spanish Teacher

Michelle graduated from Oakleaf High School where she studied early childhood development and received her Child Development Associate. Michelle is bilingual in both Spanish and English and has been with The Discovery Tree for the past three years. Michelle chose to study early childhood development because she found children to be very fascinating and wanted to become and educator of young individuals and watch them learn and grow. She loves having the ability to see the children grow and develop as well as have such a great impact on their life through helping them achieve the skills they need to further their academic development.

In Michelle’s spare time she enjoys photography and traveling.

Lisa Hammac

After Care Teacher

Ms. Lisa graduated from Sprayberry High School in Marietta, Georgia. She earned her degree in Medical Office Administration from The Georgia Medical Institute. She has over 6 years of experience working in the early childhood industry. Ms. Lisa loves children and enjoys watching their minds at work. She loves watching how excited children are when they accomplish things they were previously unsure of or were struggling with.

In her spare time, you can find Ms. Lisa watching TV, playing games with her family, or enjoying a good book on the beach.

Laverne Broughton

Nutrition Specialist

Laverne graduated from Palisades High School and has been in the Early Childhood Education field for over 20 years. Ms. Laverne says she didn’t choose to work in early childhood, it choose her. The fulfillment and enrichment she gets from watching children grow and spread their wings is what she loves most about working at The Discovery Tree.

In her spare time she enjoys shopping and spending time with friends and family.

Michelle Aguinaga

Spanish Teacher

Michelle graduated from Oakleaf High School where she studied early childhood development and received her Child Development Associate. Michelle is bilingual in Spanish and English. Michelle chose to study early childhood development because she found children to be very fascinating, she wanted to become an educator of young individuals to watch them learn and grow. She loves having the ability to see the children develop, as well as have such a great impact on their lives through helping them achieve the skills they need to further their academic development.

In Michelle’s spare time she enjoys spending quality time with her friends and family.

Laverne Broughton

Nutritional Specialist

LaVerne graduated from Palisades High School and has been in the Early Childhood Education field for over seven years. LaVerne chose to work in this industry to make a difference in children’s lives. She feels as if children give her a sense of purpose and need in her life and she loves being with children.

In her spare time, she enjoys reading, walking, entertaining and spending time with her family.

Annette Coleman

VPK Teacher

Annette graduated in Raleigh, North Carolina. Annette chose to work in early childhood development because she enjoys helping children achieve their potential and get to the next step in their development. She encourages them to approach life with a positive attitude. She enjoys watching their innocence and real expressions about their surroundings.
In her spare time she enjoys decorating her home and working in her garden.

Winter Break Camp Discovery!

Come see what we are discovering today!

Learning shouldn’t end when school is out! At Camp Discovery, our school-age children spend the winter break exploring the variety of venues our community has to offer! Our students also enjoy working on a variety of winter crafts and other fun activities.

We are open 6:30 am — 6:30 pm.

$150/week—includes breakfast, lunch, snacks and field trip costs.

The Discovery Tree Academy's Camp Discovery!

Request Discovery Camp information:

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