Bonnie Bowman - Owner and Director
Bonnie has been an educator for more than twenty years. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education from the University of South Florida and a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Florida. She has a National Board Certification, and was Norton Elementary's Teacher of the Year in 2009. After teaching and working as an administrator in public schools, she decided to open a small school that focuses on learning through play and instilling a lifelong love of learning in all of our students. Her love for the children and their education is the heartbeat of our school!
Roselyn (Roz) Brown - Office Manager
Roz is our Administrative Aficionado and Snack Savant. She keeps every paper, supply, snack, and detail in order. Did you know she is technically retired? After more than 40 years of office experience, she decided to bring her expertise to Persimmon because she loves us that much! Roz has a great sense of humor, loves reading, gardening, traveling, and spending time with her growing family: three children and eleven grandchildren.
Melissa Pérez - Classroom Assistant
You may see Melissa in any of the classrooms serving our school as a classroom assistant wherever she is needed most. Melissa recently moved to the U.S. from Uruguay. She has been teaching since 2013, holds a B.A. in Physical Education from the Universidad de la República, Uruguay (2015), and was pursuing a second degree in psychomotricity before moving here. She is currently working on fulfilling the DCF training requirements. Her teaching experience includes working as a physical education teacher in public schools, working at summer camps, and sports clubs. Melissa loves engaging her students in collective games that help develop children’s motor skills. She also loves singing songs, reading books, and playing games in her native language (Spanish). Outside of school, Melissa enjoys time with her husband and her brother’s family. Her favorite activities include swimming, bike riding, and crocheting and knitting stuffed animals (‘amigurumis’).
Kristel Reichert - One’s Class
“One-year-olds are my people.” That’s Kristel’s quote. And she is the perfect fit for our One’s Class! Her favorite thing to do in her classroom is watching the children learn and discover through play. Kristel has experience working with children ages birth to four-years-old since 2007. She has completed the DCF child care credentials and has a goal to work toward more. She is also mama to her son, Jackson. Outside of school, Kristel loves family time, reading, sewing, all things natural/organic, and a little adventure. Ask her about the time she went sky diving!
Dakota Warner - One’s Class
Dakota is another gem in our one’s classroom. She has been working in child care since 2015, with experience in ages one through five and 70+ hours in child care training. Her favorite activities to do with the children are art projects and story time. She brings a calm presence to the room every day. Dakota enjoys nature, hiking, camping, the beach, music, reading, and cooking. You even see her biking around town sometime! Before landing in Gainesville, Dakota lived in Utah, Mississippi, Georgia, and Colorado. We’re happy to have her!
Lauren Agliano - Two’s Class
Lauren describes herself as a “wildling with the heart of a child”. She also has a drive as an educator that makes her a powerhouse on our team! Lauren graduated from UCF in 2013 with a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts and soon discovered her love of teaching. Lauren has experience working with early elementary school and VPK student, holds a MMCI Classroom Interaction certification, and is working on furthering her child care credentials. Lauren’s favorite classroom activities are exploring new ideas in circle time and experimenting in the Arts. She lives with her partner of five years (Ben), two dogs (Koda & Zodi), and cat (Sutree). As a wildling, Lauren enjoys gardening, searching for wild edible plants, climbing trees, and biking around town.
Angela Musall - Two’s Class
Angela has been teaching since 2014, working with children ages 2 through 5 years old. She also has experience working in inclusive preschool classrooms teaching children with disabilities. Her favorite things to do with her students are to explore outside and read during story time. At home, Angela enjoys time spent with her two children, Ryder and River. She also enjoys reading, kayaking, camping, and cooking. And just in case you are wondering which house she belongs to, Angela is a Hufflepuff.
Quillan D’croz - Three’s Class
Quillan has been teaching since 1997, mostly in early childhood, and now we are lucky enough to have her as one of our three-year-old teachers. She has her CDA and returned to school last year to earn her degree in early childhood education. Quillan is a teacher who knows how to have fun in her class! She loves to read books, sing and dance, paint, and play games with her students. Outside of school, Quillan loves spending time with her husband, Steven, and daughters, Sasha and Lily. She enjoys reading, going for walks, spending time at the beach, sunflowers, and chocolate.
Bob Marshall - Three’s Class
Bob has been teaching since 2017, but his dream to become a teacher began as a child. After becoming a dad, his experiences with his own son encouraged him to quit his career of 20 years and finally live his dream! Bob loves teaching, and it shows. He is loved by our whole student population! One day, he hopes to work in counseling with children from “at-risk” households. In addition to 40 hours of DCF training, Bob holds the Florida Child Care Professional Credential (FCCPC). His favorite things to do with his students include science projects, exploration, cooking, and music. Outside of school, Bob enjoys sports, music, record collecting, writing, hanging out with his son, and spending time with his wife of almost 20 years!
Cody Andrews - VPK
Cody has been teaching since 2013 and here at Persimmon since the beginning! She has the Florida Child Care Professional Credential and is currently working toward a degree in Early Childhood Education from Santa Fe College. Cody enjoys applying her creativity while engaging her students in art and science projects. She always takes the time to get to know each student and interacts with them as the important individuals they are. In her free time, Cody enjoys spending time on the boat with her family - Mike, their children Evie and Tommy, and their sweet, old dog, Dixie.
Antonia Arango - VPK
Antonia is another one of our amazing VPK teachers. She has been teaching since 2012 and holds a CDA and VPK certification. Antonia loves watching her students learn through hands-on activities and sensory play. She also enjoys sharing moments with her students during story time. When she is not at school, Antonia enjoys meditation, exercise, gardening with her husband (Carlos), and playing with their cat (“Batty”). She also drinks a delicious green smoothie every day!
Amy Clay - K-2nd Grade (pictured right)
Amy is the lead teacher in our K-2 class and has built this program since the beginning in 2016. She has been teaching since 2000, holds a Bachelor’s Elementary Education, and is K-6th grade Florida certified. Her favorite thing to do with her class is to “discover” new things. She enjoys searching for answers in science as well as learning about other cultures, ancient and modern. She also highly values reading with students in the classroom, and it makes her smile when a student grabs a book to read just for fun! Her favorites to read include Norse myths, fairy tales, tall tales; authors such as, Mo Willems, Jerry Spinelli, Avi, and all time favorite - Roald Dahl. Fun fact: her daughter, Violet, is named after a Roald Dahl character. Amy’s husband, Jim, is our volunteer music teacher and is helping the children record their own songs!
Valerie Jones - K-2nd Grade (pictured left)
Valerie has been teaching at Persimmon since 2014, the start of her teaching career. She holds the Florida Child Care Professional Credential and was one of our VPK teachers before joining the K-2nd class in 2017. She is currently pursuing an Early Childhood (age 3 through 3rd grade) teaching certificate. In the classroom, Valerie loves engaging students in hands-on learning activities (especially art and science) and using manipulatives to teach new concepts. She believes in teaching the whole child, valuing social, emotional, and physical development along with academics. Valerie and her husband, Adam, enjoy chasing after their energetic toddler, Joshua - who is quite popular in the K-2 class. He spent his first year snuggling mama and growing alongside the K-2 students - a beautiful learning experience for all!