Staff Bios

Staff Spotlight

Sara Ausher: Sara is a native New Yorker and comes from a family of 10 children! In 1993, she moved to Jacksonville where she and her husband are happily raising their 2 daughters, Haille and Alexandria. Sara enjoys children (good for MPP), cooking (good for her husband, Jerry), and decorating (good for her own creative needs!)

Kelly Avignone: Kelly is super excited to begin her second year at MPP as a
classroom assistant for the two’s! She and her husband Nick are originally from New Jersey and moved to the Saint Augustine area in 2006. They have two children, Ryan and Nicholas who are MPP alumni! Kelly is a Culinary Arts graduate and loves to spend time with her family at the beach, reading, cooking and volunteering at her children’s school.

Mary Bagby: Mary is mother to two grown daughters and wife to Stan. Jennifer and her husband live in North Carolina and Beth and her husband live right here in Jacksonville.  Mary is a grandmother to Chloe, Harrison and Spencer.  She loves to teach, garden and sing and has taught preschool for 28 years. She is a member of this great church and sings in the choir.  Mary was born in Pampa, Texas and lived on a ranch until she was 21. Her mother still runs that same ranch.

Amber Canipe: Amber was lucky enough to grow up on a farm in Pennsylvania and attended college in both NY and OH. At 19 and 20 years of age, she worked with special needs and in a nursing home as well. Amber married her husband in 2001 and has 2 girls. As a mother of 2 girls I found MPP to be a loving and caring environment for my children. She is so happy to be a part of this preschool.

Elizabeth Clayton: Elizabeth Clayton is North Carolina native, having graduated from Appalachian State University and University North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She and her husband, Ward, have two children who are both graduates of MPP. Daughter, Monica, is a sophmore at Creekside High School, and son Will, is a eighth grader at Fruit Cove Middle. Elizabeth is certified to teach K-3 and is also a Speech Language Pathologist. Previously, she held numerous music positions at her church. She is very excited to begin her fourth year as MPP’s music teacher, and looks forward to sharing her joy of music with the children. Elizabeth also enjoys yoga, dancing, visiting the beach and the North Carolina mountains.

Pat Coffing: Twenty two years ago, Pat began teaching 3’s at MPP, moving on to 4’s, and after 14 years, left MPP to join her husband in St. Petersburg while he pursued a second career.  Six years later and “fully” retired they returned to Jacksonville, and Pat returned to MPP as a 4’s assistant. Bill and Pat have two boys…Matthew and Jason, a wonderful daughter-in-law, Karen, and a dog and a cat. Pat fills her spare time with sewing, quilting, reading, and travelling.  Pat has a sweet grandson named Jackson.

Mariadanna Davis: Mariadanna Davis has lived in Jacksonville for over 10 years with her husband and three children, Luke, Lily and Liam. She has a BA degree in Child Development and Family Studies and has worked in the Early Learning field for over 14 years, teaching and assessing preschool programs. Her passions are reading, running, and teaching her favorite age, the Terrific Twos!

Amy DeBerardine: Though Amy has called Florida her home now for the past 20 years, she is an original Jersey Girl at heart!  Amy graduated from Monmouth University where she met her husband Mark whom she has been married to for the past 21 years.  Amy is the proud Mom to three children (who all went to MPP!): son, Zachary , daughters Dylan and Kaylee. In her 15th year at MPP, she considers her job the best in the world. Where else can you play in the sandbox, build with Legos, color, paint & read Dr. Seuss every day?!?  She is a member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and loves to have family game nights, ride roller coasters, hike, bake, read and solve Sudoku puzzles.

Nicole Franklin: Nicole has lived in Jacksonville 11 years. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of North Florida and has taught Pre-K and Kindergarten in the Clay County Schools. Nicole and her husband, Matt have 3 children (Kate, Sam, Sara) who have all attended and loved MPP. She is excited to be back in the classroom again working with the 3’s!

Kira Greco: When the youngest of her 3 boys graduated from MPP , Kira decided that after 8 years at such a wonderful school, she wasn’t ready to leave!  Kira, her husband Karl, and their boys (Sam, Jonah and Charlie) have lived in Jacksonville since 2004.  Back in the days before children, she taught elementary school, and is excited to be back in a classroom working with little ones again!

Ashley Griffin: Originally from Charlotte, North Carolina, Ashley graduated from Christian Brothers University with a BS degree. She has been married to her husband John for 12 years. They have two children, Lauren and Chloe who both previously attended MPP. The Griffins live in Julington Creek Plantation and love it here in Jacksonville! This is Ashley’s second year at MPP and she’s very excited to be assisting in the Two’s classroom. She attends Church of Our Saviour, loves volunteering at Julington Creek Elem., and spending time at the beach.

Alison Gregory: Alison has lived in the Jacksonville area for most of her life. After graduating from UNF with a degree in Pre-K Primary Education, she taught in Duval County for nearly 10 years. From there she went to work for Nemours Brightstart as an Early Literacy Specialist. She has 18 years of teaching experience!! Alison has been married to Shawn for 10 years and has 2 daughters, Emma and Gianna (who attended attended MPP for 2 years. Alison is passionate about Early Childhood Ed, loves to read, cook and mostly spend time with her family. She is an active member of St. Joseph’s church.

Mellanie Henderson: Mellanie has been at MPP a LONG time!! Over the past 26 years, she has filled taught 3 year olds, 4 year olds, and Pre-K 5 year olds; been the Curriculum Coordinator, Assistant Director and, for the past 7 years has had the joy of being the Director of this wonderful preschool. Her greatest joy and personal ministry is to connect with and love each child, family and staff member at MPP! Mellanie and her husband, Craig, adore their daughters, Amy and Kelly, 3 precious granddaughters, Caroline, Eden and Annsley, and grandson, Harrison!! Her cup overflows :>) Outside of MPP and family, Mellanie loves traveling and loves, loves college FSU football. Go Seminoles!

Terri Jarrett: Terri is our lead teacher assistant/resource specialist and has worked at MPP for 28 years.  She has been married to John for 40 years, who retired after 35 years on the Jacksonville Fire Dept. They have two daughters, 34 and 30.  Terri and John are also raising their 2 grandchildren. Terri loves Gator football, the beach, country and oldies music.  She looks forward to working another year with a wonderful staff and of course the precious children.

Kelly Keitzer: Kelly is a Jacksonville native and even went to MPP as a child. She earned her Bachelors Degree in Child Development at Florida State University. She and her husband, JJ (John), have 2 children, Harrison and Annsley, who are currently students at MPP. She looks forward to her first year as a threes Classroom Assistant with Mrs. Nicole and Mrs. Amy. In her free time Kelly enjoys reading, watching college football and sleeping!!!

Robyn Keeley: Robyn grew up in the Adirondacks of New York, then went to Barry University in Miami, Florida on a golf scholarship. She earned a Bachelors Degree in Science and remained in south Florida becoming a golf pro and then receiving her teaching certificate. She taught preschool followed by 5th grade in Hollywood, Florida for 6 years. Robyn has been married to her husband, Brendan, for 6 years and they have a 5 year old daughter named Madelyn. They moved to Julington Creek 3 years ago and couldn’t be happier living there. Robyn volunteered here as her daughter Maddy was in Mrs. Amy’s class. She is excited to become a teacher assistant at MPP and return to doing what she loves.

Melody Longstreth: Melody is looking forward to beginning her 9th year at MPP as a TWTh VPK teacher. She and her husband, Wes, have been married 31 years and have 2 sons, Hunter and Will and a daughter, Ellie. Melody taught in Duval County, primary grades and in Kindergarten at San Jose Episcopal Day School the years her children attended. Melody returned to the classroom part-time at MPP when her children started college. This Fall Melody’s youngest leaves for Ole Miss which leaves Melody with an ‘empty nest’! She feels blessed to have the very happy distraction from her very quite home-front that teaching VPK provides!

Craig Matsche: Originally from South Carolina, Craig has lived in Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida as an adult where she enjoyed working with PK-12 schools implementing educational technology. Happily married to her husband and best friend John for 20 years, Craig is mother to their cat Squiggles, and the “cool aunt” to four nieces, one nephew, and four great nephews. On weekends you’ll find Craig and John sailing, kayaking, reading or visiting with family and friends. Craig is an active member of Deermeadows Baptist Church where she loves teaching VBS and serving on two committees. Craig also serves as a year-round volunteer with Operation Christmas Child.

Elizabeth McDonnell: Elizabeth comes from a large family of six girls originally from the San Francisco Bay Area.  She earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Villanova University where she also played the sport she loves most – volleyball.  In 2004, Elizabeth and husband Jeff headed to Jacksonville to be closer to family.  They have four children.  All of her children have come through MPP.  Elizabeth, has always loved children, is in her 4th year as a MPP staffer.  Elizabeth’s favorite things to do include crafts, cooking, watching her children play sports, and especially having a house filled with children and friends to swim and entertain.

Terry McMahon: Terry moved to Jacksonville immediately after graduating from the University of Central Arkansas to work for Duval County Public Schools as a Speech Language Pathologist. Terry met her husband, Bruce, at First Methodist Church Downtown Jacksonville and will celebrate 21 years of wedded bliss in October. Colin, their son, is entering 12th grade at Christ’s Church Academy. Colin also attended MPP beginning in Ms. Mary’s “Mom’s Morning Out” and stayed an “extra” year in the pre-kindergarten class (at the time). Terry loved MPP and just couldn’t leave.  She volunteered, substituted, and eventually gained employment . . . and still loves it here!  She enjoys sewing, reading, shopping, and hanging out with her family and friends.

Jeanne Orman: Jeanne is a graduate of Indiana University (MA) and University of Illinois.  She and her husband, Steve, will celebrate 32 years of marriage this year.  Raising their two boys, Christopher, a graduate of Univ. of South Carolina, and living in Charleston; and Patrick, fresh out of Florida State and working in Jacksonville, has been her greatest joy. Teaching is her second one: she has enjoyed teaching at middle school, elementary, and pre-K. Jeanne enjoys cooking, Pilates, reading, entertaining, preschool work, and cheering for the Gators.

Mary Rockwell: Mary has degrees from Middle Tennessee State (Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education) and Vanderbilt University (Masters in Special Education). She has used her degrees to teach Blind and Visually Impaired students for 7 years, as well as Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, and LOGOS at Mandarin Presbyterian Church. Last, but not least, Mary has used her classroom gifts teaching four year olds at MPP for the past 8 years. Her joys include spending time with her husband, Rocky, and their two daughters, Kimberly and Veronica. Both girls are away at college now! She also loves teaching at MPP, the beach, dolphins, collecting sea glass and shells, long walks, biking, reading great books and doing arts and crafts – especially with friends.

Carolyn Schmoyer: Originally from New Jersey, Carolyn graduated from Jacksonville University with a BS degree.  She has been married to her husband Steven for 19 wonderful years!  They have two children, Andrew (16) and Stefanie (12 and a former MPP student).  The Schmoyers live and play in Julington Creek.  In her 5th year at MPP, Carolyn is very excited to be assisting in a VPK classroom. She is an active member of St. Joseph’s Church, loves volunteering at her children’s school, and spending all of her free time with her family.

Alison Stockli: Alison is a born and raised Florida girl! She and her husband, Bob, have 3 girls: Meagan, Emma and Olivia. Emma and Olivia are both graduates of MPP. While Alison has enjoyed being a stay-at-home mom for the past few years, she is excited to be back at work now that all her kids are at school full time! When she is not busy begin a mommy, Alison is also on the PTA board at her girls’ school and runs the Girl Scout program at MPC

Jane Sutton: For 29 years, Jane has been married to Bob, and this will be her 16th year teaching at MPP. Jane graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in Early Childhood – a degree that has come in handy raising her 3 children: Kaitlin, Kelsey, and Matt. Kaitlin graduated from the University of South Alabama; Kelsey is a senior at Georgia Southern University; Matt is starting his second year at Santa Fe College. Jane loves all sports, especially college football. She also loves the beach, gardening, and spending time with her family.

Maria Whitcombe: Maria was born in Cuba and due to political unrest in the country her family moved to Spain when she was four years old. Maria had the experience of living in Spain for 5 years before coming to the United States. As a result of having lived in Cuba, Spain and Miami, Maria is fluent in Spanish. She feels blessed that it was in Miami that she met her wonderful mid-western husband, Erik. In 1997 Maria and Erik moved to north to Jacksonville. Their children, Cassandra and Jake are both alumni of MPP. Maria has been a classroom assistant at MPP since 2005 and a nursery worker for Mandarin Presbyterian Church since 1999. This year, Maria will be teaching Spanish during Lunch Bunch on Thursday! She enjoys working with kids, spending time with family, traveling, cooking, gardening, shopping and having coffee with friends.

Becky White: Becky was born in Michigan and raised in Ohio, but has lived in Florida since high school, so she feels like a true Southerner. She has a degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Florida (Go Gators!) and has taught almost every grade, 4 and 5 year olds are her true love. She loves their curious minds and their excitement about learning new things! Becky and her husband, Bob, try to attend as many Gator athletic events as possible. She enjoys gardening (in the cool weather) and loves to read and antique!  She and Bob have 3 children: Matt, Katye and Drew who live all over the country! Her favorite time is the holidays when all the family comes together. Becky feels so very blessed to be a part of the MPP family.