Staff Bios

Staff Spotlight

Kelly Avignone: Kelly is super excited to begin her third 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 South Carolina and Beth and her husband also live in South Carolina.  Mary is a grandmother to Chloe, Harrison and Spencer.  She loves to teach, garden and sing and has taught preschool for 29 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 is the mother of 2 girls, both alumni of MPP. She has lived in Florida since 2002 (she got married and moved to the warmth right away), previously having lived in Pennsylvania, Maryland and North Carolina.  Amber attended Long Island University and Antioch University. Amber is happy to be a part of the MPP family in any way that they see fit.

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 freshman at FSU and son Will, is a junior at grader at Creekside High School. 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 fifth 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: Another New York state transplant, Pat began teaching at MPP 25 years ago. She taught 3’s, moving on to 4’s, and 14 years later retired for 6 years. Pat returned to MPP 5 years ago as a VPK assistant.  Bill and Pat have two boys, a lovely daughter-in-law, and 2 year old grandson.  Her spare time is filled with embroidery/monogramming, sewing, reading, and visiting her grandchild in St. Pete.

Mariadanna Davis: Mariadanna Davis has lived in Jacksonville for over 14 years with her husband, Keith and three children, Luke, Lily and Liam. She has a BA degree in Child Development and Family Studies from West Virginia University. She has worked in the Early Learning field for over 20 years teaching and assessing preschool programs. Mariadanna has taught typical and special needs children. She is also a active member at San Juan Del Rio Catholic Church.  Her passions are reading, running, anything Sci-Fi and teaching her favorite age, the Terrific Twos!

Amy DeBerardine: Though Amy has called Florida her home now for the past 21 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 23 years.  Amy is the proud Mom to three children (who all went to MPP!): son, Zachary , daughters Dylan and Kaylee. In her 16th 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 loves to have family game nights, shopping with her 2 daughters, read and solve Sudoku puzzles.

Nicole Franklin: Nicole has lived in Jacksonville 13 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. All of Nicole’s children have attended (and loved!) MPP.  This will be Nicole’s second year teaching the 3’s at MPP, and she can’t think of a better way to spend her mornings than with her favorite preschoolers!

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.

Rachel Harbert: Rachel was born and raised in Minnesota and has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.  She and her family have lived in Jacksonville for 4 years (they couldn’t take the cold winters anymore)! Rachel has been married to Andy for 14 years and they have 2 children, Annie and Alex.  Alex graduated last spring from MPP’s fantastic VPK program!  Rachel was not ready to leave MPP so this year she was hired as a classroom assistant for Mrs. Amy and Mrs. Nicole!  She is very excited to engage with the kids and have a great year!

Mellanie Henderson: Mellanie has been at MPP a LONG time!! Over the past 26 years, she has taught 3 year olds, 4 year olds, and Pre-K 5 year olds; been the Curriculum Coordinator, Assistant Director and, for the past 8 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, 4 precious granddaughters, Caroline, Eden and Annsley, Elanor 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 second year as a Classroom Assistant . 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!

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 5th 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 24 years of wedded bliss in October. Colin, their son, a recent graduate of Christ’s Church Academy, will be attending FSU in the fall. 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 University (B.S. in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education), and Vanderbilt University ( Special Education).   Her greatest joy is spending time with her husband of 34 years, Rocky, and their two adult daughters, Kimberly and Veronica.  Teaching at MPP for the past twelve years has been a great joy and privilege!  Mary loves teaching, visiting with family, the beach, good books, walking, biking, and art.

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 a VPK teacher this year. 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, and a member of Mandarin Presbyterian Church.  She and her husband, Bob, have 3 girls: Megan, Emma and Olivia.  Emma and Olivia are both graduates of MPP.  When it was time for all her kids to head off to school full time, Ali couldn’t quite leave MPP!  Now she spends her Tuesdays and Thursdays loving on our 3’s.  When she is not busy being a mommy, Ali is also a freelance IT consultant and spends a lot of time volunteering at her kid’s school.

Jane Sutton: For 32 years, Jane has been married to Bob, and this will be her 19th 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, a University of South Alabama graduate is a newlywed, living in Chattanooga TN. Kelsey, a graduate of Georgia Southern University; is married and teaching first grade in Augusta GA. Matt is starting his senior year at UNF. All three children are MPP alumni! Jane loves all sports, especially college football. She also loves 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 White was raised in Ohio, but moved to Florida in high school. This is Becky’s 5th year at MPP. She has taught in Private and public schools in Jacksonville and Tampa. Becky is an active member of The  Episcopal Church of Our Savior. She has a degree from the University of Florida in Early Childhood education and furthered her studies in Elementary Guidance counseling at the University of North Florida in Tampa. Her hobbies are gardening, antiquing, reading and attending gator sporting events in Gainesville with her husband Bob. Becky and Bob have 3 grown children, Katye and husband John , Drew and Matthew, who live in cities all over the country. Her favorite time is when all the family can meet in Jacksonville for the holidays.