Nikki Kemp joined the Shorecrest community as the Music Specialist and Administrative Assistant of The Experiential School of Tampa Bay in 2013. She has spent over two decades imparting a love of music to young children as a certified music educator in New Mexico and Florida. Early in her career, she was named Elementary Music Teacher of the Year by the New Mexico Music Educators Association, the most coveted award for early childhood music educators in the state. Ms. Kemp graduated from New Mexico State University with bachelor's degrees in Music Education and Clarinet Performance in 1999. Nikki is also a professional musician in the Tampa Bay Area, holding principal clarinet positions with the Tampa Bay Symphony, and the chamber ensemble Trio d'Anches.
Ms. Elizabeth (Liz) Daley ardently believes in fostering students’ success, providing opportunities for students to show strengths and prioritizing students’ holistic development. She is passionate about building a nurturing classroom where taking risks and being mindful are part of daily learning habits. Ms. Daley is a knowledgeable educator and a parent. Her daughter Amelia is in the Shorecrest Class of 2028. Ms. Daley earned a Master of Education in Elementary Education from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, and a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Vermont. Over the past 15 years, she has served as a lead teacher in independent school settings in Boston, MA, and Connecticut. Ms. Daley has served Shorecrest as an Alpha Lead Teacher since 2016 and is the Alpha Grade Level Coordinator. She is wonderful at building relationships with students and families. Ms. Daley has a calm, easy-going and positive demeanor and shows patience, kindness, care and skill in getting to know her students’ interests, strengths and areas to grow and build upon them.
Lori Bell generously shares her time, talents and instincts to help students, teachers and the school. Mrs. Bell earned a Bachelor of Arts from Florida State University in Fashion Merchandising. She is very creative and artistic and contributes her ideas and collected treasures to the ES program. Mrs. Bell forms close relationships with students and makes them feel valued and respected. She has been at Shorecrest since 2000, in the Experiential School since 2013. Previously, Mrs. Bell worked in Shorecrest’s Lower School as an Instructional Assistant in the first and second grades. She celebrates children as individuals and shows her love and enthusiasm for students, teammates, and her job. Mrs. Bell's positive energy and cheerful demeanor bring out the best in everyone. She is consistently kind, helpful and thoughtful.
Claire McLean has a passion for guiding young learners through their first years in school. She believes in upholding the image of the child and providing opportunities for students to showcase their many languages of expression and understanding through individual, small group and collaborative work. Mrs. McLean has a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with an ESOL endorsement from the University of Tampa, and has completed graduate coursework in the Reggio Emilia Approach to Early Childhood Education from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. She has been educating and inspiring children in an independent school setting since 2010, in the Alpha class in The Experiential School since 2019. Mrs. McLean truly believes that teaching young children is a gift, and she is dedicated to helping her students flourish in all areas.
Brendi Craver demonstrates dedication and flexibility in meeting the needs of students, working with families and supporting colleagues. She always displays patience and calmness in her interactions with children and adults. Mrs. Craver has a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from the University of South Florida, and an Associate of Arts in Education from the University of West Florida. She has taught Junior Kindergarten at Shorecrest since 2014 and has experience teaching Kindergarten in public schools. A busy mom of three, Ms. Craver moved into a support role as Alpha Teaching Assistant in 2019. She is an experienced, capable teacher who thoughtfully offers students the tools they need to grow and develop beneficially. Ms. Craver provides challenge and support and encourages children to learn and explore in different ways.
Taylor Styke exudes warmth; a calm, patient nature; and a love of children. She recognizes that students come to Alpha with varying exposure, experiences and ideas and intentionally finds different pathways to reach, engage, support and challenge all of them. Ms. Styke earned a Bachelor of Arts in Human Growth and Development from Eckerd College, and joined The Experiential School as an Alpha Lead Teacher in 2016. She demonstrates an innate ability to teach and foster beneficial relationships with students and families. Ms. Styke creates a supportive learning environment where young students grow their curiosities, understandings, and capacity to manage feelings and to problem-solve. Ms. Syke has a passion for dogs and raised a Southeastern Guide Dog.
Jackie Roller shows flexibility, enthusiasm for working with young children, a calm demeanor and positive approach. Ms. Roller earned a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies from Montreat College in North Carolina. She majored in psychology and mathematics and completed coursework in child and adolescent development, and participated in an elementary education program at Clearwater Christian College. Ms. Roller joined the Experiential School team in 2018 as an Alpha Teaching Assistant. She has also worked with many Experiential School students at Shorecrest summer camp. Ms. Roller strives to make children feel valued and capable.
Junior Kindergarten teacher and Grade Level Coordinator Abbie Hahn creates a stimulating and creative learning environment and excels at differentiating teaching methods, materials and environments to engage students in learning. Mrs. Hahn earned a Bachelor of Science in Early Care and Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is a lifelong learner who embraces science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM), and exploring best teaching practices and pedagogy. Mrs. Hahn highly values the importance of children being viewed as capable learners, focuses on strengthening children’s confidence, creative thinking and their ability to collaborate. Mrs. Hahn has been a lead JK teacher since 2011. She is a natural explorer who fosters connections with students and can bring out the wonder in a child. Mrs. Hahn brings all of her energy, humor, joy, caring and empathy and uses them to help shape the experiences of students, families and faculty in the Experiential School program.
Martha Reynolds draws upon her years of hands-on experience, knowledge, and instincts to provide skillful support to students and teachers. Mrs. Reynolds earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Emporia State University. At Shorecrest since 2005, she recognizes each student at their level and is patient helping them work through challenges. Mrs. Reynolds takes the time to get to know each child individually, and they always develop strong trust in her. She also has an exceptional ability to speak with children by using calm teacher language and showing respect.
Mrs. Reynolds' son, Ashton, graduated from Shorecrest in 2019 and attends the University of South Carolina. She and her husband, a Shorecrest alumnus, play active roles in the Shorecrest community. Mrs. Reynolds brings peaceful centeredness to her students through her kind and loving approach which enables powerful relationships to grow.
Merry Markunas effectively creates a classroom learning community where students explore interests, form friendships, learn to think, problem-solve, and develop as individuals. Mrs. Markunas collaborates and communicates well with families. A knowledgeable early childhood educator and mother of four young children, she knows how to slow down and focus on what matters most. Mrs. Markunas joined Shorecrest as a JK Lead Teacher in 2017. She earned a Master of Science in Care and Education in Early Childhood Settings from Wheelock College in Boston, MA, and a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from the University of Vermont. Before moving to Florida, Mrs. Markunas taught for twelve years, most recently as a Kindergarten teacher at The George H. Conley School in Roslindale, MA. She embraces progressive, child-directed learning and fosters a classroom environment where students play, investigate, and thrive. Mrs. Markunas demonstrates a thoughtful, easy-going nature, and an excellent ability to observe and build relationships with students.
Ginger Thompson actively connects with students by playing with them and joining them on the floor. Ginger has been teaching in independent preschool classrooms for four years and absolutely loves this age group. This year Ginger begins her third year in JK as a Teaching Assistant. Prior to coming to Shorecrest, Ginger worked in early childhood and elementary school classrooms for seven years, most recently as a pre-k 2/pre-k 3 teacher at Ascension Day School. Ginger earned a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education from the University of South Florida. She is certified in the state of Florida to teach physical education and earned an early childhood staff credential from the Florida Department of Children and Families. Ginger’s son Sawyer starts fifth grade at Shorecrest this year. Ginger is energetic, loving, and compassionate, and forms positive bonds with children and their families.
Junior Kindergarten teacher Brenda Rosas enhances students' learning experience through her intentional use of technology, nature-based learning, Spanish language and play. Ms. Rosas earned a master’s degree in early childhood education from The University of South Florida with a concentration in positive behavior support. She exhibits a growth mindset and enjoys researching early childhood topics and techniques, sharing ideas with faculty, building strong relationships with students, and supporting student growth. Ms. Rosas interned with The Experiential School of Tampa Bay in 2014 and joined the staff in 2015 upon completing her internship. In addition to teaching, Ms. Rosas also leads several summer camps at Shorecrest and the children happily participate. She reaches every child at their developmental level and is mindful of each student's individual needs and interests. Ms. Rosas creates a safe learning environment and thoughtfully provides materials, setups, and activities that encourage children to explore and learn in different ways each time.
Takeya Trayer is an artist/educator with a special interest in early childhood education. She joined of The Experiential School as an assistant teacher in 2017. Ms. Trayer holds a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts from St. Joseph’s University, an Associate of Science in Computer Animation from the Art Institute of Philadelphia, and a Master of Arts in Character Animation from the Academy of Art University. She has most recently been a preschool teacher at St. Pete Prep Learning Center. Ms. Trayer has two sons at Shorecrest, Aziz '28 and Kyerim '31, and a daughter Scarlett '33.
Alexis Arrazcaeta enjoys the challenges of finding creative ways to actively engage students in new learning explorations through the use of art, music, dance, and movement. Combining her experience with Art and Music Therapy in Early Childhood Education, Ms. Arrazcaeta believes that hands-on learning and creating experiences with different art modalities improves communication skills, increases healthy creative expression, and inspires lifelong learning. Ms. Arrazcaeta earned her Masters in Arts in Medicine from the University of Florida and is a certified Artist in Residence. Her undergraduate studies at the University of Tampa included Psychology, Art Therapy, and Fine Arts. A former Celebrate the Arts teach-in artist, Ms. Arrazcaeta joined the Experiential School team in 2020. Ms. Arrazcaeta assists Alpha and Junior Kindergarten classrooms with on-campus, in-person learning and the Flexible Learning program. Right away she jumped in and embraced the values and philosophy of teaching at The Experiential School of Tampa Bay.