Kindergarten 2020 - 2021
Emma Dubisky is a kindergarten teacher at Mandarin Oaks Elementary School. She grew up in Jacksonville and graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of North Florida. This is her sixth year teaching kindergarten at MOE. Ms. Dubisky’s passion is Early Childhood Literacy, and planning reading lessons for her kindergarteners makes her very excited! She enjoys taking leadership opportunities at school, such as the Literacy Lead for kindergarten. She also serves as the grade level chairperson on the Shared Decision Making Team. Ms. Dubisky’s favorite thing about kindergarten students is the joy and excitement they bring into the classroom every day. It is her main goal to encourage and grow this excitement into a lifelong, committed love of learning. In her classroom, you will frequently see her singing and laughing with her students, as well as challenging them to do learning activities that expand their minds and teach new ways of thinking. When she’s not at school, Ms. Dubisky’s favorite thing to do is travel. Her favorite trips so far have been Israel, Ireland, England, France, and Belize. She also enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, going to local coffee shops, watching classic films, relaxing at the beach, and playing and listening to music.
Ms. K. Kennedy
Candice Lilly is currently a third grade English Language Arts teacher at Mandarin Oaks Elementary. Ms. Lilly was born in Rhode Island and moved to Ocala, Florida during her high school years. Ms. Lilly attended the University of Central Florida where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and an ESOL Endorsement. She has been teaching in Duval County for five years. She is also a coach for Girls on the Run, which is a character building program for third through fifth grade girls that teaches life skills and trains girls to run a 5k. Ms. Lilly also enjoys teaching cooking class for Mandarin Oaks community education. Ms. Lilly has been happily married for two years to her husband who serves as a United States Submariner in the Navy.
Gina Parson was born in Jacksonville, Florida, but grew up in South Florida. She moved back to Jacksonville and attended the University of North Florida. When she graduated in 1993 with her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, she took time off to raise her two daughters after she and her husband were stationed in Hawaii. Once she and her family returned to Jacksonville in 2006, she began working as a long term substitute at Mandarin Oaks Elementary. In 2012, Mrs. Parson began teaching Kindergarten and loves equipping her students with the essential foundational skills they require to be successful. In her spare time, she enjoys attending FSU football games, riding bikes at the beach, playing with her mini dachshunds, and spending time with family.
Christina Swindell has been at Mandarin Oaks for 16 years (and counting). Although she was born in Michigan, she moved to Jacksonville at a young age and has never left. After attending The Bolles School for grades K-12, she went on to the University of North Florida and graduated in 2004 with a Bachelor’s Degree. Shortly after, she joined the MOE family, and spent her first 11 years teaching First Grade before moving to Kindergarten. She is a model for small group instruction and her students enjoy the variety of her lessons. Whether she is singing, dancing, or working with her students individually, everyone is actively engaged in a positive, creative, and fun learning environment. Ms. Swindell is ESOL endorsed, a Professional Development Facilitator, and is a mentor for University of North Florida student interns. When not at work, she spends time with her adorable and lively 5 year old daughter, spending time at the beach, and travelling.
Crystal Wallace is a dedicated Kindergarten teacher, who grew up in Jacksonville and was a student at Mandarin Oaks when it first opened it’s doors in the late 80’s. Mrs. Wallace has always had a passion and a heart for working with children, which guided her to the field of education. She graduated with honors from the University of North Florida, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education K-6 with an endorsement in ESOL. Mrs. Wallace’s teaching experiences include Kindergarten and Second grades. In her spare time, she loves reading and spending time with her husband and her son, who also attends Mandarin Oaks. Her dedication and love for her own family allows her the insight to young children in a personal way.
Kala Wyatt is a kindergarten teacher at Mandarin Oaks Elementary. This is her 7th year here as she has worked in different capacities. She has taught kindergarten and first grades for the past two years, and prior to that, she spent 5 years in the Extended Day Program as a counselor. Ms. Wyatt was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida.She received her Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education at the University of North Florida and graduated with high honors, in addition to an ESOL endorsement. During college, she studied abroad in England to broaden her knowledge of cultural differences in education. In her spare time, she loves to travel and cook. This past summer she went to Ireland, England, and France. Ms. Wyatt loves to incorporate music and interactive technology to engage students.