Mrs. Ahern is a 3rd grade Math and Science teacher at Mandarin Oaks Elementary. She grew up in Texas and moved to Florida to attend Florida Atlantic University, after being recruited for swimming, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in education. After years of teaching in Palm Beach and Manatee counties, Mrs. Ahern moved to Jacksonville in 2008 and continued to pursue teaching while raising her 2 sons with her husband. Now in her 22nd year, she is looking forward to another year teaching 3rd graders and says, “3rd grade is a sweet spot where students grow up so much and learn independence in daily activities, while exploding academically.”
Daniela Arambula is a 3rd grade math and science teacher at Mandarin Oaks Elementary. Ms. Arambula was born in California and moved to Jacksonville, Florida at an early age. She attended Florida State University with Magna Cum Laude and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Family and Child Sciences. She has been with Duval County Public Schools for 7 years. She is ESOL endorsed, Reading K-6 endorsed.. She loves incorporating “hands on activities” and technology in her classroom. Ms. Arambula enjoys spending time with her family, watching Florida State football, traveling, and going to the beach.
Ms. Ashby is one of our Exceptional Student Education teachers. She was an Air Force “brat” and spent much of her childhood overseas in places like RAF Lakenheath England before returning to the States to attend high school in Rapid City, South Dakota. In her travels she learned French and considers herself intermediately fluent. She has been at Mandarin Oaks as a full time teacher for more than six years. Ms. Ashby is a proud graduate of Georgia State University with degrees in Biology and Anthropology. After enjoying her time as a volunteer and homeroom parent, she decided to pursue a career in education. She earned her Middle School Science certification first, and then became certified in ESE and Elementary Education. As a facilitator of learning, she loves it when students “get it”. She considers herself a better teacher and human being from what her students have taught her. In her spare time she enjoys knitting, crochet, and reading anything she can get her hands on.
Megan Hall is one of our 3rd Grade ELA teachers at Mandarin Oaks Elementary. Ms. Hall was born and raised in Jacksonville, FL. She was even a student at MOE all throughout her elementary years for K-5th grade! She graduated from the University of North Florida with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education K-6. She is ESOL Endorsed and recently earned a Reading K-12 Endorsement. This is her 10th year teaching and her 7th year teaching at MOE. During her career, she has taught 1st, 3rd, and 5th grade. She loves going to the beach and spending time with her family and friends.Ms. Kennedy
Ms. Kennedy has proudly worked at Mandarin Oaks for 24 years, with 3 years in third grade, 18 years in kindergarten, 3 years in first grade and for the 2022-23 school year I am excitingly returning to third grade.. As a kindergarten teacher, she has had great success as an inclusion teacher while developing students to have the proper tools to overcome their disabilities and move onto a successful school career. Prior to teaching at Mandarin Oaks, Ms. Kennedy taught in South Florida as a 2nd grade teacher and, while there, she was selected to be trained at Nova University for their Behavior Modification Learning Center program, located in Davie, Florida. She has also had the opportunity to teach as the gifted teacher for a private school in Coral Spring, Florida and a delightful experience teaching as an ESE Resource teacher in the Columbus, Ohio area. All of these teaching experiences have led Ms. Kennedy down a road of compassion for young children and animals, and into the person she is today. She has proudly been a vegetarian for 32 years and an active member of PETA. If not spending time off with her family, (husband, son, daughter) or 10 animal rescues, she finds herself with her next love, gardening. Ms. Kennedy finds peace within the beauty of her gardens throughout her yard.
Jaclyn Rhodes is a 5th grade teacher at Mandarin Oaks Elementary. She is a military spouse and her spouse has since retired. Jacksonville will remain their home for the long-term. She has traveled around the world with her family and has experienced various cultures. She graduated from Appalachian State University with a Bachelor’s in Sociology and pursued a Master’s in Management from University of Phoenix. This is her first official year teaching at Mandarin Oaks, but she has been a long-term substitute for various grade levels since 2019. She enjoys spending time with her husband, Bill and their children, Colin and Teagan. She also enjoys reading, watching her children compete in their sports and traveling. She is looking forward to building positive relationships with her students and helping grow their independence to prepare them for middle school.
Mrs. Wood is thrilled to be returning to third grade for the upcoming school year. She was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. Mrs. Wood received her BS degree in Elementary Education from the University of North Florida and went on to earn a MS degree in Early Elementary from there as well. She is ESOL, CET, and Gifted endorsed. She has also been honored by her peers as Teacher of the Year at Wesconnett Elementary (sadly now closed) and Susie Tolbert. In the middle of her teaching career she took time off to be a stay at home mom and was very active with Beauclerc PTA. She would like all of our PTA volunteers to know how thankful she is of your time and commitment to your child’s school, teacher, and education. Mrs. Wood teaches ELA, and loves her students to participate in novel studies hoping to instill the love of reading in each and everyone of them. After all, reading can be as sweet as candy!
Alisa Yonge is a third grade teacher at Mandarin Oaks Elementary. She was born and raised in New England then moved south to Georgia with her family during her teen years. Mrs. Yonge received her BS degree from the University of Georgia. She has been teaching at Mandarin Oaks for 20 years, mostly third grade with a few years of second grade mixed in. Mrs. Yonge is ESOL and Gifted endorsed, and has been teaching math and science in the Gifted and Talented Education program (GATE) for the past five years. She enjoys the enthusiasm third graders have for math and science, and strives to maintain that enthusiasm as students build their problem solving skills with project based learning and STEM activities.
Mrs. Yonge has two adult daughters, one in Jacksonville and one in Texas. Gardening and puttering around outside, reading on the porch, and riding her bicycle are some of her favorite activities. She shares her love of gardening with her students with a small class garden. Last year, students had fun growing flowers, strawberries, and a few vegetables. She hopes to do even more with the garden this year!