Marilyn Hamner has been teaching for over ten years in Duval County. She is a proud graduate of Duval County Public Schools and participates in multiple extra-curricular activities with Mandarin Oaks'' students to encourage their self-esteem and critical thinking. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with family and traveling.
Margaret Hastings is an English Language Arts teacher for fourth grade, the reading coach for Mandarin Oaks Elementary, the school-based technology contact, and the webmaster for our website. Mrs. Hastings was born in Tennessee and moved to Miami, Florida at an early age. She stayed in Miami where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature and Elementary Education from the University of Miami. She has been with Duval County Public Schools for 20 years and was a top 15 semi-finalist for Duval County Teacher of the Year for 2020 - 2021 school year. Before becoming the reading coach, she taught VPK, and 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades. She has obtained ESOL, Gifted, and Reading K-12 Endorsements. She loves to incorporate interactive technology to engage students and creates lessons that reach all levels of learners. She has been acknowledged by the Department of Education and Duval County Public Schools as a Highly Effective teacher for multiple years. She is a volunteer writer for the Mandarin Newsline, was the 2016 Volunteer of the Year for Family Support Services of North Florida, and is on the University of Miami Alumni Board – Jacksonville chapter. She is an avid University of Miami fan and loves to spend time with her immediate and extended family.
Tiffany Johns is in her fifteenth year of teaching and LOVES it. You may have seen her in a few DCPS commercials showcasing her love of being a Duval County teacher! She is a native of Jacksonville attending Lake Lucina Elementary, Fort Caroline Middle and Terry Parker High School. She holds a degree in Elementary Education from the University of North Florida (GO OSPREYS!), and is certified in Kindergarten-6 grade and ESOL endorsed. Mrs. Johns has served as a directing teacher to students through the University of North Florida and surrounding colleges since 2012. Currently, she sits on the Duval Elementary Math Council board as Treasurer. Previous to joining Mandarin Oaks Elementary, Mrs. Johns served as a mentor teacher to teachers serving Title 1/Turnaround Schools as well as being named the 2014 Teacher of the Year for R.H.Pearson Elementary. When Mrs. Johns’ is not sitting with students helping them grow and achieve their goals, she is spending time with her husband, the music teacher at Loretto Elementary, and her daughters, Agnes and Alice.
Hope Klusmeier is a fourth grade reading and writing teacher at Mandarin Oaks Elementary. Growing up, being a teacher was always her career goal. Mrs. Klusmeier was born and raised in Jacksonville, Fl where she attended Crown Point Elementary, Mandarin Middle, and Mandarin High. She moved to Tallahassee to pursue her college career at Florida State University where she received her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education. She began teaching in Duval county in January of 2016. She came in the middle of the school year, teaching second grade, and then became a fourth grade teacher at the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year. She is ESOL and Reading endorsed. Mrs. Klusmeier loves to generate lessons that reach all levels of students. Her main goal in the classroom is to provide a positive relationship with her students. During the fall you can catch her watching Florida State football in Tallahassee or on her couch. She loves to spend as much time as possible with her family, friends, her husband, and pups.
Vicki Lappen is a 4th grade teacher, currently teaching ELA at Mandarin Oaks Elementary. She was born and raised in Jacksonville, and graduated from the University of North Florida, in December of 2005, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and is ESOL, Reading and Gifted/GATE endorsed. She began teaching at Mandarin Oaks in 2006 in 4th grade, and has also taught 2nd, 3rd and 5th. She served as the Hospitality Chairman for many years and is currently one of the 2 Safety Patrol Sponsors. Mrs. Lappen has been a Directing Teacher for interns for area colleges and universities and has seen her interns move on to have successful careers in the education field.
She enjoys spending time with her husband, 2 grown daughters, Sabrina and Hayley, both of whom attended Mandarin Oaks and her 2 labradoodles.
Working with children is a passion and a privilege for Mrs. Pharis. With almost a decade of experience, she has spent over half of that time as part of the Mandarin Oaks family. She received her degree in Elementary Education from the University of North Florida and recently earned her Gifted Endorsement. She has experience in the general education class setting, as well as inclusion and gifted.
Mrs. Pharis has a love for learning and inspiring children so that they are lifelong learners, which is what inspired her to go into the field of education. She aspires to encourage, teach, and guide her students to reach their highest potential, while maintaining high interest, engagement, and achievement.
In her spare time, Mrs. Pharis enjoys exercising, traveling, reading, and crafting, but most all, she loves to spend time with her family and friends.