Cindy Crothers is a 5th grade Math and Science teacher at Mandarin Oaks Elementary. She was born and raised outside Birmingham, Alabama and obtained a BS in Elementary Education (K-6) from Mississippi State University in Starkville, MS. This is Cindy’s 25th year of teaching–her first 15 years in Jackson, Mississippi and the last nine in Jacksonville. She is married and has two children–one at Paxon SAS and the other at Florida State. When not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her family and pets, singing, reading, completing puzzles, walking, and landscaping. One of her major goals as a teacher is to help students develop of love of learning new things/becoming lifelong learners.
Ms. DionneMs. Dionne was born and raised in Jacksonville, North Carolina and moved to Jacksonville, FL in 2018 with her two daughters, Emma and Sophie. This is her 14th year teaching and 6th school year at M.O.E. She has taught grades K, 2,3,4,and 5th. She attended East Carolina University and has a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education.Ms. Hamner
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.
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.
Jaclyn Rhodes is a 3rd 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 second 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.