Fourth Grade 2020 - 2021
Margaret Hastings is the English Language Arts teacher for fourth grade and the reading coach for Mandarin Oaks Elementary. 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 17 years. Before becoming the reading coach, she taught VPK, and 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades. She is ESOL, Gifted, and Reading K-12 Endorsement. 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 five straight 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 ninth year of teaching and LOVES it! She is a graduate of the University of North Florida. Go Ospreys! She holds a degree in Elementary Education, and is certified in Kindergarten-6 grade and ESOL. Mrs. Johns’ comes to Mandarin Oaks with the mindset of moving children forward through differentiated instruction and individualized plans. In 2014, her colleagues selected Mrs. Johns as Teacher of the Year in an inner city school. Mrs. Johns has served as a directing teacher to students through the University of North Florida since 2012. Previously to joining Mandarin Oaks Elementary, Mrs. Johns served as a mentor teacher to teachers serving Title 1/Turnaround Schools. When Mrs. Johns’ is not sitting with students helping them grow and achieve their goals, she is spending time with her husband, also a teacher in Duval County, and her daughter.
Hope Lawson is a fourth grade reading and writing teacher at Mandarin Oaks Elementary. Ms. Lawson 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, and is currently working on her Gifted endorsement. Ms. Lawson loves to generate lessons that reach all levels of 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 and friends.
Vicki Lappen is a fourth grade GATE/Gifted 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 endorsed. She began teaching at Mandarin Oaks in 2006 in 4th grade, has also taught 3rd grade, and served as the
Mrs. Lappen is a Directing Teacher for interns forf area colleges
and universities, and has seen her interns move on to have successful careers in the education field.
She is currently serving as the Hospitality Chairman for the school and is working on her last class for her Gifted Endorsement. She enjoys spending time with her husband, 2 grown daughters, Sabrina and Hayley, both of whom attended Mandarin Oaks and 2 rescue 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.
Janis Wood is third grade GATE/Gifted teacher, currently teaching ELA at Mandarin Oaks Elementary. She is a native of Jacksonville, and graduated from University of North Florida with a Bachelor’s and Master ‘s Degree in Elementary Education. She is ESOL, Gifted, and CET trained. Mrs. Wood’s teaching career began in 1986, at Forest Hills now known at Sallye B. Mathis. She was honored to be selected as Teacher of the Year in 1996 from her peers while teaching at Wesconnett Elementary. In 1998 she became a stay at home mom after the birth of her second child. During that time she held various positions on the PTA board at Beauclerc Elementary as well as serving as the SAC chair for Beauclerc Elementary and Dupont Middle. She was bestowed a Lifetime PTA Member Award. She would like to extend her gratitude to all volunteers! In 2009 she reentered the classroom. 2014 she again was recognized by her peers at RV Daniels Dedicated Gifted Magnet with Teacher of the Year. She is thrilled to call MOE her home.
When not teaching Mrs. Wood loves spending time with family and being outsdoors.
Ms. Zuccaro was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She attended Duquesne University where she received my Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Ms. Zuccaro moved to Jacksonville in 2018 and loves to bake, cook, go to the beach, and hang out with her friends.