Mrs. Rick is a New York City native, who relocated with her husband to South Florida in 2017. She is enthusiastic about the arts and community engagement. She enjoys going to museums, theater, and dance performances, and loves to share this passion for life and learning with her students.
Mrs. Rick has been teaching for over ten years in a variety of settings and environments, including coaching an after-school figure skating program. She received her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education (M.S.Ed) in 2013. Before joining The Greene School, she was a Head Teacher in Brooklyn, New York, for five years, working with early childhood students. She loves to give back to the community, keeping parents apprised of cultural opportunities for their children, and promoting parent involvement activities. She encourages and creates a home-to-school connection to support classroom learning units.
Mrs. Rick was chosen to participate in The Children’s Program Collaborative, a year-long workshop and seminar created by The New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute. There, she learned different methods for incorporating movement into the classroom and bringing learning to life. She was honored, and received a certificate from the Master Teacher Institute for her portfolio in this program. She also received recognition in teaching from the New York State Senate, New York City Council, and New York State Assembly.
Mrs. Rick joined The Greene School team in 2017 as an early childhood educator.
Beth Vaides - Early Childhood
Mrs. Vaides moved to south Florida and began her teaching career in 2001 after graduating from Ball State University in Indiana. In 2018, Mrs. Vaides received her Master of Education degree from Walden University. She and her husband are kept busy with three active, young children and enjoy taking them outdoors as they all enjoy nature. Beth is a lifelong learner and believes that health and happiness is a journey, not a destination. Her hobbies include reading, meditating, and exploring new places with her family.
Most of her career has been in an intensive dual-language program that provides students with the environment and tools to become bi-literate and bilingual. Throughout all of her career, she has been an active participant in many professional learning communities such as the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO), School Advisory Council (SAC) and the Five Star Program. Beth is a firm believer that when schools, families, and communities work together, students will reach their full potential.
During her career, Mrs. Vaides has sought out many programs that gave her the opportunity to collaborate and lead. The Literacy Center Project, a year-long training and modeling program, had Mrs. Vaides model guided reading lessons for teachers, coaches, and administrators from across the district. In her role as Grade Level Chair, she utilized her ability to plan, implement, and assess activities in her grade level. In 2017 she joined The Greene School as an early childhood educator.
Deborah Harris - Kindergarten
Ms. Harris has 18 years of teaching experience, seven of which are in kindergarten and five of which are international. She also has leadership experience, supervising five separate kindergarten classes and serving as an Interim Head of School. Ms. Harris worked at an international prep school in Dubai alongside fellow kindergarten teacher, Ms. Walsh. Ms. Harris joined The Greene School in 2018 where she teaches kindergarten.
Megan Walsh - Kindergarten
Ms. Walsh is originally from Long Island, New York. She received her Bachelor's Degree from Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts, where she double majored in Early Childhood Education and Psychology. In 2016, she received a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Cambridge College. She started her teaching in a public elementary school South of Boston in 2013, where she taught second grade for three years. The school has a large population of English Language Learners, which was great preparation for her next adventure. In August 2016, she moved to Dubai in The UAE. She taught Kindergarten at a private international school, which is an American curriculum school with students from over 80 different countries. She cherishes this experience as she learned so much from her students and families, and even had the opportunity to ride some camels. While Ms. Walsh was in Dubai, she became certified to teach kids yoga through GroovyKids Yoga and was able to work with elementary school students on yoga as an afterschool activity.
Ms. Walsh teaches kindergarten, were she creates a safe and nurturing environment that encourages a growth mindset, blossoming friendships, and goal setting.
Connie Giles - 1st Grade
Ms. Giles has been teaching for over twenty years, with a tenure that spans early childhood through third grade, in private schools, throughout the state of Florida. In addition to her experience in the classroom, she has had the opportunity to teach after-school clubs focusing on art, soccer, and drama. To accompany her extensive teaching experience, she holds two educational degrees; the first in Child Development with a minor in Education from Florida State University, and the second in Elementary Education with ESOL endorsement from Florida Atlantic University. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree.
As an educator, Ms. Giles views herself as a facilitator of learning. She tries to set the stage by creating a stimulating and energetic environment in her classroom. She has found that the most learning takes place when there is both interest and motivation. Therefore, her aim is to instill a love of learning in her students, with the goal of helping them become life-long learners. In line with The Greene School philosophy, she believes that it is essential to differentiate the lessons she teaches, to better meet the varying needs of students, while building a positive rapport with both students and their families, which is essential for trust to be gained and learning to thrive.
Ms. Giles believes that enthusiasm, when delivered honestly, is contagious, and she works hard to demonstrate her passion for teaching each and every day. She joined The Greene School team in its inaugural year as an early childhood educator, and currently teaches first grade.
Farrah Weiss - 1st Grade
Mrs. Weiss received her Bachelor's of Science degree in Human Development from Binghamton University, and a Master's degree in Elementary Education and Teaching Students with Disabilities from Columbia University. She holds her Florida Permanent Teaching License in Elementary Education, Exceptional Student Education, and Early Childhood/Primary Education, and has endorsements in Early Childhood Disabilities and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).
Originally from New York, Mrs. Weiss began her teaching career as a special education teacher in Flushing, Queens, working for the New York City Department of Education. During this time, Mrs. Weiss taught in a kindergarten/first grade classroom with students of varying needs and abilities. After three years, she moved to Florida and began working for the Palm Beach County School District. While working there, Mrs. Weiss taught both early childhood and at the high school level. She is credited with teaching high school students how to become preschool teachers and has had many of her former students go on to receive their Early Childhood Professional Certificate. After a few years, Mrs. Weiss left the classroom and became a college counselor, helping many students gain acceptances into the colleges of their dreams. Mrs. Weiss joined The Greene School as an early childhood teacher in 2016 in its inaugural year, and currently to teacher first grade.
Kristina Hambrock - 2nd Grade
Born and raised in Bangor, Maine, Mrs. Hambrock moved to Florida in the spring of 2013. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education, with a second Major of Child Development and Family Relations, from the University of Maine. She spent her college summers at a summer camp combining her love of working with children, the outdoors, and sports.
Mrs. Hambrock began teaching in the public school system in 2013. She began in first grade and then moved to second grade where she strove to create a classroom community that encouraged active parent involvement and communication. She joined The Greene School team in 2017 where she teaches second grade.
Dina Scellato - 2nd Grade
Mrs. Scellato received her Bachelor’s Degree with a double major in Education and Psychology from Kean University in New Jersey. She also has her Master of Science Education Degree in Teacher Leadership, as well as her Florida Gifted Endorsement.
Mrs. Scellato began her teaching career in a private school in Northern New Jersey, where she taught kindergarten for five years before relocating to Florida. She taught kindergarten for another seven years before realizing her true passion, second grade.
Mrs. Scellato was a teacher at The Pine School in Stuart, Florida for eleven years prior to joining The Greene School team. While at the Pine School, she was the Primary Division Leader, Grade Chairperson, and served on numerous committees focused on school improvement, curriculum development, and student success, all while mentoring many new teachers. Mrs. Scellato was the recipient of their Teacher of Excellence Award in 2016.
Her goal of staying current in the field of education inspired Mrs. Scellato to attend professional development totaling 500+ hours over the span of three years. Some of these professional development activities include Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, The Conscious Discipline Institute for Brain Based Research, workshops focused on Kagan Cooperative Learning Structures, and a myriad of curriculum development courses, including Writers Workshop.
Her interest in high-ability learners encouraged her to become an advocate for gifted education for students, parents, and educators. Mrs. Scellato joined The Greene School in its inaugural year in 2016 and teaches second grade.
Ryan Smith - 3rd Grade
Mr. Smith received his Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Arizona State University and his Master of Arts in Teaching from Kaplan University. He is currently enrolled in Kennesaw State University’s Educational Specialist in Instructional Technology program. Mr. Smith began teaching at Polo Park Middle School in 2011, where he taught seventh and eighth-grade science, as well as a STEM elective course for which he wrote the curriculum. He has written over $50,000 in successful grants that have funded a wide range of innovative STEAM projects.
While at Polo Park, Mr. Smith was named the 2014 Science Teacher of the Year by the Palm Beach County Science Educators Association. In 2015 and 2016, he was the winner of the School District of Palm Beach County’s Innovative Educator Competition. He was recognized nationally as a finalist in the 2016 Tom’s of Maine Green Your School fund and as a finalist in the 2017 AdoptAClassroom/PCMG Star Teacher Award.
In addition to his work in the classroom, Mr. Smith is a passionate advocate for informal STEAM education. Since 2011, he has worked for the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium as a camp counselor and, more recently, as the founding manager of the STEM Studio summer camp in Jupiter, FL and the co-creator of the Stiles-Nicholson STEM Inventor’s Challenge. Mr. Smith is one of the third grade homeroom teachers, in addition to teaching science to second and fourth grades.
Samantha Smith - 3rd Grade
Ms. Smith received her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Central Florida. She has her Reading and ESOL Endorsements, and upon graduating was recognized with the Top Honor Graduate Award, the Summa Cum Laude distinction, and the UCF Founders' Scholar Award for Excellence in Academic Performance.
Ms. Smith began her teaching career for the Palm Beach County School District in 2013. She taught Kindergarten for three years at Binks Forest Elementary School. After completing her first year of teaching, Ms. Smith was chosen as a lead teacher and member of the principal's leadership team for her remaining two years at Binks Forest. Miss Smith had the distinct privilege of joining The Greene School family in the Spring of 2016.
During the 2016-2017 school year, Ms. Smith taught the inaugural class of second-grade students. She is a dedicated, creative, goal-driven educator who is passionate about investing in children and devoted to seeing them succeed.
Catherine Cordero - 4th Grade
Ms. Cordero joined The Greene School in 2016 as a founding faculty member. Ms. Cordero began her teaching career in 2005 and feels that procedures, routines, and fairness can lead to a successful school year. Having procedures in place early on in the school year help her focus on teaching and enjoy her rewarding career.
Ms. Cordero was born in New York and moved to Florida with her parents when she was a toddler. She was raised in Miami and resided in Bay Harbor Island where she taught gifted students for eleven years. She has taught first through fourth grade, with an emphasis on third and fourth grade students.
As an educator, Ms. Cordero has participated in multiple projects that address academics, as well as core values. Her students have been annual participants of multiple community partnerships such as H.O.P.E (Help Overcome Pet Euthanasia), K.A.P.O.W. (Kids and the Power of Work), Fairchild Tropical Challenge, and Relay for Life. Ms. Cordero is a firm believer in Henry Adams’ quote, “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”
Ms. Cordero graduated from Nova Southeastern University with a Bachelor's of Science in Elementary Education. After obtaining her degree, she completed her Post Baccalaureate certification in Gifted Education in 2006 and her ESOL endorsement in 2013. Ms. Cordero's steadfast interest in education has led her to pursue a Master’s degree in the area of Curriculum and Instruction.
When she is not teaching, Ms. Cordero enjoys any and all beach activities, fitness, and spending quality time with her family, friends, and fur babies.
Kristen Hill - 4th Grade
Ms. Hill started her teaching career in 2010 and joined The Greene School in 2018. Most of her teaching career has been in a fourth grade classroom. Ms. Hill received her bachelor’s degree Summa Cum Laude in Elementary Education from the University of Central Florida, holds an additional degree in Communication Sciences from the University of South Florida, and is currently working toward her Master’s degree in Curriculum Instruction and Assessment.
Ms. Hill’s passion for teaching began at an early age. From her teenage years through college, she mentored, tutored, facilitated youth activities, and directed summer camps. Each of these activities fostered her love of teaching and working with children.
Ms. Hill believes that creating an engaging environment that caters to students’ individual needs is essential for effective learning and a successful classroom.
Kaye Ebelt - 6th Grade, Middle School Math & Science, Engineering
Ms. Ebelt has over 30 years experience teaching in elementary and middle school. Throughout her career she has been involved in aerospace and aviation education.
Ms. Ebelt was among the first group of teachers to be selected to participate in NASA's MicroGX and Reduced Gravity Flight in 2011. She and her team designed and engineered a liquid density experiment suitable for microgravity. She earned national recognition and received the A. Scott Crossfield Award in 2003 and was inducted into the Crown Circle for Leaders in Aerospace Education in Cincinnati, Ohio. Montana Aeronautics also recognized her efforts by awarding her the Aviation Educator of the Year in 2001. In 2014, she was awarded the Albert Einstein Fellowship and served as the Directorate for Engineering at the National Space Foundation.
Learning to fly airplanes helped Ms. Ebelt to generate an interest in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) education. According to Ms. Ebelt, "the issue of increasing STEAM proficiency, especially in engineering, for students, current and future teachers are of great interest to me." In 2000, Ms. Ebelt created a youth space camp with a strong STEAM focus due to her participation in LiftOff - Extreme Life and LiftOff - Return to the Moon.
Ms. Ebelt joined The Greene School in 2017, where she is the homeroom instructor for sixth grade, as well the instructor for engineering and middle school math and science.
Steve Amrol - 7th Grade, Middle School Social Sciences
Mr. Amrol is a kindergarten through college educator with over 20 years of experience teaching and designing curricula in the social sciences and language arts, in dynamic and progressive learning environments, both internationally and domestically. He was first introduced to the power of project-based interdisciplinary learning in the early 1990s while completing his B.A. in English and History at Lehigh University, where he mentored middle-school students. These formative experiences led him to pursue his M.A. in Social Studies Education from NYU, where he worked as a graduate fellow at the Multinational Institute of American Studies, taught Global Studies, and helped write the NY State Regents Exams for History.
Mr. Amrol’s interests in multiculturalism and international studies led him to South Korea where for 15 years he designed international education programs at three top-tier universities and three college preparatory programs. He was the founding assistant director at Bugil Academy’s Global Leader Program and taught the AP social science curriculum. Every year, over 50% of GLP graduates entered top-20 universities in the United States. He was nominated two consecutive years for the prestigious Presidential Teacher of the Year Award in Korea for his work at the GLP.
During his time in Korea, Mr. Amrol was also awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study international relations in East Asia. He combined his experiences from East Asian studies with his knowledge of curriculum design to join an international education consulting firm that successfully built five K-12 international schools and prescribes customized strategies for mentoring student development from grades 5-12 in preparation for successful college enrollment.
Mr. Amrol’s years of experience collaborating with educators from many countries and curricular backgrounds, as well as witnessing first-hand what it takes to prepare students for the challenges of the 21st century, have shown him that every child’s future success requires skills in collaborative teamwork, effective communication, critical thinking, and innovative entrepreneurship, developed through STEAM-oriented, project-based, interdisciplinary learning. Mr. Amrol is honored to be part of The Greene School community where he teaches seventh grade homeroom and middle school social studies/language arts.
Josephine Camacho - Music
Music is a part of what it means to be human, and Mrs. Camacho has been teaching music from that perspective since 2001. She began her musical journey through singing at home and in school choirs. In middle school, she began playing the French horn, and by the time she was a senior at Santaluces High School in Lantana, Florida, she was Brass Captain of her school’s marching band and a Palm Beach Post Pathfinder Scholarship nominee in Instrumental Music. She was accepted into the University of Miami’s prestigious Frost School of Music, where she studied classical composition and graduated in the inaugural class of the Media Writing and Production department under Raul Murciano Jr. (of Gloria Estefan and The Miami Sound Machine).
Mrs. Camacho approaches music education from a position of going beyond technical savvy and digging into the meaning and art of music. She believes in the importance of music as a powerful mode of self-expression, freedom, and communication, and her lessons are diverse and creative. She has taught privately and in the public schools of Albuquerque, New Mexico; Miami/Dade County, Florida; and Palm Beach County, Florida. She has reached students of all demographics with her passion for the art. While in the public-school system, Mrs. Camacho presented many workshops on the use of ClassDojo and positive classroom management approaches that reflect her position that all children deserve love and respect in the classroom.
Throughout her journey, family has been important. She is happily married to her college sweetheart, Manny (also a musician and music educator), and they have three children. She received her Master of Science degree in Music Education in 2005 from Florida International University. A founding faculty member, Mrs. Camacho is currently the Music Educator at The Greene School.
Olga Cones - Spanish
Señora Cones received her Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering and her Master’s degree in Information System from Simon Bolivar University in Venezuela.
Before transitioning to education, Señora Cones worked as a Software Developer at SoftwareFx Inc in Boca Raton, a company that is dedicated to developing data visualization and business intelligence tools for developers. Señora Cones was also part of the team at NovaVision, which provides vision solutions targeting people who have lost their sight as a result of stroke or traumatic brain injury.
Señora Cones earned her certification to work as a Spanish teacher and Computer Science teacher from The Florida Department of Education. She worked for several years as a substitute teacher at The Pine Crest School.
Señora Cones is passionate about language learning and technology integration. Señora Cones started working at The Greene School during the 2017 school year. She teaches upper school Spanish.
Courtney Demri - Performing Arts, Theater
Mrs. Demri joins us from New York City with a Master of Arts in Educational Theater from New York University. She has both performance and teaching experience in voice, drama, and dance, in elementary and high schools throughout New York City to Broadway.
Mrs. Demri joined The Greene School in 2018, where she teaches theater to all grades and provides musical theatre instruction after school.
Liza Fred - Spanish
Señora Fred has been teaching and shaping young lives throughout her career in education. She is a native Spanish speaker from Puerto Rico, who has teaching certifications in both kindergarten through twelfth grade, as well as in pre-k through third grade elementary education. Señora Fred taught elementary students in private schools in New York and in Palm Beach County. She taught at a bilingual private school in Puerto Rico, and as a dual language teacher, which allowed her to fully immerse her students in reading, writing, and speaking both Spanish and English. Señora Fred earned her degree in Elementary Education from Tennessee Temple University in Chattanooga.
In addition to teaching, Señora Fred values time with her family. She is married to another educator and together they have two beautiful daughters, who perform the oboe and English horn at local venues and public schools. Señora Fred enjoys attending all of the local concerts in which her daughters perform - in bands, orchestras, and musical recitals. Señora Fred joined The Greene School in 2018, where she teaches lower school Spanish.
Katie Petronio - Dance, Mindfulness, Yoga
For more than a decade, Ms. Petronio has had the privilege of working with students in early childhood through higher education within the private schools, public schools, university, and private studio settings. Ms. Petronio has a multifaceted repertoire of skills as a working dancer, musical theater performer, choreographer, dance educator, and yoga and mindfulness instructor. In her years of teaching, she has founded, created, designed, developed, and implemented interdisciplinary dance and yoga curricula and programs for early childhood through twelfth grade students. She has also created, designed, developed, and implemented Mommy & Me Yoga and Mommy & Me Dance programs for walkers through age three.
Ms. Petronio received her Bachelor’s degree from Ithaca College, Master’s degree from New York University, and Postbaccalaureate Business Certificate from Columbia University. She also holds two yoga certifications and a mindfulness certification.
In addition to teaching, Ms. Petronio continues to perform and choreograph professionally around the South Florida area in productions such as Legally Blonde, High Society, Rock of Ages, Evita, Paint Your Wagon, and Saturday Night Fever. She is active member of the Junior League of Boca Raton, volunteering and giving back to the community, since 2011.
Prior to moving to Florida, she lived in New York City where she was a professional dancer, musical theater performer, choreographer, and dance educator. While living in New York City, Ms. Petronio performed in regional musical theater productions, many dance productions, and modeled for the Capezio dance catalog.
Ms. Petronio looks forward to working with your child and hopes to continually inspire them to use the knowledge learned from dance, yoga, and mindfulness in whatever career path they choose in the future.
A founding faculty member, Ms. Petronio teaches Dance, Yoga, and Mindfulness to all students at The Greene School.
Amber Schullstrom - Art
Ms. Schullstrom is a native south Floridian growing up on the west coast of Florida. She began her post secondary schooling at the University of Florida. It was at UF where the Basic Survey of Art History class changed her career path. There, as Brancusi’s Bird In Space was presented in an overwhelming scale, she knew Art and Art History would be her focus and she went on to receive her Bachelor of Arts in Art History. After attending UF, Amber backpacked through Europe in order to see some of the greatest works of art first-hand. While in Europe, she received a placement with Americorps and was transferred to Atlanta, Georgia. She spent her year of service in Atlanta with Literacy Volunteers of America; teaching adult non-readers and giving them the tools to enable reading and writing. After Americorps, Amber began her Master's Degree study at Georgia State University where she received her Master of Education in Early Childhood Education.
After Georgia State, Ms. Schullstrom began her teaching career. She began teaching fourth and fifth grade at Mary Lin Elementary School, a Discipline Based Arts Education (DBAE) school. The philosophy of DBAE is to teach all subject areas by infusing the arts into the core curriculum. For Ms. Schullstrom, it was a perfect fit. However, following the birth of her second child, she decided to return to Florida to be closer to family.
After returning to Florida, Ms. Schullstrom opened a children’s art studio in West Palm Beach called "Petite Picassos." At "Petite Picassos", students received instruction focused on art techniques and mediums while integrating art history into almost every lesson. The studio received South Florida Parenting Magazine’s award for Best Children’s Art Studio.
After running the art studio for a few years, Ms. Schullstrom decided to expand her work with local schools and community centers throughout Palm Beach County as an independent contractor. Here, she began a daily preschool called Pixies while continuing afternoon art classes at multiple community centers and schools extending her love of art throughout the county.
Ms. Schullstrom is thrilled to be a member of The Greene School family. Her focus at The Greene School is to continue art history based lessons while engaging students with new materials and techniques that allow them to feel confident and adventurous with their creative spirit and inclinations. It is her belief that having the confidence to take risks in the art room translates to confidence in ideas and risk-taking in other subject areas.
Ben Simmonds - Fitness and Physical Education
Mr. Simmonds has been educating and inspiring youth in the field of physical education, fitness, and sports for seven years. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education along with multiple coaching qualifications, including an English FA and USSF coaching license.
In 2012, Mr. Simmonds moved to Southern California where he coached and taught physical education. Prior to teaching in California, he taught internationally and coached high-level youth club soccer.
Mr. Simmonds believes that all children should enjoy and participate in a healthy, active lifestyle focused on lifelong fitness. He is always looking for ways to bring enthusiasm to his programs, while connecting with children of all ages. Mr. Simmonds joined The Greene School in 2018, where he teaches fitness and physical education, as well as coaches athletics.