Canterbury School welcomes several new faculty and staff members for our 2022-2023 school year. Each joins our community with an outstanding background and a commitment to academic excellence.
Carrie Burns - Kindergarten Lead Teacher
Carrie has been a frequent substitute teacher at Canterbury throughout the school year. While all classrooms ran smoothly in whatever grade she stepped in, her heart lies in teaching kindergarten. Carrie has a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Aurora University and taught kindergarten for 15 years at Allen Park Elementary.
Laura Iannotti - Third Grade Lead Teacher
Laura recently moved to Southwest Florida from Chicago where she taught at Springman Middle School. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from the Barat College of DePaul University and a Master of Arts in Reading from Northeastern Illinois University. Laura has 17 years of teaching experience in elementary and middle school, and her time subbing in our third grade has her excited for this new adventure.
Jordana Kerstetter - Pre-K4 Lead Teacher
Jordana comes to Canterbury after teaching for four years at Learning Tree Preschool. She received her Bachelor of Science from Everglades University and her Full-Time Staff Credential in Early Childhood from Tallahassee Community College. Her daughter Kenzie will be joining our tenth-grade class and her son Kyler will be a wonderful addition to our third grade.
Carson Swanson - Pre-K3 Assistant Teacher
We are pleased to welcome back Carson, who is a Canterbury alumna from the Class of 2018. Carson is finishing up her Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education at the University of Alabama. Carson has recently worked with our Extended Day and Summer Programs. She is excited to join the Lower School faculty and work with our youngest Cougars.
Jaime Thomson - Kindergarten Assistant Teacher
Jaime will join us as a kindergarten assistant teacher. She has experience as a classroom volunteer and paraprofessional at Cape Elementary School. Most recently she has spent time in a kindergarten classroom and is excited to work with that age group at Canterbury. She earned her certificate in Health Sciences from Los Angeles City College. Her daughter Audrey is also excited to join us in our third-grade program.
Holli Wheeler - Third Grade Lead Teacher
Holli has taught with several of our faculty members previously and is excited to join our team. Holli earned her degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from the University of Northern Iowa. She has 12 years of teaching experience and 11 of those years were in third grade. Her daughter Hadley is also eager to join our kindergarten program.
Melissa Aguilera - Middle School Spanish Teacher
Melissa will join our Middle School faculty to teach Spanish in the fifth and sixth grades. She is a native Spanish speaker and is fluent in both English and Spanish. Melissa earned her Bachelor of Arts in English along with minors in Education and German from Florida Gulf Coast University. Most recently, she worked with students in pre-kindergarten to fifth grade at Gateway Charter Elementary School.
Arlene Camarca - Middle School Social Studies Teacher
We are pleased to welcome Arlene to teach Economics and Government in eighth grade for the new school year. Her experience includes eight years of teaching Social Studies at Six Mile Charter Academy. She earned her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in Criminal Justice from Kent State University. She has numerous certifications including completion of the Florida Supreme Court Justice Institute. Arlene’s husband, Vince Camarca, also teaches in our Middle School. They have two sons who are Canterbury Cougars. Dominic ’21 is currently at Stetson University, and Alex ’23 will graduate next year.
Liz Corrente - Middle School Guidance Counselor
Liz will be taking on the role of Guidance Counselor for our Middle School in the new year. Liz joined our community this past year to coach our Varsity Girls Lacrosse. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Theater Arts from Gettysburg College and her Master of Arts in Psychology and Counseling from Arcadia University. She was also a lifer at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, the largest independent private school in Philadelphia. Most recently, she held the position of Director of Guidance and Counseling at Gateway Charter High School. Her daughter Emily will be joining our fourth-grade class and her son Michael will be joining our second grade.
Matthew Murrell - Middle School Band Director
We are excited to welcome Matthew to our Arts Department to lead our musicians in the Middle School. He joins us from Paul Laurence Dunbar Middle School where he has been the Music Director for 12 years. Prior to that, he taught at Beacon Hill Preparatory School near Miami. Matthew earned his Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Florida International University. He is very active in the music education community around Southwest Florida including serving as a private instructor for the past 18 years.
Esther Obain - Middle School French Teacher
Esther joined our World Languages Department in February and will be transitioning to full-time teaching this fall. She will be leading our French students in the fifth through eighth grades. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Florida International University. She has been a wonderful addition to the Middle School faculty.
Kayla Swetz - Middle School Mathematics Teacher
Kayla will be teaching math to our sixth-graders starting in the fall. She comes to us from St. Michael Lutheran School in Fort Myers where she has served in several roles, including Assistant Principal, Middle School Department Head, and Math Instructor. Kayla earned her Bachelor of Science in Education with an emphasis in Elementary and Middle School Math from the University of North Dakota. Her daughter Elin will join our Pre-K4 program, her son Theo will be in second grade, and her son Tye will join our sixth grade.
Amelia (Milly) Etheridge - Upper School Science Teacher
Milly will be joining the Science Department in our Upper School to teach Biology. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology and Psychology from Sewanee: The University of the South. She is passionate about scientific research having studied salamanders and their connection to climate change. She is also an accomplished athlete in multiple sports including field hockey, swimming and diving, track, and soccer. With wonderful recommendations through the Southern Teachers Agency, we are positive that Milly will be a tremendous addition to our faculty.
Carson Knox - Upper School English Teacher
Carson earned his Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in Philosophy and Rhetoric from the Virginia Military Institute. He also spent a semester studying at The University of Oxford, where he was tutored by one of the world’s most distinguished philosophers, Stephen Mulhall. He received phenomenal recommendations through the Southern Teachers Agency, noting his strong ability to help students grow as writers. Carson will be teaching English I and English II to our ninth and tenth-graders in the fall.
Steven Wilkie - Upper School Science Teacher
Steven comes to Canterbury with nearly 20 years of experience teaching science, primarily at the high school level. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Biology and Marine Science with minors in Environmental Science and Chemistry from the University of Tampa. He also holds a master’s degree in science from Florida Gulf Coast University. Most recently, he taught AP and AICE science courses at South Fort Myers High School. Steven will be taking the lead for our AP Biology and Advanced Biology classes.
Other Faculty & Staff
Julie DiBenedetto - Assistant Head of Student Life
We are pleased to welcome Julie to Canterbury for the new school year to serve as our Assistant Head of Student Life. Julie will work with our Counseling and Wellness Department to make sure our students are known and supported. She will also take the lead on our Leadership Institute for Tomorrow (LIFT) program and teach Ancient World History in our Upper School. She earned a Master of Arts in History as well as a Master of Arts in Secondary Teaching from Simmons University in Boston. She also has a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies with a minor in Architectural Studies from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. Most recently, she worked as Upper School Dean of Students at Dexter Southfield School just outside of Boston. While there, she coached multiple sports including ice hockey and lacrosse. She will be assisting with our lacrosse program in the new year.
Wyatt Henderson - Director of Security
Wyatt joins the Canterbury family with more than 20 years of experience in security and law enforcement. His extensive background includes being Security Director of Field Operations for First Home Builders as well as Vice President of Operations for National and State Park Concessions. He was nominated as Trooper of the Year for the Florida Highway Patrol and Deputy Sheriff of the Year with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office.
Dr. Shannon Sweitzer - Director of Counseling and Wellness
Dr. Shannon Sweitzer will take on the role of Director of Counseling and Wellness in the new school year. Shannon is joining us from Germantown Academy near Philadelphia, where she held the positions of Lower School Psychologist and Co-Director of Counseling Services. Shannon earned her doctorate and master’s degree in School Psychology from Temple University. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Florida. Shannon and her family are relocating to Southwest Florida this summer, and all are excited to join the Canterbury family.
New Roles at Canterbury
Several of our current faculty and staff members are taking on new and/or additional roles for the 2022-2023 school year.
We are excited to have Danielle Christensen transition to lead one of our Second Grade classrooms this fall. She has been teaching with Canterbury for 14 years in our kindergarten and Pre-K4 classrooms. Danielle earned her Bachelor of Science in Family and Child Sciences with minors in Psychology and Religion from Florida State University.
Amy Dunavant will be joining our Upper School faculty to teach U.S. History Honors, AP U.S. Government, and AP Comparative Government in the new year. Amy joined us four years ago to teach in our Middle School Social Sciences Department. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Kentucky.
Dayna Fancher will also be taking on a new role in our Lower School, joining Karen Hall and Marci Landfried to teach Fourth Grade. Dayna has been with Canterbury for 22 years teaching several different grade levels. She has her Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Technology from Florida Gulf Coast University and her bachelor’s degree from Georgia State University.
Oliver Goss ’17 will be taking the lead in our Ancient World History classes in the fifth grade next year. This past year Oliver taught U.S. History and World Affairs & Media Studies in our Upper School. Oliver graduated from Furman University with a degree in political science.
Starting next month, Deb Heck will transition to the role of Executive Assistant to Maintenance as well as an assistant in the Cougar Cave. She has been with Canterbury for five years working in our Business Office.
Elisha Murray has been teaching with Canterbury for six years and coaching our Varsity Girls Basketball team since 2015. In the new year, he will take on the role of Human Resources Liaison as well as continue teaching entrepreneurship with our LIFT Off Entrepreneur Program. Elisha earned his Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from King University in Tennessee.
Jared Rust will step into the role of Middle School Dean of Students for the new school year. Jared is our College Athletics Placement Specialist for the Upper School, the Varsity Head Coach for boys soccer, and coach for Middle School Golf. He is finishing his first year at Canterbury after moving from Oregon where he was coaching collegiate men’s soccer for the past 12 years. Jared earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Corban University.
Tariq (TQ) Humes has been with Canterbury for six years in a variety of roles. He is excited to be joining the Athletics Department as Middle School Athletic Director. He will also be teaching Health and Physical Education in our Middle School. TQ has his Master of Science in Recreation and Sports Administration from Western Kentucky University and his bachelor’s degree in communication from Florida Gulf Coast University.
We are excited to have Nichole LaRocco join the First Grade team for the 2022-2023 school year. She has been with Canterbury for four years leading our Pre-K4 students. She earned her Bachelor of Science from Southern Connecticut University.
Alicia Persichilli will be transitioning to a part-time position and will be assisting and teaching in the Hilliard Library in our Lower School. She has been with Canterbury for 20 years in a variety of teaching roles. She has her Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Florida Gulf Coast University and her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of South Florida.
Caren Speier has been teaching mathematics at Canterbury for 17 years. In the new school year, she will take on the role of Academic Support Specialist for Mathematics for students in the second through sixth grades. She will also teach an elective of Computer Programming in Middle School. Caren earned her Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Instructional Technology from Florida Gulf Coast University. She also has her bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University.