About the Staff


Hillary Ahlfeldt


Ms. Ahlfeldt is from far away Owensville, MO. She attended Missouri State University where she earned her B.A. in Elementary Education. She is certified in Elementary Education, ESE and Wilson Reading System Level 1. Ms. Ahlfeldt started her teacher career as a substitute teacher in elementary and middle grades and later taught 4th grade in her own classroom.  Ms. Ahlfeldt joined De LaSalle Academy in 2012 as a part-time teacher and now serves our students full time. In addition, she works with the students in the After School Program. When she’s not at school, Ms. Ahlfeldt likes going to the beach, reading and spending time with family. Ms Ahlfeldt feels that students learn when provided a safe and positive learning environment and when they are given opportunities to succeed.

Kelly Amrine


Mrs. Amrine hails from Lansing, Michigan. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Education from Central Michigan University and a Master’s degree in Secondary Special Education – Transition from the University of Kansas. Mrs. Amrine holds certificates in Exceptional Student Education, Cognitive Impairment, Family and Consumer Science, and Secondary and Elementary Education. She has worked with at risk youth with special needs at the high school level, as well as elementary students with special needs in an inclusion setting. Mrs. Amrine believes that students learn best when they are provided a nurturing and safe learning environment where they can grow and discover their strengths. In her free time, she loves spending time with her family in the sunshine, cooking, and being crafty.

Sharon Beshore


Mrs. Beshore is originally from York, PA.  She received her Bachelor’s degree from Millersville University in Pennsylvania, and her Master’s Degree plus 60 credits from Boston College and Penn State University.  She is certified in Special Education (K-12) and Elementary Education.  Mrs. Beshore taught for 37 1/2 years in PA.  She was a Department Head for the last 14 years.  She was also a Transition Coordinator for the York County Transition Coordinating Council.  She was on the high school Student Assistance Team for 25 years, and received the Outstanding Teacher Award from Shippensburg University in PA for a program dedicated to keeping young people in school.  She believes that all teachers need to help students reach their full potential in a safe and loving environment so that they are encouraged to be lifelong learners.  In her free time, Mrs. Beshore likes to read, go to the beach and, most importantly, visit her three children, their spouses and her six grandchildren.

Robyn Chapman


Mrs. Chapman, originally from New Orleans, has a degree in Child and Youth studies from the College of Education at FGCU as well as certification in Exceptional Student Education (Grades K-12). Recently married, she loves spending time at home with her husband, cooking, hosting game nights, and taking bike rides around the neighborhood. She believes that effective educators teach not according to their strengths, but according to their students’ strengths.

Sue Clinghan


Mrs. Clinghan relocated to Florida from Lowell, Massachusetts. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts and is certified in Special Education. She has worked in special education for over fifteen years, first as a paraprofessional, then as a full-time special education teacher and case manager. She believes that all children learn differently and that it is our job as teachers to help all students discover what strategies and learning styles work best for them. When she’s not at school, she like to spend time with family and friends and to read and travel.

Valerie Gasco


Ms. Gasco is originally from Rutland, VT.  She received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Special Education, both from the University of Vermont.  She holds certification in Special Education (K-12), English (6 – 12) and the Wilson Reading System.  Ms. Gasco has 25 years of classroom experience in various capacities including as an intensive special education teacher for elementary and high school grades in mainstream settings, a special education teacher in a middle school resource room and a co-teacher in a regular education classroom for math, science and social studies.  In her spare time, Ms. Gasco enjoys gardening, walking, knotting, and singing with community chorus groups.  She believes that all students can thrive with challenge, empathy and love.

Rachel Goldenberg


Ms. Goldenberg is originally from east coast of Florida, West Palm Beach. She recently graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University with a Bachelor’s degree in Special Education. She also has her reading and ESOL endorsement. Ms. Goldenberg has known since the eighth grade that she had a strong passion for children and teaching. This helped build her teaching philosophy that all children learn in their own unique way. It takes a team to help that child succeed in their own way. In her spare time, Ms. Goldenberg loves to take her dog Belle to the park, watch shows on Netflix, and enjoy a nice cold Dr. Pepper.


Leomara Hernandez


Ms. Hernandez grew up in Sprngfield, MO. Her B.A. degree from Drury University is in Cross Categorical Special Education and she holds a M.A. in Special Education Reading. She is certified in Cross Categorical Education, grades K-12. Ms. Hernandez served as a special education teacher at Pipkin Middle School in Springfield, MO for nine years. In fact, she attended Pipkin herself in middle school! In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family and especially watching her children in sports and activities. Ms. Hernandez believes that all students can learn, given a caring environment that is centered on positivity and encouragement.

Simon Huebler


Mr. Huebler was born across the pond in Portsmouth, United Kingdom. He graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art. After substitute teaching for a year at De LaSalle, Mr. Huebler is now a full-time teacher. He has also managed De LaSalle’s Summer Camp. In his spare time, he creates art and pottery, and enjoys traveling and hiking. Mr. Huebler believes that students thrive in a fun, exciting, and energetic learning environment where the more hands on learning, the better.

Sofia Kaklamanis


Mrs. Kaklamanis is originally from Long Branch, New Jersey. She received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Special Education from Monmouth University. Mrs. Kaklamanis taught for 12 years at Taunton Elementary School in New Jersey. She is dually certified in Education and Special Education. When she is not in the classroom, Mrs. Kaklamanis enjoys reading, traveling to Greece and spending time with her husband Sotiris and her children, Eleni and Demas. Mrs. Kaklamanis believes in the words of Aristotle, “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”

Kristina Kaye


Mrs. Kaye is originally from Lebanon Springs, NY (in the heart of the Berkshire Mountains).  She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies from Dickinson College.  She earned her Master’s Degree in Special Education from Florida Gulf Coast University. She earned her Doctorate in Special Education and Reading from Nova Southeastern University.  Mrs. Kaye holds certificates in nine different subject areas including Exceptional Student Education, Health, English 6-12, and S.S. 6-12.  She also has her reading endorsement.  She has worked with youth who are at risk or have special needs in grades 3-12 in a variety of roles and settings over the last 25 years.  Mrs. Kaye believes that students learn best when they are provided a structured and safe learning environment where risk-taking and collaboration are encouraged, and all successes are celebrated.  In her free time, she loves spending time with her family, volunteering, arts and crafts, traveling, and reading.

Laurie Pistorio


Mrs. Pistorio is originally from Queens, New York. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in History. She is certified in Elementary Education and Exceptional Student Education. Mrs. Pistorio’s teaching experience in primary grades and self-contained ESE have prepared her for this teaching assignment at De LaSalle Academy. Her educational philosophy is that “students should feel safe to succeed, fail, and explore in the classroom and that their strengths should be celebrated and supported at all times.” In her free time, she loves to read, go to the beach, spend time with her husband, her cat and her adorable son, Robert.

Steven Pluhar


Mr. Pluhar is originally from Passaic, New Jersey.  He graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education.  He is certified in Elementary Education (K-6), ESE and has his reading and ESOL endorsement.  After previously teaching fifth grade science and math in public school, Mr. Pluhar is excited to teach here at De LaSalle Academy.  In his spare time, he plays the drums, participates in resistance training and weight lifting, and exploring new parks and areas through geocaching.  Mr. Pluhar believes that “I am able to extend my passion for learning into my pedagogy in a hands-on and engaging approach.”


Emmy Schroeder

Teacher (Academics/Music)

Mrs. Schroeder hails from St. Louis, MO where she attended the University of Missouri to earn her B.A. in English. She currently holds Certification in Exceptional Student Education and Elementary Education. Mrs. Schroeder has taught in a variety of areas and grade levels for ten years and finally found her home at De LaSalle two years ago. In her spare time, she enjoys many hobbies, including yoga, reading fiction, hiking, and art. Most of all, she enjoys playing games, cooking, and singing along to musicals with her husband, Peter and her dog, Sammie.

Grayson Stoff

Teacher (Academics/Art)

Mr. Stoff is originally from Glens Falls, NY and grew up in Venice, FL.  He graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University with a B.A. in Art, and is certified in Art, K through 12.  This is his third year teaching at De LaSalle Academy.  He is currently pursuing his Master’s degree in Special Education at FGCU.  In his free time, he is a practicing artist and enjoys painting, kayaking, biking, and playing Poke’mon.  Mr. Stoff believes that keeping a creative learning environment allows for students and teachers to discover innovative paths for success.

Kathy Stolz


Mrs. Stolz was born in Bayshore, NY and raised in Sparta, NJ.  She attended the University of Rhode Island, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. She is certified in Elementary Education and Exceptional Student Education. Mrs. Stolz has worked with children in school settings for over 20 years in various capacities, including both teaching and management. Mrs. Stolz believes that her role as an educator is to enhance her students’ individual strengths and minimize their challenges through creative, active lessons and activities, relationship-building interactions, and meaningful academic and social experiences that promote growth in all areas of development. She believes that all students learn differently and that she is responsible to meet the diverse needs of all her students. When she is not teaching, Mrs. Stolz likes to read, swim, jog, and spend time with her husband and two children.

Sherry Vartiainen


Mrs. Vartiainen is originally from Bradenton, FL.  She graduated from FGCU with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education.  She is certified in Elementary Education (K-6), ESE and has her reading and ESOL endorsement.  Mrs. Vartiainen taught at the Elementary level, including ESE inclusion for 8 years in Charlotte County, FL.  She enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, visiting the beach, and reading.  Mrs. Vartiainen believes that all children can learn and grow when their unique needs are met in a safe, nurturing and engaging environment.

Diane Walcher


Mrs. Walcher was born in International Falls, MN.  She attended Georgetown University where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Foreign Service.  She also holds an MBA from the University of South Florida.  Mrs. Walcher is certified in ESE, ESOL, and K-6 Elementary Education.  She has taught elementary education and served as a resource teacher.   As the parent of a special needs child, Mrs. Walcher firmly believes in the quote from Ignacio Estrada, “If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.”  When she’s not teaching, Mrs. Walcher enjoys reading and traveling.


Pat Galvin

Occupational Therapist

Mrs. Galvin is originally from Hingham, MA.  She attended college in Boston, MA where she earned a B.A. in Sociology from Emmanuel College and a an M.S. in Occupational Therapy from Boston University.  She is a licensed occupational therapist and  an early intervention specialist.  Mrs. Galvin worked with Lee County Schools before joining De LaSalle Academy.  Before moving to Florida, she spent 14 years with the Weymouth, MA School District.  In her free time, she enjoys bicycling, kayaking and going to the beach.  Mrs. Galvin believes that students are most engaged and ready to learn when they have opportunities to move, plan, and explore “hands-on.”


Ellen Hemrick

Speech Language Pathologist

Ms. Hemrick, who is originally from New Jersey, earned a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders and a Master’s degree in Communication Disorders from Emerson College.  She holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology and is licensed as a Speech-Language Pathologist in the state of Florida.  Ms. Hemrick has over 20 years experience working with children and families as a speech language pathologist in a variety of settings including schools, private practice and as a consultant.  In her free time, she is an anti-racism community organizer, a reader of all things science fiction and fantasy, a salsa music enthusiast, and a mommy.  She believes as Einstein said, “imagination is more important than knowledge – it encircles the world.”


Madeline Wittmann, M.Ed

School Counselor

Ms. Wittmann is originally from the Bronx, NY.  She earned a bachelor’s degree in Special Education from Rowan University.  She earned her Master of Arts degree in School Counseling from Georgian Court University. Ms. Wittmann holds certificates in Early Childhood, Teacher of the Handicapped and School Counseling.  She was a teacher in the New Jersey public schools for eleven years and a school counselor (K–12) for nineteen years.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time by the pool or at the beach, shopping, reading and spending time with family and friends.  Ms. Wittmann believes that each child is different and learns and processes information individually.  As a professional, it is up to her to “pull” from the student their strengths while helping to strengthen any weaknesses.

Elissa Pizzutto, M.S

School Counselor

Ms. Pizzutto is originally from the Clearwater, FL.  She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Studio Art from Florida State University.  She returned to Florida State University for her Master of Science degree in Art Therapy. Ms. Pizzutto worked in research on early child development and disabilities, and published an article on her art therapy work for school readiness. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her dog, kayaking, camping and spending time with family and friends.  Ms. Pizzutto recognizes that each child sees the world in a unique and personal way. As an art therapist, she assists the students in discovering their potential by identifying their skills and bolstering areas of difficulty. 

Front Office

Stacie Kolnicki

Receptionist, Clinic Aide and Before School Program

Janet Laverty

Office Manager and Bookkeeper

Mrs. Laverty was born in Detroit, Michigan.  She received her Bachelor’s degree in Management and Organizational Development from Spring Arbor University.  Mrs. Laverty served as Chief Financial Officer for the State Library of Michigan and was the Budget Director for the Michigan Department of Education After 36 years of service for the State of Michigan, she retired to Florida with her family.  In her free time, Mrs. Laverty enjoys spending time with her family, the beach, Disney, traveling, and anything in the sunshine.  Her learning philosophy is “Teaching and learning is a lifelong process, we learn and grow from each other at all ages, through different learning styles.  Encourage an open mind and heart to reach the child’s fullest potential.

James Robinson

Development Director

Mr. Robinson is originally from Fall River, MA.  He has a BFA in Acting from Emerson College and an MS in Urban Affairs from Hunter College of The City University of New York.  Prior to coming to De LaSalle, he was the Development Director of the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) on Sanibel Island.  Mr. Robinson has more than 20 years experience in fund development and non-profit management in Florida, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New York.  In his spare time he acts, directs, plays tennis, reads, and spends time with his two cats.

Student Support

Kerry Uria

Teacher’s Aide

Kerry Uria is a teacher assistant, working with the elementary students. She has worked for De LaSalle Academy for three years in various capacities, the afterschool care manager, dining hall assistant and substitute teacher. Mrs. Uria enjoys going to the beach, and spending time with her husband and cats.  She loves working with the elementary students and watching them grow.



School Support

Jim Duke

Building Supervisor

Lena Danielle Figueroa

Student Activities Coordinator

Martin Hoffman

Network Coordinator

Mr. Hoffman is originally from West Seneca, NY. He graduated from Erie Community College, South Campus in Orchard Park, NY, with a A.A.S. in Biomedical Equipment Repair.  He also completed his Microsoft Certification as a Systems Engineer at Southwest Florida College.  He enjoys playing guitar, visiting museums, and everything about the outdoors. Mr. Hoffman believes in providing computer support with a human touch.


Vern Southard

Bus Driver


Kristin Barron




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