New Collinswood Teachers & Staff
Date Posted: 8/15/2016
NEW COLLINSWOOD STAFF AND POSITION CHANGES
NEW CLASSROOM TEACHERS
- Laura Calvo, kindergarten teacher: Sra. Calvo is an experienced teacher who comes to us from Costa Rica. She is mom to twins and a rising fourth-grader. (Note: Due to circumstances beyond her control, Ms. Calvo will not be able to start at Collinswood until Aug. 30.)
- Adriana Morales de Hill, first-grade teacher: Sra. Morales de HIll has been teaching since 2015, both in Cabarrus County and at Balboa Academy, an international school in Panamá, Republic of Panamá. She is looking forward to teaching not only the Spanish language, but the Spanish culture as well. She is married with three young children. She loves road trips, eating international food and going to the theater.
- Adriana Hart, first-grade teacher: Ms. Hart was much loved when she taught kindergarten at Collinswood previously, and now she’s back! She left to teach at to CMS’s Huntingtowne Farms elementary when Ms. Rodd was there, but now Ms. Rodd has brought her back to Collinswood! She is originally from Colombia.
- Loreto Chóliz, first-grade teacher: Ms. Choliz has 17 years of teaching experience. Most recently, she taught first and second graders in Zaragoza, Spain. She also taught at Collinswood from 2008 to 2009 and enjoyed it so much that she and her husband decided to return. (Her husband Diego will teach 3rd grade math/Spanish.) She enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing games, hiking and traveling.
- Clara Mogollón, 2nd grade teacher: Ms. Mogollón has five years of experience teaching students at various grade levels in Colombia. She enjoys doing Zumba, reading, traveling and spending time with friends and family. She is looking forward to building relationships and enriching cultural exchange at Collinswood.
- Elena Antonucci, 2nd grade teacher: Ms. Antonucci joins us from Sterling Elementary in CMS, where she taught third grade. She has been with CMS since 2014. Before that, she taught for three years in Pennsylvania. She is originally from Pittsburgh and is a HUGE Steeler fan. She has two dogs, Luna and Stella, and one cat, Apollo. She enjoys cooking, reading, shopping, and sleeping.
- Diego Garcia, 3rd grade teacher: Mr. Garcia has 19 years of experience teaching. For the past 10 years, he has taught in a bilingual school in his hometown of Zaragoza, Spain. He also taught fifth grade at Collinswood from 2007 to 2009, and he calls that time “one of the most amazing experiences of his life” – that’s why he and his wife (Ms. Choliz) decided to come back! He enjoys cycling and soccer.
- Annette Tull, 6th grade social studies and Spanish: Ms. Tull stepped into this position mid-year last year and did a great job. She is originally from Puerto Rico and has eight years of teaching experience. She is married and has four children in their blended family. She says she loves teaching culture and history because she believes that learning about history helps us not to repeat the same mistakes.
- Tonya (Bowden) Harris, 7th grade language arts teacher: Ms. Harris is transferring to Collinswood from CMS’s Southwest Middle School, where she has taught 7th and 8th grade English for the past four years. She has been teaching since 1998. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and a Post Graduate Certificate in Developmental Reading Strategies for Middle School Struggling Readers. Ms. Harris has a son who attends Collinswood and she is excited to be part of the Collinswood family as a staff member this year!
- Haley Gibbs, 8th grade science teacher: Haley Gibbs decided to make a career change after spending a day volunteering at a CMS middle school. “I walked in and said, ‘This is it. I love this environment. I love the age group. … I left that day feeling really fulfilled.” She enrolled in UNC Charlotte’s Cato College of Education and graduated in May. She did her student teaching at Randolph Middle School, where she taught both 8th grade science and social studies. Outside of school, she’s a “happy pet mama” to two dogs and two cats and she loves being outside, whether at the beach or the mountains.
OTHER NEW STAFF MEMBERS
- Sekou Canty, physical education teacher: Mr. Canty has 13 years of experience teaching physical education. He also has 15 years of experience as a football coach, 3 years in basketball and 3 years in track and field. He says he loves working with young people. "To me there is no better experience than to see a young person realize that they CAN and all their hopes and dreams can be a reality if they work hard to achieve them," he says. As a native New Yorker, Mr. Canty's favorite sports teams are the NY Giants, NY Yankees and yes the NY Knicks. He also enjoys attending church as well as different cultural events.
- Jose Lopez Ramos, band/music teacher (replaces Ms. Green): Mr. Lopez Ramos originally hails from Puerto Rico and recently taught at a middle school in Fairbanks, Alaska. He also served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army Alaska’s 9th Army Band.
- Philip Carey, ESL teacher: Mr. Carey has been a teacher since 2010, teaching in both rural North Carolina and Philadelphia city schools. He and his wife moved to Charlotte in 2015 to be closer to their families. He taught fourth grade in CMS before discovering a passion for ESL instruction. He and his wife share their home with two dogs and a few cold-blooded pets. He also plays in a garage band.
- Amie Davidson, part-time dance teacher. A career dance instructor with three decades of teaching experience, she is coming back to education part-time after raising a family. She served as a dance teacher at Mint Hill Middle School from 2004-2012 and has been a Teacher of the Year (twice!).
- Harlina Vargas, part-time art teacher: Ms. Vargas has six years of experience teaching art in charter schools, after-school programs and in CMS. Her roots are from Spain and the Dominican Republic, and she is bilingual. She loves to paint and draw in her free time, and she's excited to teach students to connect/reflect art with their life experiences.
- Levi Lucero, attendance secretary: Mr. Levi comes to us from Albemarle Road Middle School, where he served as a bilingual assistant. He was born and raised in Long Island, N.Y. He says he loves cooking, trying new food and experiences, and reading history books. He speaks Spanish and English, and his next language goal is Russian!
STAFF POSITION CHANGES
- Maria Flores moves from first grade to kindergarten.
- Ms. Montoya moves from second grade to first grade.
- Ms. Nickolopoulos moves from first grade to second grade.
- Ms. Haskins moves from second grade to sixth grade ELA.