The Team

We are a team of builders, thinkers, explorers, NASA scouts, and bird aficionados.

We approach our work with passion and curiosity, using what we've learned to create

meaningful learning experiences that add value to children's lives.

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Dennise Ondina
Founder, Director
Tutor & Homeschool ELA

For the past 22 years, Ms. Dennise has dedicated her career to serving children and families. Her experiences as a mom, a teacher, and an elementary and middle-school charter public school administrator have shaped her pedagogical philosophy— all students can learn beyond our expectations given the proper tools and guidance. Ms. Dennise holds a Bachelor's in Business Administration, a Master's in school counseling, and a Montessori Elementary Certification. Moreover, she has extensive training in evidence-based methods for reading instruction, including Riggs-Spalding, Phono-graphix, Wilson, and Lindamood-Bell. When she is not teaching, coaching, or helping teachers, you can find Dennise reading, writing and absorbing the outdoors with family and friends. 

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Logan A. Vega
Tutoring Specialist & Homeschool Math

Mr. Logan is an honors program graduate from Florida State University. He holds a Bachelors in Mathematics and STEM with a Minor in Computer Science. Mr. Logan has a strong background in problem-solving and mathematical reasoning. His coursework includes advanced mathematics, calculus, and general physics. Mr. Logan's experience as a public school teacher and tutor has helped him appreciate the importance of addressing math foundation problems that hinder the students' development. His passion lies in bridging the mathematical gap and building the student's confidence. In his free time, you can find Mr. Logan chillin' with his dog, Jupiter, and slashing his last video game score! 

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Diane Zamot
Tutoring Specialist & Homeschool Science 

As a military veteran and aviation enthusiast, Ms. Diane brings high energy and a contagious passion for learning. Her extensive experience as a STEM Instructor, ESL Volunteer, and Civil Air Patrol Aviation and Aerospace Educator contributes to a unique set of skills that inspire students' love of learning. Due to her years of service as a United States Air Force pilot (THANK YOU!), Ms. Diane has had the opportunity to travel the world and immerse in incredible cultural experiences that she continuously shares with her students. Today, Ms. Diane enjoys spending her extra time in the great outdoors, cycling, birdwatching, camping, or hiking. 

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Shelby Earle
Tutoring Specialist & Homeschool Collaborator

Designated Florida High Impact Educator 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 and selected by the faculty and staff of her former school(s) as Teacher of the Year, Ms. Shelby adds to the team extensive practical knowledge in Florida State Math and Science Standards, including STEM. She has earned a Master's in Varying Exceptionalities and a holds Bachelors of Science in Elementary. Yet, most important for Ms. Shelby is having had the privilege to be a champion for children of all abilities— she has taught in traditional, ESE, advanced and gifted programs. Her hobbies include photography, nature, cooking, and travel. Ms. Shelby an avid bird watcher and volunteer for the Audubon Society's Eagle Watch Program. 

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Samantha Misner
Tutoring Specialist
Ian Ondina
Office Assistant & Homeschool Support

Ms. Samantha joins Illumina with strong background in literacy, reading, and phonics instruction as a New York City teacher. She holds Bachelors in Psychology and a Masters degree in Childhood Education. Ms. Samantha is a Certified Teacher K-6th and is passionate about teaching elementary children. Ms. Samantha says, "The best part of teaching is seeing the smiles on the faces of my students, as they grow to be lifelong learners." On a sunny day you may find Ms. Samantha kayaking, bike riding, and hanging out at the beach!

Positive thinking and spontaneous humor are some of Ian's best qualities. As a brain injury survivor, Ian has been instrumental in helping everyone he meets to believe in the power of resilience. He is always ready to tackle any project, big or small. You can find Ian assisting teachers in science projects, buddy-reading, or caring for the plants and vegetables in the garden. Ian has a background as an AutoCAD technician. He is also a video gamer and technology wizard with a keen eye for visual detail. 

Liliana Gonzalez
Office Assistant
 

Coming soon...

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Carol Mercier
Tutoring Specialist

Carol Mercier has over 30 years of education as a Montessori teacher, administrator, and school principal. She holds a Bachelors's Degree from Eckerd College in Human Development and Early Childhood Education and an Early Childhood Montessori Certificate. She has trained in the Orton-Gillingham method of teaching for Dyslexia and currently is a literacy tutor for foreign-speaking adults learning English.