Venice Administration and Support Staff

Administration and Support Staff of Venice Campus

Jennifer Ocana, IVMS Executive Director, Faculty Montessori Live

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Jennifer became executive director of IVMS in 2016. She joined the teaching faculty of IVMS in 2003 and served as principal of the Venice campus from 2008-2016. Jennifer has been a Montessori educator and administrator for close to 25 years. Jennifer holds Florida professional certifications for K-6 elementary and exceptional student education (K-12). She began her career at Oak Meadow Montessori …

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Jason Hunter, Venice Campus Principal, Faculty Montessori Live

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In 2016, Jason assumes responsibilities for all Venice campus programs. He served as elementary principal for the Venice campus and has been an educator at IVMS since 2007. He has his Florida professional teaching certificate in elementary education K-6. In 2012, Jason completed the Montessori Live MACTE certification program for lower elementary (EI) and is certified in Montessori …

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Jennifer Sessa, IVMS Pupil Support Director, Faculty Montessori Live

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Jennifer Sessa is the Director of Pupil Support for both Island Village campuses. She joined the staff in 2006 and has been an IVMS parent since 2003. Jennifer graduated from Western Connecticut State University with a BA in psychology and graduated from Southern Connecticut State University with a MS in quantitative analysis. Jennifer also attended the …

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Jamie Marshall, Coordinating Director IVMS Arts and Secondary Programs

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Jamie grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Muskingum University and did graduate work in jazz studies at the University of Miami in Coral Gables. Before becoming a teacher, Jamie worked as a professional trombonist for 20 plus years.  He began his playing career recording and performing in the …

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Whitney Carter, Assistant Principal, HOPE

Whitney Carter

Whitney Carter joined the IVMS family in 2009 as a PE educator.  She became a part of the administration team soon thereafter.  Whitney has a bachelor’s degree in physical education and recreation from Western Kentucky University. Before joining IVMS, Whitney worked for the YMCA and managed the summer gymnastics & dance program for many years. In …

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Megan Criswell, School Counselor, ESE, Test Coordinator

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Megan joined IVMS in 2014 with seven years of experience teaching secondary level math. Megan earned a BA in mathematics from the University of Tennessee and completed her MA in school counseling from Argosy University in 2014. Megan is also certified in exceptional student education (ESE K-12).  Megan is the school counselor and testing coordinator for …

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Verna Hunter, Registrar, All Campuses

Verna Hunter

Verna joins IVMS in 2016 as registrar, but she has been an IVMS parent and supportive spouse since 2007. Verna has management experience in a local retail establishment. She looks forward to being able to drive to work with her daughter, an upper school student at the Venice campus, and her husband, Jason.

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Louise Vare, Speech-Language Pathologist

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Louise Vare started as a parent with IVMS before the school was even built! In 2002, she began working at IVMS, after having worked, at various times over 25 years in the Sarasota school system. Originally from Stamford, Connecticut, she graduated with high honors from the University of Florida and holds a degree in speech …

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Brandi Flee, ESE Support Venice Campus

Brandie Flee

Bio coming soon~

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Ursula Fortner, ESE and ESL Support, German

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Ursula has been with Island Village Montessori School since 2006. Ursula recently completed her Master’s in Montessori Teaching from Sarasota University. She is a Florida certified educator for elementary education grades K through six and for secondary mathematics education grades six through twelve. Ursula also holds endorsements for the education of speakers of English as …

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Michael Fingerle, Physical Education

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Michael Fingerle returned to Sarasota after having taught and coached at Chattanooga Christian School for 27 years. He attended Covenant College where he earned a BA degree in History and Secondary Education and where he later completed a MA degree in Educational Leadership. Working for a small private school, he found himself teaching a variety …

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Peter Simms, General Music, Community Liaison

Peter Simms

Peter Simms has spent 30 years as a professional musician and instructor. Peter studied classical and jazz music at Cabrillo College & Chabot College in California. He studied privately with jazz greats: Don Haas (Benny Goodman), Smith Dobson (Gary Burton), Dave Smith (Joe Pass), and Ray Brown (Stan Kenton). From classical, rock, reggae, ethnic, and …

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Jill Wright, Art, Elementary and Secondary

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Jill Wright joined IVMS in 2010 part-time while finishing her bachelor’s degree.  She graduated from USF in 2011 with a B.A. in history.  She also has an A.A. in art.  Originally from Ohio, Jill moved to Florida in 2002 after living in the west for a number of years. She has been working as a …

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Sharon Taylor, Art, Elementary and Secondary

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Bio coming soon!

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Gary Finkel, Director Information Technology

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Gary has been the Information Technology Director for Island Village since 2008. Gary brings with him many years of working with large computer and technology networks.

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Megan Luster, Administrative Assistant

Megan Luster

Megan Luster joined the office staff at Venice campus in 2013. Megan is currently working toward getting a degree online from State College of Florida. Prior to joining IVMS, she worked as an office assistant for a local painting company as well as being hostess at the Applebee’s restaurant chain. Megan has a two year-old …

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Oleta Conklin, Health Room

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  Oleta has been working as a health room aide since 2012.

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Jolie Holman, Admin. Assistant, Early Childhood Coordinator

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Jolie Holman came to IVMS at its inception in 2001, as a parent and volunteer. She has two daughters; both have graduated from Island Village middle school. Before coming to IVMS, Jolie was an early childhood administrator/instructor for a number of years. She is part of our finance department, and jumps in to help us …

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Steve Beskin, Facilities and Security, Venice

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Steven has been with us at island village since 2013 as security /maintenance  and also as a parent. Steven is a retired NYPD Detective and has since returned to his roots here in Florida.

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Terri Grant, Administrative Assistant

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Terri is the administrative assistant for the elementary program in Venice. Terri is also an IVMS parent, with a son who is an IVMS graduate and a daughter in middle school. Terri is also active with the IVMS drama program. Terri has been with IVMS since 2006.

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Nicole O’Brien, General Support – PE

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Nicole joined IVMS in 2014, as an asst. PE educator. She has a degree in Early Childhood and Directors Credentials from Sarasota Vo-Tech. Nicole has worked in Early Childhood for ten years, and has helped with Summer Camps for Elementary aged students over the years. She and her husband have 3 wonderful boys, ages 2,7,and …

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Jim Dunn, IT and Network Support, Montalign

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Bio coming soon!

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Megan Hopkins, Lunch Service, Venice Campus

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Bio coming soon!

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