Instilling a strong foundation for lifelong learning

Special Area Subjects

Read about our core academic subjects in the Grade Level Information section.  In addition to these subjects, St. Stephen's is proud to offer the following classes:

Meet Ileana Nardo and Danny Eguizabal... mind trainers, creativity boosters, and innovation leaders. Ileana and Danny lead the Arts Education Department: Art, Music, and Drama. There is never a dull moment in their classrooms! Through the arts, students see the world with new eyes, think critically, ask questions, and learn with all their senses. The arts provide a safe place for “mistakes” to morph magically into beauty and mindsets to shift and expand exponentially. The arts are one of the most potent means for developing children's minds.

With both a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Art Education, Ileana Nardo has a lifelong love of art and has shared it with SSEDS’ students since 1990. She considers St. Stephen’s her second home and her three children are alumni of the school.

Danny Eguizabal has taught at St. Stephen’s since 2008. His passion for the performing arts goes beyond the classroom as he regularly performs around South Florida. He has a Bachelor’s in Music Education and a Master’s in Mass Communications.

Enjoy this one minute video sharing the importance and value of the SSEDS’ Arts Program.

Innovation at SSEDS embodies the school’s four focal points: spark creativity, explore passion, ignite learning, and empower leaders. We are BOLD in our forward thinking and love to share that with all on campus. We aim to enhance the students’ learning experience through the integration of different subject areas, provide voice and choice to all, encourage flexible learning spaces, and promote digital citizenship. New technologies will find their way into the SSEDS’s experience, when appropriate, to enrich creative and critical thinking.

Inge Wassmann is a creative thinker and works enthusiastically with faculty and students to innovate learning at all levels; from new technologies, new methodologies to heading the team that organizes ShiftinEdu, the school's internationally known professional development biennial summit. Inge has worked at SSEDS since 2003 and taught since 1998. She holds a Master's Degree in Primary Education and Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration.

Felix Jacomino ensures the community at St. Stephen’s has a reliable network and a solid infrastructure upon which all the school’s technologies and systems can function smoothly. Felix is enjoying his 9th year at St. Stephen’s, he holds two systems administration certifications, a Bachelor's in Music Education, and is currently finishing his Master's in Educational Leadership. The most rewarding part of his job is working together with the innovation team and all others to fulfill the school’s mission and vision.

Jenny Diaz has worked at St. Stephen's Episcopal Day School since 2005. As one of the Innovation Coaches, Jenny spends time in the classroom with students and teachers to ensure effective and appropriate use of technologies throughout the curriculum. She always has a question ready for deeper learning! Jenny has an Associate Arts Degree in Nursing and currently attends SNHU working toward a Bachelor of Arts in Educational Instruction.

Stacy Lopez joined the St. Stephen’s family in 2015 as an Innovation Coach. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education, a Master’s Degree in Reading, and over 20 years of teaching experience. Mrs. Lopez has always loved challenging students to think creatively, explore, and problem-solve; so it’s no wonder she is part of the Innovation team at St. Stephen’s!

Robbin Simons, STEAM Coach, is celebrating her 18th year as a faculty member at SSEDS. Before St. Stephen’s, she taught in Rhode Island, New York, and other private schools in South Florida. Her undergraduate degree is in Early Childhood Education, with an additional teaching certification in Music. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Pastoral Ministry from St. Thomas University. Ms. Robbin loves to dance and is an avid fan of the Boston Red Sox.

Emily Allongo Tobin has been teaching for six years. She joined the St. Stephen’s family in 2016 as an assistant teacher in Pre-Kindergarten. Before SSEDS, she was on the faculty of St. Philip’s as a Preschool Library Teacher. Emily graduated from the University of Miami with a BA in Music and a minor in Psychology. In her spare time, she loves to take photos, ride horses, travel, sew, and plays the piano.

Welcome to the Library/Media Center! Students from Pre-K through Grade 5 enjoy and explore this versatile space weekly.

With story time, reading, collaboration, research, and fun happening on a daily basis... the Library/Media Center is always an exciting part of the day!

Welcome! Rachel Erb began teaching at St. Stephen’s in 2002. During that time, she was a homeroom teacher in both Pre-K and Junior K classrooms and loved every moment! She has a Bachelor’s Degree with a double major in Early Childhood Education and Library and Science Media. Fun and excitement fill the Library/Media Center air!

Lourdes Maciá, Library Associate. Mrs. Maciá comes to the Library with 24 years of experience in teaching and a Bachelor and Master's Degree in Education. After 15 years of teaching and loving her little Pre-K students at St. Stephen's, she has moved on to this new adventure. Mrs. Maciá is happy to be joining Ms. Rachel as her associate in the Library. She won’t be leaving preschool just yet, as she will be working with Pre-K and Junior K students on vocabulary and language as well. Mrs. Maciá is looking forward to a fabulous year!


At St. Stephen's, the Physical Education program covers a wide variety of activities with an emphasis on skill development, large and small group games, motor skills, cooperation, dance, and fitness.

Mary Aparicio was born and raised in Pasadena, CA; Coach A began teaching Physical Education in 1990 and joined the SSEDS Team in 2011. She has taught Pre-K through Grade 12, however Elementary PE is her favorite!

Steve Hoffman grew up in Ft. Walton Beach, FL. Coach H began teaching Physical Education in 2006 and partnered with Coach A at St. Stephen’s in 2011. He enjoys being outdoors and active.

As an Episcopal school, St. Stephen’s creates a safe place for young children to explore their beliefs knowing that God loves them and all people. Through our Sacred Studies program, students have an opportunity to learn about the principles and traditions of the Christian faith while delving into the similarities we find in other faith traditions.

Pastor Jorge, an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church USA and a Godly Play certified educator, joined the St. Stephen’s community in 2015 as School Chaplain and Sacred Studies teacher for students in Grades 3-5.

Mary Jones, an educator with over 30 years of experience in the classroom, an active parishioner at St. Stephen’s, and a Godly Play certified educator, instructs students in PK3 - Grade 2.


Science at St. Stephen’s is enriched with hands-on activities, projects, and experiments to spark your child’s imagination. The Science Department is divided into Primary Science and Upper Science. All lessons include STEAM activities, as well as informative reading and writing. Students explore three main Science Units: Life Science, Earth Science, and Physical Science.

Ms. Katherine Mohr is the Primary Science teacher at St. Stephen’s. She is an active member of the National Science Teachers Association, and has presented at several conferences including FCIS, FKC, and ShiftinEdu. Ms. Katherine is a Florida State Certified Teacher of Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, and Music. Furthermore, she attained a College Credit Certificate Diploma in Early Childhood Education from Miami Dade College. Ms. Katherine holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from Towson University and a Master of Music Degree from the University of Miami.

Ms. Valeria Rodriguez is a STEM educator, author & illustrator, graphic facilitator, and instructional technologist who has worked as an educator since 2009 in classroom teaching, adult training, curriculum development, community development, and program design. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Animal Science, Biology at the University of Florida. Valeria has worked internationally in a variety of areas and has a passion for space education and exploration.

Social Skills 

Social Skills classes are happening at SSEDS!! Students in PK and JK are learning to identify their emotions, using tools to help calm down and problem solve, and of course, we are learning how to be good listeners. Students practice mindful tools, games, interactive activities, songs, and stories to calm down. With the help of the Sandford Harmony Curriculum and Character “Z”, students also learn how to compromise, share, respect, forgive, and help each other. 

Senior Kindergarten through Grade 3 participate in social emotional instruction as needed. Short term counseling services are provided when teachers and parents request assistance.  

Students in Grade 4 are learning how to regulate strong emotions, show kindness, challenge negative thoughts, problem solve, maneuver friendship issues, understand bullying issues, develop impulse and self control and becoming an upstander instead of a bystander in our school culture. Students are learning how to identify the size of their problem and match reactions to the size of the problem. Effective communication, collaboration, and conflict resolution tools are introduced to encourage healthy behavior choice for students to navigate peer relationships and school conflicts.

Students in Grade 5 are learning how to recognize bullying situations, manage friendships, understand strong moods using tools to decrease strong responses. Students also are learning brain basics:  how the brain is responsible for emotions based on thought patterns. We discuss topics pertinent to their developing personalities: anxiety, conflict resolution, communication styles, and making new friends, transitioning to new environments.   

The curriculum for G4 and G5 is based on the American School Counselor Association, Casel standards.  We use games, videos, interactive activities, songs to provide a stimulating and challenging curriculum for our students.

We are currently using problem solving cards to remind PK and JK to make better choices when they are in the red zone. You may access these cards here so that you can use them at home.  Some parents carry them in the car and give to the children in the back seat and ask them to choose a better behavior when they are in the red zone (mad, temper tantrums).  

Rebecca Potter, MS, LMHC has her BS in French, Psychology, and Education from Michigan State University.  She has her MS in Counseling Psychology from Nova Southeastern University and her MS in Applied Behavior Analysis from Florida Institute of Technology.  She is licensed by the State of Florida as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. She has taught for 10 years at the High School level and she has worked with children as a therapist for 20 years.  

To have our students develop their linguistic potential, the Spanish Department consists of two tracks: Spanish for speakers and Spanish for non-speakers. Both programs are mindful of students’ needs and challenges.

The general objectives of the non-speakers Spanish program aim to expose and deepen their interests and appreciation of Spanish language and culture, as well as understand the importance of foreign language, while promoting the use of everyday vocabulary to enhance the students’ confidence when speaking Spanish. Diversity and inclusion objectives include understanding cultures in which Spanish is spoken and appreciating the ability to communicate in another language.

Judit Herrera is a Spanish teacher from Spain. She teaches Spanish as a foreign language in the non-speakers Spanish program. Judit graduated from Universidad de Barcelona with a Master’s in Literature and Linguistics and another one in e-Learning. Her passion for languages, teaching, and traveling, brought her to Miami three years ago and later on to St. Stephen’s Episcopal Day School, where she is not only a teacher but a parent of two students: Mar, Grade 3 and Luz, Grade 1.


To have our students develop their linguistic potential, the Spanish Department consists of two tracks: Spanish for speakers and Spanish for non-speakers. Both programs are mindful of students’ needs and challenges.

The Speakers program develops students’ spoken and written language skills in an authentic and meaningful way. Through these experiences, students are inspired to become active learners and to grow a broad appreciation of other cultures.

Maria Jose Arconada graduated from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, and since then she has worked in public, private, and independent schools. She has taught PreK, Elementary, and Middle School level students. She inspired students at Nuestra Señora del Loreto in Madrid to Blythe Academy in South Carolina, St. Andrews in Savannah, and now at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Day School. Her passions are spending time with her children, practicing yoga, and traveling around the world.

Jonathan Magdalena has taught language for over ten years, in a variety of countries and educational levels. He has a degree in foreign language teaching, and a Master’s in American Social Studies. He believes that Spanish can be a tool for understanding identity and diversity, an opportunity to discover the Hispanic rich heritage, and a vehicle to become aware of one's own culture. His practice is broadly based on the “growth mindset” model, with the absolute conviction that every student can learn a language when motivated and committed to achieving such a fantastic goal.

Upcoming Events

November 6, 2020

Faculty Professional Day - NO SCHOOL

November 25 - 29, 2020

Thanksgiving Break - NO SCHOOL

December 7, 2020

Faculty Professional Day - NO SCHOOL