Physical Education Teacher
Physical Education Teacher
Jeff Taylor who comes to us as our new physical education teacher with an extensive background in health and fitness. In addition to fourteen (14) years of teaching experience, Mr. Taylor has been a track and field and cross-country coach for over twenty-five (25) seasons and loves working with kids of all ages.
Originally from Toledo, Ohio, Mr. Taylor moved to Florida in 2016 and has spent the last two years as a high school business education teacher in Hillsborough County. He received his Bachelor Degree from Siena Heights University in Adrian, Michigan and holds a Master’s Degree in Administration from Bowling Green State University in Ohio.
In his free time, Mr. Taylor enjoys staying in shape with running, biking and lifting weights. He also works as a personal trainer and coaches in Sarasota County. Other interests include dining at local restaurants, and spending time at the beach. Jeff has three older daughters, Jane, Chloe and Grace who reside in Toledo, Ohio. His mother is a resident of Florida and lives in Zephyrhills.
Lower Elementary Art Teacher
Connie has spent a lifetime dedicated to the arts. A graduate of Ringling College of Art and Design, with a degree in Fine Arts and a focus on sculpture, Connie has worked as a professional muralist for over 20 years. Her work shows in galleries in Sarasota, Martha’s Vineyard, and her own gallery Studio C, in Village of the Arts in Bradenton. Her experience teaching group and private lessons as well as working as a scenic artist, painter and sculptor for both the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus and Disney on Ice make her perfectly suited to be a Montessori art teacher.
Upper Elementary and Middle School Art Teacher
Tricia graduated from Elon University in 1992 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications. She enjoyed a career in broadcast journalism, working for both NBC and Fox news as a photojournalist. She is a native Floridian but has spent many years living in North Carolina and recently returned to Florida after spending six years in Pennsylvania. Tricia and her husband, John, have three sons, Morgan (20), Keaton (19), and Larsen (16). Tricia has garnered priceless experience as an art volunteer in elementary and middle school classes since 2003. She is delighted to share her passion for art and to foster a love of creativity throughout our Center family.
Music and Band Director
A third generation Floridian, Alicia was born and raised right here in Manatee County. She graduated from New College with a Bachelor of Arts in Music. Alicia has received her Level II Orff Certification and also been trained in the High Scope approach to teaching music with movement. Alicia has taught music for over 25 years in both private and public schools. She has been at the Center since 2005 and loves the unique opportunity of teaching music to children from the toddler nest all the way through middle school. When she is not teaching music Alicia enjoys spending time with her family, her husband Pat, and her two children.
Upper Elementary and Middle School Spanish Teacher
Elfi Garcia has been committed to sharing the Spanish language with students in Manatee County. Elfi previously ran her own Spanish enrichment programs in Manatee County schools and is excited to join CMS and share her passion for foreign language.
Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Elfi graduated from Robert Morris College with her Bachelor of Science degree. Elfi is first generation Mexican/American and her first language is Spanish. Her ancestors including her father, grandfather and extended family are all from Michoacan, Mexico. A large portion of her family still resides in Mexico. She has been living in Florida since 2005 with her husband and they have four daughters, ages 3-14.
In her free time Elfi enjoys wood crafting, hanging out with her husband and daughters, traveling with family, hosting large gatherings with friends, and keeping her family active and healthy.