Hi, I’m Ms. Villa and this will be my first year as a Tuttle staff member. I was born and raised in Sarasota and I’m so happy to be a Tuttle turtle once again after completing my elementary education here. I received my bachelors in psychology from the University of South Florida and my masters in social work at the University of Central Florida. I’m a licensed therapist and have always wanted to work with children and their families to provide support. I’m excited to be part of such a great and nurturing team!
Education has changed in my 40+ years of teaching, but the dedication and effort of teachers have not. I grew up in Wisconsin and have taught in many different communities since then. My career started in Texas, then I taught for the Department of Defense in Italy and Belgium, upon returning to the states I taught in Indiana before moving to Florida.
I have sent the past 27 years working with our Tuttle Turtles in many different roles. It is a pleasure to see many of our former graduates come back to visit and share how they are doing. I am now seeing former students bring their little Turtles to Tuttle. 😊 My own boys graduated from Tuttle and now my grandson is here in Kindergarten. It’s not just a school, it is a community.
For the past five years, I have been working specifically with our English Language Learners as an ESOL Liaison. We have students from over 15 countries, speaking many different languages. That makes my job both rewarding and challenging at the same time! Our students are learning English and working hard to be successful in school.
When I have free time I enjoy reading, traveling, and staying busy with my grandson. My favorite place to visit is with family in either Colorado or Hawaii.
Hello Tuttle Turtles. I have been Tuttle’s School Counselor for 15 years before that a 7th, 6th, 5th, 4th, and 2nd grade teacher. I absolutely love my position at Tuttle. I became a counselor because my students always shared their problems with me and loved that I took the time to listen. My job is to support all students at Tuttle. I graduated from USF with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education and a Master of Arts degree in Guidance and Counseling. I am a National Board-Certified Teacher in School Counseling/Early Childhood through Young Adulthood. I am licensed with the State of Florida as a License Mental Health Counselor. I live with my husband Walt. My three sons, Terry, Bryan and Rick with their wives, Michele and Amy, girlfriend, Kelly and my granddaughter, Emily live in Sarasota County close to me. I love anything that has to do with the outdoors – swimming, gardening, fishing, hiking, birding, kayaking and scuba-diving. I love to do art with my students since it is a calming and fun activity.
After teaching special education for twenty years in New Jersey where I have spent my entire life, our family decided to chase the sun all year long and settle in beautiful Sarasota. As your Behavior Specialist, I come to Tuttle with many years of experience in behavior having taught special education in elementary and middle school settings. I also hold a master’s degree from Seton Hall University in School Counseling. I use these behavioral and counseling lenses to view behavior as being driven by external and internal sources. I see behavior as a form of communication. I work with students to shape undesirable behavior into prosocial forms of communication. My approach is always positive with the mindset that every experience is a teachable moment with an opportunity to learn. I view every day as a new beginning to be the best person you can be. I am a life-long learner myself and I believe that we gain knowledge from children as much as they gain knowledge from us.
I am thrilled to be a part of such a supportive educational community of wonderful human beings and consider the opportunity to impact a life as a gift.
Skipping off to the beach, engaging in fitness, spending time with my family and friends are where you will find me outside of the school day.