• Gerst

    Michelle Gerst

    I am so excited to be joining the Tuttle family this year as a 2nd-grade teacher. I am a Sarasota native and have loved supporting our community through education for 10 years. Graduating from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, I found a love for teaching the primary grades – Kindergarten and First. Armed with a love of teaching and a desire to become an expert in reading instruction, I returned to school at Concordia University for my Master’s degree and began continued teaching in First grade. Now I’ve moved up in the world to Second grade and I couldn’t be more excited! I love sharing stories from my classroom with my husband and two dogs while we travel and enjoy cheering on the Tampa Bay Lightning! I can’t wait to share this new year of adventures with my students and fellow staff members!

  • LaPerriere

    Mary Beth LaPerriere

    Hello!  My name is Mrs. LaPerriere.  I have been a Speech/Language Pathologist at Tuttle for 27 years.  I work with small groups of students to help them improve their speech and language development.  It is great being a Tuttle Turtle, and working with an amazing, diverse group of students, families, and staff members!  It is always exciting to watch a child learn to produce a new sound, or to master a new language skill.  I look forward to another great year at Tuttle working with our students.

  • Kim Ramhit

    This will be my 8th year at Tuttle, and 3rd year in my current position as a Reading Intervention Teacher. Over the years I have taught several different grade levels including 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and ESE. I’ve also worked as a Business Technology Instructor for high schoolers and adults, but elementary is definitely my favorite age to work with!

    Some fun facts about me are that I have lived in 3 different countries and 3 different US states: England (my birth place), Cayman Islands, Jamaica, New York, New Jersey, and Florida. I am also a Career Changer! Before Teaching I earned a Finance Degree, and spent several years after college, working in Banking on Wall Street. When I’m not at school, I enjoy spending quiet time with my family, reading on my kindle, listening to music (calypso is a favorite), biking, and traveling. In collaboration with my daughter (an English major and graduate of FSU), I am also writing a “Choose your own Adventure” story, where readers become a main character in a story and make choices that help determine the outcome of events! As a Reading Intervention Teacher, I am always focused on ways to engage my students in reading and writing, so I’m excited to share this experience with them once it’s done, and hope that it will give them inspiration to create their own story one day!

  • Tunde Olson

    My name is Tunde Olson. I am forever a Tuttle Turtle. As a kid growing up in Yugoslavia, I always dreamed of living in the U.S. As the political situation in Yugoslavia became unsafe, I left the country and followed my dream. I started my teaching career here at Tuttle about 20 years ago as a volunteer and became a teacher here a year later. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary education and a Master’s degree in School Guidance Counseling. I taught Kindergarten for about 6 years, and then 2nd and 3rd grade for a few years after that. For the past 6 years, I have been a Reading Recovery / Resource Teacher and have been working mainly with students and teachers in grades Kindergarten through 3rd grade.

    My husband and I have a 13-year-old son who was a Tuttle Turtle. We really enjoy traveling together as a family. We have visited a lot of places around the world, from China to much of Europe. We love to take road trips in the U.S., including this summer when we drove 10,000 miles out west and back.

  • Ahn

    Jennifer Ahn

    Hello! My name is Jennifer Ahn. I’m currently in my 19th year of teaching, 6th year at Tuttle and 13 years at Poinciana STEM Elementary Magnet, a Title 1 school in Palm Beach County. I was born in South Korea. My family and I immigrated to the United States when I was 8 years old. As an English language learner, I learned to read and write in 4th grade. 

    I graduated from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, with a B.S. in food science and biology. My first career was working as a food scientist. I used biology, chemistry, and other sciences to research, develop, and improve food products and food processes (safety, texture, flavor, color, and nutritional value).

    I love being a reading intervention teacher at Tuttle. They say teaching is a calling. For me, the calling came later in life and I’m grateful for the turn of events that lead me to become a teacher. It may be a cliché, but being able to make a difference in kids’ lives and being part of their success story has been the most rewarding part of my job!

    In my free time, I enjoy entertaining and spending time with my family and friends, cooking, traveling, reading, music, watching football, and going to the beach. My favorite teams are NY Giants and UF Gators.

  • Quintana

    Jackie Quintana-Mayo

    I am thrilled to say this is my 20th year teaching. I was born in Cuba, spend three years in Spain, and then moved to Puerto Rico, where I grew up until I moved to the United States for college. I received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology/Biology from Emory University and my master’s in education from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. I am certified to teach Special Education and Primary Education. I began my teaching career in Hillsborough County and then moved to Orange County. I have experience teaching preschool, special education and Spanish. When I am not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my husband and my two grown-up kids. We all enjoy the beach and outdoor activities. My hobbies are running, cooking, and upcycling furniture. One of my favorite quotes by Josh Shipp is “Every child is one caring adult away from being a success story.”

  • Amy Bates

    Hi, my name is Mrs. Bates. I grew up in Nebraska, where I loved spending time with my family and friends at sporting events and at school. I got my Bachelor’s Degree in teaching from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. After graduation, Mr. Bates and I moved to Japan and taught English for two years. It was a wonderful experience!

    After returning from Japan, we moved to Florida and I started teaching at Tuttle. I have been a Tuttle turtle since 2005. There’s no place I would rather be! While here at Tuttle, I earned my Master’s Degree in teaching along with my Reading Recovery certification. I have had many great jobs at Tuttle, but I especially love my current role where I get to do reading and writing with teachers and students all day long!

    Outside of school, I enjoy running, traveling, and spending time with my husband and three children. My sons are in 5th and 3rd grade at Pine View and my daughter is in Kindergarten at Tuttle. I am thankful for my family, friends, colleagues, and students!

  • Wells

    Brigette Wells

    Hello!  My name is Mrs. Wells and this is my 12th year teaching.  I graduated from USF with my bachelor’s degree in psychology and my master’s degree in Elementary K-6.  I have taught every grade level in elementary school (general education, ESE self-contained, and inclusion/resource).  I was born and raised in Sarasota and where I went to Brentwood Elementary, McIntosh Middle, and Sarasota High.  I am married to my husband Bryan for almost 10 years.  We have 3 cats that we adopted together.  We both enjoy traveling and seeing new places.