#TMASpotlight | The Master's Academy

#TMASpotlight

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We are excited to launch our new #TMASpotlight series, which will give you an inside look at some of the faculty and staff that pour into our students on a daily basis. They will be posted weekly, starting tomorrow ... be sure to follow along!

BETSY VALLERY

Betsy comes to TMA as one of our first grade teachers this year. A graduate of Rollins College and experienced educator, she said she knew immediately that TMA was where she wanted to begin the next chapter of her career.

“Everyone I meet is filled with kindness and compassion, and you can tell this campus is wrapped tightly in the arms of Jesus.”

Betsy and her husband Jason, who is also an educator and coach, have three children: Colson (11th), Jackson (8th), and Rylee (K3). She enjoys frequent Disney trips with her daughter, coaching our middle school cheerleaders, as well as running half marathons.

Her goal as a teacher this year is to “partner with The Master's Academy families to create a safe, loving Classroom Family where our children can blossom and grow in heart, body, and mind to be ready to serve the Lord.”

CHAZ BARKER

Last school year, in an effort to plan a surprise trip to Florida for his cousin’s graduation from TMA, Chaz got on our website. He was searching for the date of graduation, but what he also found was a job listing. Chaz said that God moved every hurdle to bring his family from Indiana to Florida. He began working at Master’s 5 months ago, as the Learning Support Services Director.

Chaz and his wife Danielle have one daughter, Paxton, who is two years old. They also have a dog named Espn!

You may have heard that Chaz is helping coach baseball here at TMA, but what you may not know is that he also travels around the country to play slow pitch softball. When living in Indiana, he would travel to Florida every year to play. Now that his home is here, he is afforded the luxury of playing all year long!

Chaz is a great addition to the TMA family, with a passion for providing exceptional learning support services. His goal/prayer is that “in the near future, TMA will be the premier Christian school in the country for students with learning differences.”

MACEY KRAUSE

A graduate of Southeastern University, Macey Krause joins our staff this year as Director of Student Ministries. She and her husband Kyle have been serving in student ministry, so this transition to TMA is a natural one.

“I am honored and excited to play a small part of something BIG that God is doing at TMA. I am passionate about seeing young men and women truly experience Jesus, develop who they are in Christ, and share their faith with others. I believe the Best is yet to come!”

Macey loves the beach, being with friends, and serving at her church.

When asked how she wants to impact the TMA community this year, “This year, I am believing that students will truly experience Jesus.”

MARIAH MATTINGLY

The latest #TMASpotlight is Mariah Mattingly, one of TMA's Kindergarten Teachers.

After graduating from Florida State University, Mariah, a TMA student from 1st - 10th grade, knew she wanted to come back to TMA to teach.

“TMA faculty played a huge role in building my relationship with the Lord. ...I wanted to come back to the place where I admire teachers so much and see what plan God has for me in my students’ lives.”

Not only is this Mariah’s first year teaching, but she’s excitedly preparing for her wedding in March, and she’s mom to an Australian shepherd named Moose!

Her goal for this school year: “...to follow in the steps that the Lord has planned for me this year. I would like to show the Joy of the Lord to my kids and coworkers around me.”

JERMEL JONES

This week's #TMASpotlight is Dean of Students and Head Football Coach Jermel Jones.

Coach Jones joined the TMA family as a PE Teacher and head coach three years ago. This past year, he welcomed a new role as Dean of Students where he is able to work with all TMA students and positively impact our campus.

“My goal for this year is to be the BEST Dean and Football coach TMA has ever had. I plan to do this by touching the lives of students and families every day.”

Coach Jones, together with the many dedicated coaches, players and families, has sparked a new culture and excitement surrounding our football program. The Eagles made it into the playoffs this season for the first time since 2012.

Jermel and his wife Courtney enjoy trying different restaurants, although spaghetti is his all-time favorite food! He’s also a Starbucks lover, and enjoys “a good chick-flick,” Sweet Home Alabama being his top choice.

HEATHER MCCRAW

Our latest #TMASpotlight is Lower School Music & Upper School Chorus teacher Heather McCraw.

“When words fail, music speaks.”

Heather has an extensive background in music, having toured and performed with her family all over the country since she was three, followed by involvement in music ministry ever since. As a professional singer, actor, recording artist, vocal coach, and worship leader, the experience and passion she brings to our children here at TMA is a true gift!

Heather has settled in at TMA quickly. “I am beyond blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful children and faculty every day!”

Heather’s goal for her first year at TMA is “...to bring out the performer and entertainer in every single one of my students. To encourage them to believe in themselves and tap into their God-given talent. I want to be a positive influence and beacon of hope and love for each one. AND HAVE FUN DOING IT!”

NICOLE BARCLAY & LAUREN MCLAIN

This week's #TMASpotlight is a unique combo of two TMA teachers, also sisters, who are praising God's perfect timing as they each received an extra special blessing this fall!

Nicole Barclay is a pillar of our TMA community, having just begun her 14th year of teaching here. Holding degrees in sports management and social studies education, she originally moved from Illinois to the Oviedo area through a reference from a former athletic director who she coached for in Illinois.

Married to Mike for three years now, they host one of TMA’s International students, Edward, and they just added their brand new addition, daughter Liberty (“Libby”), born in September!

If you know Nicole well, you know she has some clear passions: “I love America. I love UCLA. I love Superman...in that order.” She is also passionate about her students. “I want my students to see history as an incredible story of how God works in the lives of people. He is sovereign, and He is moving in our individual lives and in the story of America for His glory and our good.”

With her sister already teaching at TMA, Lauren McLain graduated with a degree in Physical Education/Health, she applied for a position. Nearing their wedding, Lauren and her now husband, Marc said whoever got a job first would be the place they would move. 2 weeks before they married Lauren interviewed and got the job here!

In the 9 years she’s been here, not only did she and Marc marry, but their family expanded to two dogs, Meatloaf and Hoagie, and now their precious miracle, daughter Spencer!

While she claims to be “so boring”, she does enjoy trying new foods, baking, and hanging out with family. Oh, and not only was she a college softball player, she can also sing!
Exodus 14:14 is a favorite of Lauren’s: “The Lord will fight for you, you need only be still.”

“My goal is for my students to see God’s glory and be in wonder of His works. God has done such a work in my life over the past 5 years; going through infertility, being told I would never have children of my own, and being blessed with our little girl. I want my kiddos to see that God is in the business of miracles! When my students leave, I want them to know more than just academic content; I want them to walk out with a greater understanding of who our God is!”

NICK TURCO

This #TMASpotlight is Mr. Nick Turco, Lower School STEAM Lab Teacher. In his fourth year at TMA, Mr. Turco has the joy of working with our LS students as they explore the disciplines of science, technology, engineering art and math through hands-on, project-based learning.
He originally came to TMA because he believes that TMA offers its teachers the freedom and flexibility to be creative in developing lessons that best meet the learning needs of our students.
Nick and his wife Jamie, parents to Wren (age 3) and son, Kai, (infant), hope to one day be able to take their kids to some of their favorite places they’ve visited, including Japan, western Europe, and up and down the west coast of the USA.
As he approaches this school year, his goal is to continue to help students gain the skills needed to conquer real world problems from a biblical worldview. He believes that we were put on this earth to reach others for Christ, and our education can be a powerful tool to do this.