I come to MAS with over 40 years of diverse education and administration experience in both general and special education fields. I’ve been a School Principal of non-public Schools in New York and South Carolina working with children from preschool to 12th grade for the last 18 years. Before serving as an administrator of schools, I was a Special Education teacher in the early childhood field for 11 years. I have also had the privilege to be the Director of two inclusive preschool programs and early childhood centers. Prior to relocating to Florida from upstate New York, I was the Director of Education for the ARC Jefferson-St Lawrence NY providing learning opportunities for people with disabilities.
While in New York, I was the Principal of three elementary and middle schools and two K-12 special education residential schools. Specifically, I was the Principal of St. Jude School, a preschool, elementary and middle school program within the Archdiocese of New York serving New York City inner city students with diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds in Pre-K- through 8th Grade. I was also Principal of Trinity Catholic School in Oswego, NY for 12 years serving children from Pre-K to 6th grade. While in South Carolina, I was the Principal of Summerville Catholic School, an elementary and middle school program serving 200 students from preschool through 8th grade within the Diocese of Charleston.
I believe in establishing positive and supportive relationships with our students, parents, and staff and am fully committed to providing every student with the resources and opportunities necessary to grow and develop to their fullest potential. I would like to thank you for entrusting your child into our care and I look forward to working with you to help your child SOAR!
My name is Candace Stephens. I get to help out all of our great families, because I am the Principal’s Administration Assistant at McIntosh Area School. I have worked here since 2017. While I get to wear many hats as most of our staff does, I also have a student here at MAS. I am a fourth generation resident of Marion County and graduated from North Marion High School where I was involved in the Art, Drama and FFA Clubs. For over 20 years I have raised 5 children, taken care of my Grandparents, and been involved in a 4H Club, a homeroom mom and PTO President. I enjoy spending time with family and friends either playing out on the water or at the golf course.
I was born & raised in Puerto Rico. My mother is a retired English teacher whom I admire & love dearly. My dad is an Army Veteran who is everyone’s best friend. I went to the University of Puerto Rico & graduated with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts Secondary Education with a Specialty in Theater. After graduating, I moved to New York & lived there 14 years where I was a Theater teacher for 2 years with the New York Department of Education. I’ve also taught Theater & Puppetry for 2 more years at Elementary level in public afterschool programs of NYC. I was a 2nd & 3rdgrade teacher at Palm Grove Academy here in Ocala. We accomplished so much in all academic areas, especially in English Language Arts, Math & Science, and I love to incorporate the arts in every subject since I strongly believe that the arts help motivate students. Teaching is an absolute passion of mine and I’m so excited to be working with you and your child as their 2nd grade teacher. It’s going to be a year full of fun, learning, experiments, arts, purpose, adventures and above all, academic achievement.
My name is Bethany Bates, and I am the 4th and 5th grade teacher at McIntosh Area School. Prior to coming to McIntosh, I taught 6th - 12th grade English at the Pace Center for Girls and taught high school English at South Tech Academy. Along with nine years of teaching experience, I have trained with Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes and traveled to Australia with People-to-People Student Ambassadors as a teacher leader. My non-teaching experience includes marketing/communications, business development, and office management for a variety of organizations. I graduated from Palm Beach Atlantic University and their Honors Program with a Bachelor of Arts in English. In my first few years as a teacher, I completed a Transition to Teaching Program at Palm Beach State College. I live in Gainesville with my two pugs, Vixen and Lilly, and my beagle mix (pug-at-heart), Lucky. All my dogs have been rescues and they have made my house a home.