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!
I join the McIntosh Area Charter School family with vast experience and knowledge in education that I am excited to share with the students, staff, and community here at MAS. Go EAGLES!
Prior to my career in education, I was a successful RealEstate Broker in Georgia and was able to own a Real Estate development company with my husband and build a small community. As it had always been my lifelong dream to be in education, I decided to leave the world of real estate and follow my passions in education. I knew I wanted to be in administration, but also with my knowledge gained from real estate through marketing, educating the community, and managing the business, I knew the importance of knowing the roles of the varying aspects of the education positions. I was dedicated to place myself in a multitude of positions to gain an understanding firsthand of what my teachers and staff would experience prior to becoming their administrator. I have proudly taught students in grades 1st through 6th grade in all subjects, including elective classes, MTSS school coordinator, CRT K-8 (Curriculum specialist/Teacher Coach/Admin), and Testing coordinator. I have been involved in many schools ranging in size from 300 students to almost 2000 students. I have opened two schools and piloted new models of teaching, including new collaborative style teachings achieving increased state test scores. I strongly believe in maintaining communication with parents/guardians and students coupled with differentiated instruction to meet the needs of the students, while using data to guide our pathways. Building partnerships with students, families, staff, and community members is a key element in our students’ success and I am looking forward to being a part of the partnership this year and for years to come. Thank you for partnering with us to SOAR to new heights with your child’s education! Together we can and will SUCCEED!
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 am excited to join MAS this year! This is my fourth year in education, I have taught multiple grade levels in the past including 2nd grade, 6th grade, 7th grade, as well as MTSS coordinator K-5. I strongly believe in embracing the whole child in the learning process and differentiating instruction based on their specific learning needs. Collaboration and technology paired with teacher facilitation is at the backbone of instruction in my classes. “Game’ based and student driven tasks up the engagement and overall learning in the class. These practices have yielded terrific results that more often than not exceed students' own expectations of what they can achieve and thus result in us having to step up our next learning goal. In my class we are always celebrating each other as we focus on “progress over perfection”; because quite frankly perfection would be boring. When I am not at school or preparing lessons for my students, you will typically find me spending time with one of my pets. I have an adorable Cocker Spaniel Teddy, a Ragdoll cat Clifford named after “Clifford the Big Red Dog”, and three parrots: Sherlock, Salem and Merlin. I may also be found reading another book. I love reading and hope to pass on my love for literature to all the students here at MAS!
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.