Meet the Team
Our team of experienced educators is dedicated to providing children with meaningful, joyful learning experiences.
Click on their titles below to learn more!
What Tiffany thinks is WONDERful:
every new day
Tiffany Thenor is the co-owner and co-founder of WonderHere. After graduating from Southeastern University with her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, she taught in a Title 1 School for 7 years before her passion for education and strong desire to see learning done differently led her on the path to launching WonderHere with her best friend, Jessica. Tiffany focuses on leading our in-person programs alongside Program Director Teresa Encarnacion and Farm Director Karrie Tidlund.
Married to her college crush, Jeffrey, together they have three wonderful and busy little ones: Jeremiah, Ezra, and Tahlia. When she isn’t writing curriculum, blogging, or leading her team at WonderHere; she is decorating, homeschooling her children, exploring, and writing just for fun. Everything she does and everything she is is for the Lord and she is grateful for every day that she is here to serve her community.
What Jessica thinks is WONDERful:
tacos and friends
Jessica Zivkovich is co-owner and co-founder of WonderHere. She has over 10 years of teaching experience, as well as her Bachelor’s in Exceptional Student Education and Master’s in Reading Education from Southeastern University. She also carries teaching endorsements in reading education and ESOL. Her favorite part of WonderHere is seeing kids’ eyes light up when they’re learning, and also getting to be in community with some amazing families. She truly considers it to be a dream come true. Jessica focuses on leading our online community, curriculum development, and marketing.
Jessica is married to her college sweetheart, George, and has two sweet sons – Evan and Louie – and a furry Labradoodle named Henry. In her downtime, she enjoys reading fiction books, writing on her blog, spending time on her family’s farm, and simply being with the people she loves.
What Teresa thinks is WONDERful:
reading on a rainy day
Teresa Encarnacion has been a part of the WonderHere community from the very beginning. She began as a WonderHere mom, then was hired as our Nursery and Enrichment Instructor, and was finally promoted to be our much needed Program Director, a role she has been serving diligently in for the last two years. Teresa’s mission is to help WonderHere programs run smoothly with high levels of communication and care.
Her family is comprised of her husband of 17 years, Edwin, and two teenagers, Jeremiah and Nevaeh. She is our resident bookworm, and her favorite things are movie marathons, theme parks, and, of course, reading.
What Karrie thinks is WONDERful:
When Karrie Tidlund is not caring for the farm animals, she is leading our Farm Team and Programs like Toddler Farm School, The Outdoor Classroom, Wilderness Workshop, and more!
Karrie grew up on a farm and has been working with animals and gardens her entire life. She has an Associate’s degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Integrative Studies, as well as around 15 years of experience working with children. She has a great passion for teaching people how to connect with nature.
Her favorites: gardening, unsweet tea, movies (not scary), mystery books, lemon meringue pie, and the outdoors. Fun Fact: Her goal is to be able to ride her bike to work.
What Corey thinks is WONDERful:
being near water
Hello! I’m Mrs. Corey! I’ve taught at WonderHere for one year, but my family has been a part of the WonderHere community for over 4 years. I have been married to my husband for 5 years and we have 2 boys Eli and Hudson. I previously taught VPK for 7 years before becoming a stay-at-home mom. I have my DCF 40 Hours certification and Child Development Associate.
Hello! My name is Sam. I graduated from Western Governors University with a Bachelor’s in Educational Studies. I have taught in early childhood, and middle school, and run after-school programs for elementary school. My child has attended the Wonder Here Farm Workshops and I am excited to be starting as a Minis’ teacher this year! I look forward to providing engaging opportunities for students to learn social-emotional skills and grow in their love of learning.
What Ali thinks is WONDERful: adventuring
My name is Alexandra Dennis, I will be going by Miss Ali. This is my first year with Wonderhere and I couldn’t be more excited! Previously, I taught kindergarten for 5 years in a title one school that received many refugee students! I absolutely loved learning about all the cultures that came through my classroom! I graduated from the University of Utah in Elementary Education with a minor in Human Development and Family Studies, I also received my ESL endorsement! My family and I are from Salt Lake City, Utah and we just moved to Lakeland two years ago! I have two kiddos, Lola is 2 and Wyatt is 5, they will also be attending Wonderhere! For fun, my family and I love to be outdoors! I love to hike, go to the beach, be in the mountains, and just go on adventures! We love to bring our two big dogs on these adventures as well!
What Amanda thinks is WONDERful:
quiet and cookies
Amanda has been a part of WonderHere since its inception. She has worn many hats throughout her time in our community, including Instructor, Events Coordinator, and Schoolhouse Director. This year, she will be returning to the classroom as one of our two Primary Teachers. Amanda is a highly experienced and passionate teacher who has a background in Montessori education.
Amanda has been married to her college sweetheart Dimitri for 10 years and has four boys – Cameron, Easton, Brayden, and Rylen. She enjoys baking, running, spending time with family, and adventuring with her boys.
What Caroline thinks is WONDERful:
sunshine on a cloudy day
Hello! My name is Caroline Mendez and I am going into my 5th year as an instructor at WonderHere. I absolutely love working with the students here and am excited for the new opportunities that will be afforded to us at the farm! It is a joy to see the students learn and grow, and I am grateful to be a part of it! I live in Lakeland with my husband Alvin and our children, Caleb and Charlotte. We enjoy spending time together as a family outside, visiting Florida springs, reading, and going for bike rides. One of my favorite places to be is Black and Brew at the Lake Morton Library. Welcome back to my returning families and welcome to the new! I very much look forward to connecting with you and partnering with you in your child’s education.
What Laura thinks in WONDERful:
a mountainside with a lake
Welcome to a new school year! I am Ms. Laura and this year is my 20th year in education, and my second year at WonderHere. I have my Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, and I am certified for K-6th education plus an ESOL endorsement. I was born in Texas and the second of five children. My husband of 42 years, Bruce, and I have two grown children and two wonderful grandchildren. We also live with two rescued fur babies, Lillie and Molly.
Favorites: Pets: Dogs and cats • Treat: Ice -Cream • Hobby: Gardening and Baking • Candy: Chocolates and Skittles • Fast Food: Panera Bread • Color: Purple and Yellow • Flower: Tulips • Season: Fall • Book: Charlotte’s Web • Spare Time: Road trips, Fire Pits with S’mores and spending time with family.
Before spending the last few years mom-ing with my two girls, Mia (age 4) and Gabi (age 1), I taught fifth grade for five years. I’m married to my high school sweetheart, Chris. Along with our daughters, we love weekend trips around Florida, boating, and spending quiet days at home with our pup, Cash.
Leadership Cohort Instrcutor
What Sarina thinks is WONDERful:
Free Little Libraries
I love reading, fiction books especially, but writing is my first love. I spend all my money on Amazon and at Hobby Lobby on random project materials because I’d rather make it than buy it. I have a son, whom I call squishy because he’s a hefty boy. I have two cats and a husband. I’m really bad at cooking dinner unless it’s some version of a chipotle bowl. I love mowing my lawn and the way trees look before it rains. My favorite animal is an alligator because they’re basically dinosaurs mixed with cats. I believe all food is technically a version of pizza. I am an enneagram 4, and there’s nothing better in this world than watching people pursue their passions. I have my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and my Temporary Teaching Certificate in English Grades 6-12.
My name is Beatriz Orellana. My family is my husband, my 3 children, 3 dogs and 2 cats. We all came together to the United States from Chile, in December 2021. I have been a family psychologist since 2001. I specialize in family therapy with children in early childhood. This year I started to teach Spanish, and I love work with kids.
I am a Chai tea latte-drinking, book-loving, service dog training volunteer; who enjoys art, nature, organizing, and helping her community. Originally born in South Africa, I moved to Canada as a young child and then relocated with my four children and husband to Florida. I have always enjoyed learning about different cultures and traveling. I am a homeschooling mom with over seven years’ experience, my beautiful kids and I have helped facilitate various community service projects for our community and 4H Club to participate in.
I believe the greatest thing we can teach our children is that they are: Loved with an Everlasting Love, to help others and have a deep passion for learning. I love meeting people, learning new things, and I am excited and humbled to be working at Wonderhere.
Monday School Instructor
Hi! My name is Sarah Holland and I am starting my fourth year of teaching in Lakeland! I absolutely love being outside, spending time with family, and taking care of my son, Jack. I have experience teaching first through sixth grade in both private school and Montessori settings. I am so excited to be a part of the WonderHere family, and I cannot wait to explore and learn with my students! It’s going to be a great year!
I have 24+ years of teaching experience in Special Education and tutoring at Sylvan Learning Center.
I enjoy working with kids of all ages and finding their strengths to help them become successful in whatever they do.
Hi! My name is Ciara. I’m a mother of 2, the oldest of 4, and have loved being a private nanny for several years. This is my first year at WonderHere. I am honored to get to care for the toddlers in the nursery this year!!
What Alena finds WONDERful: Our family that God has created and chosen each child to be a member of.
Alena is married to Scott and mom of 7 adopted children aged 5 to 21! She is full-time caregiver to Tyler (age 5) who has a rare genetic disorder, FoxG1 Syndrome.
In a past life (20 years ago), she had a hobby farm with over 80 chickens and 6 pigs!
Looking for a fun way to get out of the house and make a little money, she joined WonderHere as a farm hand. It has been a joy of hers to teach her boys how to catch a hen when they don’t want to go in the henhouse at night!
ETHICS & CODE OF CONDUCT
The requirements of ethical conduct for school administrators, instructional personnel, and educational support employees are as follows:
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As a representative of the school, personnel and administrators and educational support employees must demonstrate and uphold standards of ethical conduct both in and outside of the classroom. WonderHere Education Foundation employees have a duty, at all times, to abide by the following:
According to the Code of Ethics of the Education Profession in Florida (Rule 6B-1.001, F.A.C.):
The educator values the worth and dignity of every person, the pursuit of truth, devotion to excellence, acquisition of knowledge, and the nurture of democratic citizenship. Essential to the achievement of these standards are the freedom to learn and to teach and the guarantee of equal opportunity for all.
The educator’s primary professional concern will always be for the student and for the development of the student’s potential. The educator will therefore strive for professional growth and will seek to exercise the best professional judgment and integrity.
Aware of the importance of maintaining the respect and confidence of one’s colleagues, of students, of parents, and of other members of the community, the educator strives to achieve and sustain the highest degree of ethical conduct.
According to the Principles of Professional Conduct for the Education Profession in Florida (Rule 6B-1.006, F.A.C.):
Obligation to the student requires that the individual:
- Shall make reasonable effort to protect the student from conditions harmful to learning and/or to the student’s mental and/or physical health and/or safety.
- Shall not unreasonably restrain a student from independent action in pursuit of learning.
- Shall not unreasonably deny a student access to diverse points of view.
- Shall not intentionally suppress or distort subject matter relevant to a student’s academic program.
- Shall not intentionally expose a student to unnecessary embarrassment or disparagement.
- Shall not intentionally violate or deny a student’s legal rights.
- Shall not harass or discriminate against any student on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, marital status, handicapping condition, sexual orientation, or social and family background and shall make reasonable effort to assure that each student is protected from harassment or discrimination.
- Shall not exploit a relationship with a student for personal gain or advantage.
- Shall keep in confidence personally identifiable information obtained in the course of professional service, unless disclosure serves professional purposes or is required by law.
Obligation to the public requires that the individual:
- Shall take reasonable precautions to distinguish between personal views and those of any educational institution or organization with which the individual is affiliated.
- Shall not intentionally distort or misrepresent facts concerning an educational matter in direct or indirect public expression.
- Shall not use institutional privileges for personal gain or advantage.
- Shall accept no gratuity, gift, or favor that might influence professional judgment.
- Shall offer no gratuity, gift, or favor to obtain special advantages.
Obligation to the profession of education requires that the individual:
- Shall maintain honesty in all professional dealings.
- Shall not on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, marital status, handicapping condition if otherwise qualified, or social and family background deny to a colleague professional benefits or advantages or participation in any professional organization.
- Shall not interfere with a colleague’s exercise of political or civil rights and responsibilities.
- Shall not engage in harassment or discriminatory conduct which unreasonably interferes with an individual’s performance of professional or work responsibilities or with the orderly processes of education or which creates a hostile, intimidating, abusive, offensive, or oppressive environment; and, further, shall make reasonable effort to assure that each individual is protected from such harassment or discrimination.
- Shall not make malicious or intentionally false statements about a colleague.
- Shall not use coercive means or promise special treatment to influence professional judgments of colleagues.
- Shall not misrepresent one’s own professional qualifications.
- Shall not submit fraudulent information on any document in connection with professional activities.
- Shall not make any fraudulent statement or fail to disclose a material fact in one’s own or another’s application for a professional position.
- Shall not withhold information regarding a position from an applicant or misrepresent an assignment or conditions of employment.
- Shall provide upon the request of the certificated individual a written statement of specific reason for recommendations that lead to the denial of increments, significant changes in employment, or termination of employment.
- Shall not assist entry into or continuance in the profession of any person known to be unqualified in accordance with these Principles of Professional Conduct for the Education Profession in Florida and other applicable Florida Statutes and State Board of Education Rules.
- Shall self-report within forty-eight (48) hours to appropriate authorities any arrests/charges involving the abuse of a child or the sale and/or possession of a controlled substance. Such notice shall not be considered an admission of guilt nor shall such notice be admissible for any purpose in any proceeding, civil or criminal, administrative or judicial, investigatory or adjudicatory. In addition, shall self-report any conviction, finding of guilt, withholding of adjudication, commitment to a. pretrial diversion program, or entering of a plea of guilty or Nolo Contendre for any criminal offense other than a minor traffic violation within forty-eight (48) hours after the final judgment. When handling sealed and expunged records disclosed under this rule, school districts shall comply with the confidentiality provisions of Sections 943.0585(4)(c) and 943.059(4)(c), Florida Statutes.
- Shall report to appropriate authorities any known allegation of a violation of the Florida School Code or State Board of Education Rules as defined in Section 1012.795(1), Florida Statutes.
- Shall seek no reprisal against any individual who has reported any allegation of a violation of the Florida School Code or State Board of Education Rules as defined in Section1012.795(1), Florida Statutes.
- Shall comply with the conditions of an order of the Education Practices Commission.
- Shall, as the supervising administrator, cooperate with the Education Practice Commission in monitoring the probation of a subordinate.
Administration and employees agree to abide by all school policies and procedures with steadfast adherence to the following:
Immediately report known or suspected child abuse or neglect to the Florida Department of Children and Families Toll-Free Hotline (1-800-96-ABUSE).
In accordance with section 39.201, Florida Statutes, any person who knows, or has reasonable cause to suspect, that a child is abused, abandoned, or neglected by a parent, legal custodian, caregiver, or other person responsible for the child’s welfare, or that a child is in need of supervision and care and has no parent, legal custodian, or responsible adult relative immediately known and available to provide supervision and care shall report such knowledge or suspicion to the Department of Children and Families (DCF) Central Abuse Hotline at 1-800-96-ABUSE.
Instructional personnel and school administrators or educational support employees may report such information to DCF in unison, but reporting to another school employee does not fulfill the legal obligation to report to DCF.
A person who is required by statute to report known or suspected abuse or neglect and fails to do so, is subject to disciplinary action by the employer, by the State Department of Education and/or through criminal prosecution.
In section 39.01(2), Florida Statutes, the term “Abuse” means any willful act or threatened act that results in any physical, mental, or sexual injury or harm that causes or is likely to cause the child’s physical, mental, or emotional health to be significantly impaired. Abuse of a child includes acts or omissions. Corporal discipline of a child by a parent or legal custodian for disciplinary purposes does not in itself constitute abuse when it does not result in harm to the child.
In section 39.01(44), Florida Statutes, an act of “Neglect” occurs when a child is deprived of, or is allowed to be deprived of, necessary food, clothing, shelter, or medical treatment or a child is permitted to live in an environment when such deprivation or environment causes the child’s physical, mental, or emotional health to be significantly impaired or to be in danger of being significantly impaired.
In section 39.01(47), Florida Statutes, “Other person responsible for a child’s welfare” includes the child’s legal guardian or foster parent; an employee of any school, public or private child day care center, residential home, institution, facility, or agency; a law enforcement officer employed in any facility, service, or program for children that is operated or contracted by the Department of Juvenile Justice; or any other person legally responsible for the child’s welfare in a residential setting; and also includes an adult sitter or relative entrusted with a child’s care.
In accordance with section 39.203, Florida Statutes, any person who reports in good faith any instance of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect to the Department of Children and Families or any law enforcement agency, shall be immune from any civil or criminal liability which might otherwise result by reason of such action.
Immediately report to the administration designee any alleged misconduct that affects the health, safety or welfare of a student, by other instructional personnel or school administrators or educational support employees.
In accordance with section 1012.795(1)(b) Florida Statutes, any instructional personnel or school administrator must report alleged misconduct that affects the health, safety or welfare of a student by instructional personnel or school administrators. If instructional personnel or school administrators have knowledge of a violation of section 1012.795 or the Principles of Professional Conduct or the district code of conduct, designated employees shall immediately report the nature of the misconduct to the district designee.
The administrative designees are TIFFANY THENOR and JESSICA ZIVKOVICH.
Instructional personnel or school administrators or educational support employees who fail to report misconduct of other instructional personnel or school administrators that affect the health, safety or welfare of students shall be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment and revocation of their Florida Educator Certificate.
Prohibition of Bullying and Harassment
All students and school employees have the right to an educational setting that is safe, secure, and free from harassment and bullying of any kind. The district will not tolerate bullying and harassment of any type.
Conduct that constitutes bullying and/or harassment, as defined by district policy and section 1006.147, Florida Statutes, are prohibited.
Bullying means systematically and chronically inflicting physical hurt or psychological distress on one or more students and may involve but is not limited to:
- Social Exclusion
- Physical violence
- Sexual, religious, or racial harassment
- Public humiliation
- Destruction of property
Harassment means any threatening, insulting, or dehumanizing gesture, use of data or computer software, or written, verbal, or physical conduct directed against a student or school employee that:
- Places a student or school employee in reasonable fear of harm to his or her person or damage to his or her property;
- Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s educational performance, opportunities, or benefits;or
- Has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of a school.
Bullying and Harassment also include:
Retaliation against a student or school employee by another student or school employee for asserting or alleging an act of bullying or harassment. Reporting an act of bullying or harassment that is not made in good faith is considered retaliation.
Perpetuation of conduct listed in paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) by an individual or group with intent to demean, dehumanize, embarrass, or cause physical harm to a student or school employee by:
- Incitement or coercion;
- Accessing or knowingly causing or providing access to data or computer software through a computer, computer system, or computer network within the scope of the district school system; or
- Acting in a manner that has an effect substantially similar to the effect of bullying or harassment.
All employees shall abide by the school district’s policy on prohibiting discrimination. No person shall, on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, age, marital status, disability, political or religious beliefs, national or ethnic origin, or sexual orientation, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity, or in any employment conditions or practices conducted by this school district, except as provided by law.
Confidentiality Agreement Prohibited
In accordance with section 1001.42(6), Florida Statutes, neither the school board nor any employee of the school board may enter into a confidentiality agreement, written or verbal, with an instructional personnel or school administrator who resigns, is terminated, or resigns in lieu of termination due to allegations, in whole or in part, of misconduct related to the health safety or welfare of a student. Any part of an agreement that has the purpose or effect of concealing misconduct which affects the health, safety or welfare of a student is void and contrary to public policy and shall not be enforced.
In accordance with section 1001.42(6), Florida Statutes, neither the school board nor any employee of the school board may provide instructional personnel or school administrators with employment references or discuss their performance with prospective employers from another educational setting without also disclosing the personnel’s or administrator’s misconduct.
In accordance with section 768.095, Florida Statutes, an employer who discloses information about a former or current employee to a prospective employer of the former or current employee upon request of the prospective employer or of the former or current employee is immune from civil liability for such disclosure or its consequences unless it is shown by clear and convincing evidence that the information disclosed by the former or current employer was knowingly false or violated any civil right of the former or current employee protected under chapter 760, Florida Statutes.
Alcohol and Drug Free Workplace
No employee shall possess, consume, sell, distribute, dispense, use or be under the influence of any alcoholic beverage in the workplace. No employee shall possess, consume, inject or ingest, sell, manufacture, distribute, dispense, use or be under the influence of, on or off the job, or in the workplace, including all school sponsored events that may be on or off school grounds, any narcotic drug, amphetamine, barbiturate, marijuana or any other controlled substance, as defined in the Controlled Substances Act and as further defined by regulations at 21 CFR 12001.11 through 1300.15 or Florida Statutes Chapter 893, without a lawful prescription. As a condition of employment, each employee will abide by the terms of this policy and notify the Superintendent of any arrest for a criminal drug offense within 48 hours.
Reasonable Suspicion Tests
As a condition of continued employment, current employees shall submit to drug screening when reasonable suspicion exists to believe that an employee is using a substance that is impairing the employee and/or his or her job performance.
Perform duties in a competent manner
Continuing evaluation of instructional and administrative staff is necessary to enable the school to monitor the effectiveness and competence of instructional and administrative staff members and to assist them in the improvement of their professional performance. In accordance with section 1012.34, Florida Statutes, the performance and capacity of instructional and administrative staff shall be evaluated by school administration on a regular basis.
Conflicts of Interest
No employee shall engage in conduct, which creates a conflict of interest. A conflict of interest shall be defined as a situation in which regard for a private interest tends to lead to disregard of an interested relevant to WonderHere Education Foundation as determined by the administration.
In accordance with sections 1003.32, 1006.11 and 1012.75, Florida Statues, reasonable force, as defined by State Board of Education Rule, may be used by school personnel in order to maintain a safe learning environment.
Acceptable Use of School Property and Resources
All employees shall use school resources, electronic and otherwise, only for duties and activities in support of the educational goals and policies of the school. Use of such resources, electronic and otherwise, for purposes not related to the educational goals and policies of the school can result in adverse action against the employee, up to and including termination and, when appropriate, certification action and/or criminal charges.
Except as provided in sections 790.115, 790.06, and 1006.12, Florida Statutes, the School prohibits all staff from possessing, storing, making, or using a weapon in any setting that is under the control and supervision of the school including, but not limited to, property leased, owned, or contracted by the school, or a school-sponsored event. (A weapon and examples thereof are as defined school policy.)
All instructional staff and school administrators shall be physically clean, neat and well-groomed and shall dress in a manner consistent with being a professional.
Tobacco Use in School Facilities
All use of tobacco products in any form are prohibited in or on any school-owned building, facility or property.
Electronic Communications and Social Networking Sites
Instructional Personnel and School Administrators shall use caution and good judgment when using electronic communications and social networking sites. Any information relayed to students via electronic communications shall be professional in nature and related to a student’s academic progress. Any information posted to or communicated through a social networking site shall not bring disfavor, embarrassment or condemnation to the employee, student or school.
All instructional personnel and school administrators and educational support employees must engage in annual training on the standards of ethical conduct and the policy for reporting misconduct. Training may be provided or conducted as determined appropriate by the school, but at a minimum must include examples of violations of the Code of Ethics and Principles of Professional Conduct and potential penalties, information on how to properly identify and report child abuse or neglect, procedures on how to report misconduct of other instructional personnel and school administrators, requirements of self-reporting criminal charges, the nature and consequences of disqualifying offenses, the importance of being a role model, and the fiduciary responsibility of being an educator.
Reports to the Office of Professional Practices Services (DOE)
Any violation of these standards of conduct may result in the information being reported to the Office of Professional Practices Services for investigation to determine if disciplinary action should be taken against an educator’s Florida Educator Certificate.