• Stephanie Watson


    Stephanie is the Founder and Director of Vero Beach Academy. She has a passion for helping students succeed academically and strives to provide an educational atmosphere where each child can thrive.

    She was a public school teacher before starting a local tutoring company and homework center here in Vero Beach. Realizing the need for a co-op that bridged the gap between traditional education and homeschooling, Vero Beach Academy was born!   

    Stephanie has a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tennessee. She is certified to teach all subject areas Kindergarten through 6th grade and specializes in reading through 8th grade.


    Co-op Administrator

    Samantha's role as Elementary Administrator is to effectively impact the instructional practices of the teachers and parents at Vero Beach Academy. Her goal is to support students and teachers on their journey through the school year.  

    Samantha has a Bachelor's of Science in Elementary Education and has been an elementary teacher for 15 years, including teaching Kindergarten at Vero Beach Academy prior to joining the Admin Team.  She has also been involved in curriculum and teacher development as a math coach in the public schools before joining the VBA family.

  • BEverly Karas

    Office Manager

    Bev has been teaching for over 25 years and brings incredible experience to Vero Beach Academy. For ten years, she taught in a successful community school which gives her the knowledge to guide the staff and parents toward success!

    Mrs. Karas has a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Florida Southern University. She is an encourager and loves to build the kids up in the areas in which they are growing. She has been with Vero Beach Academy since it's inception in 2015. 

  • Diane Hawkins

    Educational Support Specialist

    Diane Hawkins has been an educator for 34 years. Diane has a Master’s Degree from Nova Southeastern University and is a Florida state certified in Educational Administration, Middle School Integrated Curriculum, English 6-12th grade, and elementary school K-6. She has taught in public and private schools and trained teachers as a Clinical Educator. She was a Fulbright teacher to Japan and Teacher of the Year for Indian River County!

    Mrs. Hawkins will assist with the overall operation of the co-op. From training teachers and parents, to assisting with academics and students’ personal growth, each person is valued and supported. She truly believes that those who love teaching teach students to love learning.

  • Danielle Prue

    Pre-K  Teacher

    Danielle is a very enthusiastic teacher and her goal is to challenge and engage students through hands on learning and a positive environment. She encourages them to reach their potential and help build their confidence. 

    In her classroom, learning comes alive through lots of fun and educational songs and games. As Danielle returns for her 8th year teaching at Vero Beach Academy, she looks forward to working closely with parents to help her students feel loved, safe, and excited to learn!

  • Kierstin Parker


    Kierstin Parker is excited to be joining the VBA family as our Kindergarten teacher. She strives to provide meaningful and engaging learning experiences for each student in her class. 

    She has a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education with her ESOL and Reading Endorsement. Kiersten is certified to teach K-6 in the state of Florida. 

    As she joins the VBA family, Kierstin looks forward to creating a positive classroom environment full of new learning adventures! Her caring personality and sweet disposition will be the perfect fit for your new Kindergartener this year!

  • Katie Sweigard

    1st GRADE

    Katie Sweigard comes to VBA with 7 years of certified teaching experience in private and public schools as well as 8 years of homeschool teaching experience with her own children.

    She has a Bachelor's in Elementary Education and is certified to teach in K-6 in the state of Florida. 

    She looks forward to engaging your 1st graders in fun activities and learning experiences all year long.

  • Carol David

    2nd Grade

    Carol has over 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher, reading coach and school administrator.  She has a true passion for working with young learners.  She incorporates various teaching methods to adapt to each student’s needs.  She creates a risk-free environment, full of resources and opportunities. 


    Carol has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Augustana College, a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Florida Atlantic University and a specialization in ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages).

    Her unique way to connect with each student makes Mrs. David a great 2nd grade teacher at VBA!

  • Ashley Rebman

    3rd Grade

    Ashley Rebman is excited to return to Vero Beach Academy as the 3rd grade teacher.  As a lifelong learner, her goal is to instill a love of learning in her students. She desires to celebrate every learner!

    She has a B.S. in Primary and Elementary Education.  She has been the 3rd and 4th grade teacher at VBA for the past 2 years and has 10 years of experience with preschool through fourth grade in Christian education.  Additionally, she has volunteered in Children’s Ministry and public elementary schools for over 20 years.

    She is looking forward to working alongside the parents, students, and staff to create an environment where the children are loved and excited to learn!

  • Roni Rose

    4th GRADE

    Roni Rose has been working in education for over 20 years. She has a B.A. in Elementary Education and Psychology and is working towards a master’s degree in Industrial Psychology from FIT. 

    Roni is a mother of 5 children, ranging from 3 and half to 29 and a new grandma to two baby boys. In addition, Roni enjoys being on the water, spending time with her family and DIY projects.

    She loves teaching and excels in creating a warm, welcoming environment for her students. 

  • Mary Elin Barr

    5th GRADE

    Mary Elin Barr has been teaching for over 20 years. She has spent her educational career in Indian River County teaching at Sebastian River Middle School.  

    Mary Elin looks forward to using various teaching strategies to get to know and engage her students.  She loves painting and music and hopes to incorporate them into some of the curriculum, when appropriate. With her experience in Middle School, she will be a great person to prepare students for next year!

    She has an M.S. in Recreation Leisure & Geriatrics from FSU; a B.S. in Behavioral Psychology and an Elementary Certification, from the State University College of New York @ Geneseo.  She is certified to teach Elementary Education 1-6; Middle School 6-9; ESOL; ESE and Reading Endorsed for grades 1-12.  She loves working with students and helping them find their unique strengths to be successful. 

  • Carol Kapostasy

    Middle School - Science/Social Studies

    Carol Kapostasy (or Mrs. K for short) is excited to return to Vero Beach Academy as the Middle School Science and Social Studies teacher. Her bubbly and warm personality creates a welcoming classroom environment.  She seeks to find ways to precisely meet the individual needs of her students.  

    She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Notre Dame College of Ohio with both a Bachelors and Masters degree in Education. She is certified to teach all subjects 1st through 8th grade and has earned the distinction of Master Teacher and Highly Qualified Teacher.

    Along with teaching middle school in Ohio for 24 years, she has also tutored students in writing and reading through college. Mrs. K is committed to working with each child to foster a love of learning, to reach his or her potential, and become a lifelong learner!

  • KristEn Drinnon

    MIDDLE SCHOOL - English/Language Arts

    Kristen Drinnon graduated with her undergraduate degree and a Master of Arts degree in teaching English from Bob Jones University. She has over 17 years experience teaching English / Language Arts in Christian school, public school, homeschool, and virtually.

    Kristen looks forward to helping students excel in their writing while improving their grammatical skills and becoming better, more discerning readers. 

  • Holly Bailey

    MIDDLE SCHOOL - Bible/Mathematics

    Holly was once a struggling math student in junior high.  Through patience and perseverance, she went on to realize that she wasn’t bad at math, she was just still learning! She was able to earn academic scholarships which took her to the University of Rhode Island earning a double major in Civil Engineering and German. She worked in the engineering field for several years before switching to teaching. 

    Now, she is a certified 6th-12th grade Math teacher and joins the VBA family with lots of experience including: Indian River Charter High school, Sebastian Charter Junior High School: Virtual School. She’s also a veteran homeschool mom of 3! 

    Holly’s classroom will be full of real-world experiences and project based learning to allow each Middle School student to gain insight about where math can take them!