High School Foundations Teacher
Christina Blackmon holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from St. Thomas University in Miami and a master’s degree in reading and literacy. With nine years in the education field, Christina joined Atlantis Academy Coral Springs two years ago to teach our high school students. Her favorite subjects to teach are English and writing, and, when not teaching, she enjoys spending time reading.
Physical Education Teacher
Tyler Cotton has taught Physical Education at Atlantis Academy for five years. A resident of Florida for nearly 10 years, Tyler enjoys teaching new and creative games to our future generations outside in the sunshine. As a P.E. teacher, Tyler has many opportunities to help students grow and become the best athlete they can be. He also serves as a Special Olympics team coach and several of his teams have advanced to the state finals. Tyler’s goal as a coach is to promote good sportsmanship and student leadership through activities that require cooperation and team building.
High School Foundations Teacher
Tanya González has taught for more than 30 years and has spent 23 years teaching students with special needs. She graduated from the University of Puerto Rico with a bachelor’s degree in secondary education. An avid traveler and photographer, she has used her experiences and skills to enrich her students’ lives.
Noriel Hernandez Rodriguez
Spanish and Learning Strategies Teacher
Originally from Cuba, Noriel Hernandez Rodriguez earned a degree as a language teacher and for the past 20 years he’s been teaching English as a foreign or second language to students in Cuba, Canada and the United States. After moving to Miami in 2014, he taught in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools system and the Miami Beach Adult and Community Education Center before joining the staff of Atlantis Academy Coral Springs.
Film and Television Teacher
Michael Hertzner joined Atlantis Academy in 2018, bringing with him more than 20 years of experience working in film and television. Prior to joining the Atlantis Academy team, Michael taught film and broadcast at a South Florida charter school as well as at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. Originally from Long Island, NY, Michael moved to Florida to play in the National Adult Baseball Association league. He received a bachelor’s degree in communication from Florida Atlantic University and has worked for a variety of films and television studios in addition to teaching, including NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, Showtime, Comedy Central, Sun Sports, Univision and Telemundo.
L.I.F.E. Program Teacher
Phillipa Johnson has served as the L.I.F.E Program Teacher at Atlantis Academy Coral Springs for the last three years, though she has been teaching students with special needs for more than five years. Phillipa holds a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction with a specialization in Applied Behavioral Analysis and is pursuing a Board Certified Behavior Analyst certification. She loves teaching young adults with autism and special needs and enjoys helping them reach their full potential and successfully transition into adulthood.
Middle and High School English Teacher
Ronnee Lipman began working as a middle and high school English teacher at Atlantis Academy in 2014. She previously worked at Atlantis Academy from 2007 to 2009 and was happy to return. While raising her three children, Ronnee gained respect for the teaching community and decided to pursue a career in education after her children were grown. Prior to her career at Atlantis Academy, Ronnee served as director of education at a local Sylvan Learning Center. She is very passionate about teaching and takes pride in serving as an instructor, mentor, cheerleader and confidante for her students.
Kari Malone has been teaching kindergarten, first- and second-grade students at Atlantis Academy Coral Springs for the last four years. Prior to joining the Atlantis staff, she worked in pre-K classrooms as a teacher’s assistant specializing in intensive and specialized programs. A Texas native, Kari holds a bachelor’s degree in communication disorders from Texas Tech University and has worked in the field of special education since she was 16. Kari believes in celebrating her students’ successes as often as possible to create a positive learning environment.
Margaret Pickholtz brings diverse health care experience to the science classrooms at Atlantis Academy Coral Springs. Originally from New England, Margaret earned a bachelor’s degree from Boston University. After an internship with the National Spinal Cord Injury Association, she worked in career counseling and placement for adults with disabilities and spent several years at McLean Hospital and New England Medical Center. Upon relocating to Florida, Margaret served as a special education teacher assistant in Broward County Schools before earning her certification as a science teacher.
Social Studies Teacher
Gillian Pridgen began her second career as a teacher at Atlantis Academy Coral Springs after spending more than 12 years as a litigation paralegal and child support case analyst. She holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Fla., and a paralegal certificate from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. . Gillian has her temporary teaching certification for social sciences. Prior to becoming an educator, Gillian worked as a private family mediator in the Broward County area.
Cara Seoane has been teaching for 25 years. After graduating with a degree in elementary education from the University of South Florida, Cara worked in several schools focused on integrating students with special needs into the regular classroom. With this experience, she joined the Atlantis Academy Coral Springs team, where she’s been making a difference in children’s lives for the last 16 years.