UPPER KEYS WELCOME NEW EDUCATORS TO THE CLASSROOM

Coral Shores High School. CONTRIBUTED

The Keys are a week into the 2022-2023 school year, and the new teachers are excited to be diving into their classes and getting to know their students. We asked them to introduce themselves to the community, and we learned some fun facts — one makes a mean milk shake, most would eat lobster for “breakfast, lunch and dinner” … and all are thrilled to be educating Upper Keys children. 

LaShann Biondi
Coral Shores High School

Grade/Subject Teaching: Computer science and engineering, ninth to 12th grades

Where did you get your degree? Indian River State College.

How long have you lived in the Keys? Two years.

Why did you decide to become a teacher? I worked many years in the human resource industry as a director, switching into the education field as support staff for the last nine years. Being around the students allowed me to see first-hand the positive impact teachers have on students. 

How would you describe your teaching style? Engaging hands-on lessons that challenge reasoning and problem-solving skills.

What is your special talent that no one knows about? Roller derby.

How much lobster can you eat? Probably no more than two.

What are your hobbies? I love to boat and ride my bicycle.


Ed Holly
Coral Shores High School

Grade/Subject Teaching:  Physical education, ninth to 12th grades

Where did you get your degree? University of Florida.

How long have you lived in the Keys? Twelve years.

Why did you decide to become a teacher? To inspire the next generation of learners.

How would you describe your teaching style? I have a hands-on student-centered approach to teaching.

How much lobster can you eat? I can eat lobster for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

What are your hobbies? Hunting and fishing.


Shyara Lara
Coral Shores High School

Grade/Subject Teaching: Freshman seminar and leadership, 10th, 11th and 12th grades

Where did you get your degree? I got my bachelor’s in biology from University of Miami and my master’s in math education, and I began my doctorate in organizational leadership (but have not finished) at Nova Southeastern University.

How long have you lived in the Keys? It is going to be three years this October.

Why did you decide to become a teacher? To serve my community.

How would you describe your teaching style? My classroom is hands-on. I am big on project-based learning. I love it when students work in groups and learn to work with each others’ talents and differences. 

How much lobster can you eat? I love lobster! I can eat lobster every day if I could.

What are your hobbies? Going out on my boat, snorkeling, working out and just hanging out with my family.


Kristina Sullivan
Plantation Key School

Grade/Subject Teaching: Fifth grade & Gifted K-3

Where did you get your degree? Master’s from Marshall University, West Virginia.

How long have you lived in the Keys? 20 years.

Why did you decide to become a teacher? I fell in love with it when I was a paraprofessional.

How would you describe your teaching style? Facilitator, activity style. 

What is your special talent that no one knows about? Back in the day, I was a percussionist. 

How much lobster can you eat? If I fast for it, quite a bit. Yum!

What are your hobbies? Reading, Scrabble and spending time with my family. 


Gabriela Bautista
Treasure Village Montessori

Grade/Subject Teaching: Middle School, seventh and eighth grades

Where did you get your degree? Bachelor’s from Florida International University.

How long have you lived in the Keys? I’ve lived in the Keys for seven months.

Why did you decide to become a teacher? It’s always been a calling of mine, since I was young. I love to care for and teach those in need.

How would you describe your teaching style? Student-paced and differentiated to meet student needs. 

What is your special talent that no one knows about? Baking, DIYs.

How much lobster can you eat? Unlimited amount.

What are your hobbies? Traveling, adventures with family or exercising.


Fiorella Hellen Casani
Treasure Village Montessori

Grade/Subject Teaching:: VPK/K and first grade

Where did you get your degree? I studied at the College of the Florida Keys.

How long have you lived in the Keys? I have lived in the Keys for 24 years.

Why did you decide to become a teacher? I’m a paraprofessional for now, but I will continue my education to become a teacher because I really enjoy seeing the kids grow.

How would you describe your teaching style? As a paraprofessional, I’m still learning new, different teaching ways.

What is your special talent that no one knows about? My special talent is being flexible.

How much lobster can you eat? I can eat five lobsters, for sure.

What are your hobbies? Swimming, biking and going to the park.


Jennifer Cawley
Treasure Village Montessori

Grade/Subject Teaching: Special-needs paraprofessional, fourth grade

How long have you lived in the Keys? I have lived in the Florida Keys for one year. We relocated from north Georgia in the summer of 2021.

Why did you decide to become a teacher? My desire to be in the classroom came from my kids. I wanted to help create a fun, caring and enjoyable experience in the education of young kids. 

How would you describe your teaching style? I would describe my teaching style as fun, engaging and creative.

What is your special talent that no one knows about? My special talent is my optimism and positive energy, which fuels my ability to establish an energetic and fun-loving environment.

How much lobster can you eat? I think I could eat three lobsters but maybe more if I tried really hard.

What are your hobbies? My hobbies are boating, hiking, camping, watching movies and playing games with my family.


Krystal Lint
Treasure Village Montessori

Grade/Subject Teaching: Paraprofessional, fourth and fifth grades

Where did you get your degree? I graduated from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s in mass communications. 

Why did you decide to become a teacher? I fell in love with TVM after my kids started attending the school, and I decided that was where I wanted to be.

How would you describe your teaching style? I have a hybrid teaching style. I find that each student and every classroom is different and therefore responds and reacts differently.

What is your special talent that no one knows about? A secret talent that I have is the ability to make great milkshakes. My kids love them but I don’t make them for a lot of people.

How much lobster can you eat? Lobster is one of my favorite foods! I can eat as much as my family can catch.

What are your hobbies? When it comes to hobbies I love being on the boat with my family. My 10-year-old and I are about to get our scuba diving certification. 


Luisa Johnson-Dailey
Treasure Village Montessori

Grade/Subject Teaching: Language arts, middle school

Where did you get your degree? Bachelor of science in communication at University of Miami, master of fine arts at Miami International University of Art and Design, Montessori certification through the Center for Guided Montessori Studies.

How long have you lived in the Keys? Since 2003. Nineteen years.

Why did you decide to become a teacher? I became an English teacher because I have a passion for literature. I wanted to show that literature can take us to far-away places with a turn of a page.

How would you describe your teaching style? I like to create a culture in my classroom where students are engaged and learning cooperatively through group activities and hands-on learning. I am thrilled to be a part of the TVM family. 

What is your special talent that no one knows about? I cook an amazing lasagna.

How much lobster can you eat? Florida or Maine lobster? As much as I can, I love them both.What are your hobbies? Reading, of course. You will always find me with a good book. Also, photography. I have been published in a book and exhibited in a satellite fair during Art Basel and all over the world.

Charlotte Twine fled her New York City corporate publishing life and happily moved to the Keys six years ago. She has written for Travel + Leisure, Allure, and Offshore magazines; Elle.com; and the Florida Keys Free Press. She loves her two elderly Pomeranians, writing stories that uplift and inspire, making children laugh, the color pink, tattoos, Johnny Cash, and her husband. Though not necessarily in that order.