Biographies



bonnie brown

Bonnie Brown of Outward Spiral began practicing the art of Hoop Dance in 2007 and has been dancing with hoops, hand-crafting dance hoops, and teaching; spreading the joy of Hoop Dance ever since. Bonnie believes that dance can be a tool to self discovery, personal evolution and connecting to a larger supportive community of people.

“I never used to dance in front of anyone. Having the hoop around me gave me security in the beginning. It created a boundary and defined my space so that I felt safe enough to truly express myself creatively with my body. I finally had the freedom to let go, and with the help of my new dance partner, allow the music to move me rather than allowing my cognitive brain to get involved and tell me how I should be moving.

Interestingly, what first became a closed circle to keep people at a distance also became a portal to introduce me to this amazing community of Hoopers around the world. The hooping community is such an open, sharing group of wonderful people rich in creativity and unique qualities. I was immediately embraced by everyone, and for once, felt as if I belonged.”

Bonnie's mission with Outward Spiral is to inspire others to feel free to express themselves creatively; to light that spark in students and gently blow on that ember until it ignites. Outside of teaching hoop classes, you can also find Bonnie teaching toddlers at SRQ Brats Club and preschoolers at CapoKids.

elaine chandler

Elaine Chandler, M.S.Ed, holds a Master degree in Literacy, two Bachelor degrees, in Elementary Education and Health Care Management, as well as certificates in Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Neurolinguistic Programming, Mindfulness Practitioner, and English as a Second Language. While teaching elementary school, she also trained and oversaw 125 volunteer reading tutors over a three-year period, which significantly raised state reading scores. After her years in teaching, she joined global education publishers Houghton Mifflin and McGraw-Hill as an education consultant and teacher trainer, covering the Northeast, working with rural and city public, private and parochial schools from Boston to New York City to Pittsburgh. She developed a social emotional course for kids, Peacekeepers, and an online course for teacher certification, serving 1,800 teachers to date, as well as having taught undergraduate and graduate college education courses. Elaine continues to tutor students in cognitive behavior techniques, reading, math, and college application essays. She is also a volunteer adult literacy tutor with the Literacy Council of Sarasota. If there’s any spare time left, Elaine loves to read, watch plays, write, and work on her own artistic pursuits of nature photography and electronic sketching.

zhani glaab

Zhani is best known as the Director of Homeschool Art Club Sarasota-Manatee, where they have volunteered their time for the past four years. In 2019, Zhani started the Art With a Heart program, bringing the children to make art with seniors in local assisted living and memory care facilities. They are also the Creative Director of a 3-generation family art business, Happy Bubble Studio. Zhani lived in Sarasota as a child, before relocating to southern England for the majority of their education. This is where they discovered a passion for science, especially microbiology and biochemistry. After a life-changing diagnosis of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Zhani became equally passionate about bringing therapeutic art practices to communities in need. Zhani believes that artistic expression is a fundamental human behavior that can be appreciated in its many forms throughout history, and is essential to well-being.


Email: zhanihomeschoolsrq@gmail.com

noelle knight

Noelle is a homeschooling mother of 3, board member for SCLP, educational consultant and Florida Certified Teacher. She earned her BS in Elementary Education and MA in Reading Education from the University of South Florida, and she has taught Elementary School in both Manatee and Hillsborough Counties. She has also taught at several Community Colleges including State College of Florida and Hillsborough Community College. She started her own educational business, KnightFall Academy, in 2017 and now spends her time working with homeschooling families in Manatee and Sarasota Counties planning field trips, organizing special events, teaching classes, completing homeschool evaluations, and offering consultations.

Email: NoelleDixonKnight@gmail.com

gabrielle lennon knowlton

Gabrielle’s professional life has been a mixture of extensive acting (theater, film and voice-over work), writing (all genres), performance art (including work at New York City's The Knitting Factory), and singing work (including singing in the musical group in the finale at the United Nations birthday party in New York City). She has also worked as a certified massage therapist, professional public speaker with Citizens Against Crime, and ESL teacher in Japan (for two years at different times). She has traveled extensively throughout Japan, Thailand, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Macau, Nepal, Israel, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, India, Kenya, France, Switzerland, Holland, Monaco, England, Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador; and throughout the United States.

Gabrielle graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in Performance Studies (analysis, interpretation and performance of prose, poetry, and drama) and the honors Creative Writing for the Media program. At Northwestern, she studied with, among other wonderful people, Edgar-Award-winner, Stuart Kaminski and Tony-Award-winner, Frank Galati. Fun facts: She lived in the same dorm as David Schwimmer and was in the same acting class at Northwestern as Stephen Colbert.

After Northwestern, Gabrielle studied acting extensively with some of the best acting teachers in the United States, including Gordon Philips (also taught Sandy Dennis, Bruce Dern, and Judd Hirsch how to act, and was in acting class with Marilyn Monroe, Paul Newman, and Joanne Woodward), multiple Emmy-Award-winning actress and director, Joan Darling, and at the Larry Moss Studio. Gabrielle has two books published – Touch Me Real and Other Stories and After Midnight: A Book of Poetry. Lennon also writes professionally for magazines, newspapers, newsletters, and journals.

freddie lamareaux

Freddie originally came to Sarasota to attend Ringling College of Art and Design in 2009, where he later graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art degree in 2013. Afterwards, the natural beauty and bountiful opportunities of the area persuaded him to stay and maintain his artistry in the community. A few years later, he began working for Bricks 4 Kidz at the start of 2016 and absolutely loved being a part of the STEM world while working with Legos. Almost four years following the beginning of his work with the business, he was lead to take over the franchise, jumping through every hoop necessary to be surmounted in order to claim it as his own. Nothing means more to him than the chance to make a difference and improve the life of others, especially through fun and education! What better way than to build, to learn, and to play with the young minds of the future!

Email: flamoreaux@bricks4kidz.com

tina lipps

Tina Lipps is an active Stretch-n-Grow Sarasota® coach as well as a certified group fitness instructor for all ages through Revelation Wellness®. Before she received these fitness certifications, Tina received her BA in Christian Ministries and Youth Leadership & Development. Tina is passionate about helping others learn how to move their bodies and have fun doing it! She strives to create a growing and thriving community for all who attend each class that she leads. She has experience working with children for the past ten years through ministry service opportunities. She currently works to lead the children and youth ministry at Church of God, Sarasota, a local church here in Sarasota County.

eva manzo

Eva was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Florida and has just recently moved to the Sarasota area and currently works at Whole Foods, and teaches Yoga. Last year, she traveled around the world through Hawaii, Australia, Bali, Southeast Asia, Egypt, Sri Lanka, and Europe and was a witness to the devastating environmental impacts of humans and feels a passion to help bring environmental awareness and empowerment to children. She graduated from USF St.Pete in 2016 with a Bachelors in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences and a minor in Anthropology. In 2015, she worked for Green Peace. She hopes to work in Waldorf Schools in the near future.

She has a positive and enthusiastic energy and is excited about supporting and encouraging children to care for our beautiful Earth!

Email: evamanzo93@gmail.com

nancy pantano

Nancy is a nutrition educator who loves teaching children how to cook and eat healthy and delicious, while having fun. She brings her passion to the table and encourages an awareness of food prep and understanding of whole foods and ingredients. Nancy has been teaching and creating in the classroom for over 20 years; the last 10 have been focused on healthy cooking. Nancy earned her BS in Alternative Medicine; with a focus on Nutrition; from Everglades University. But her true education comes from the garden, the kitchen and teaching others!

catherine thomas

A Sarasota resident since 2003, Catherine discovered painting later in life at age 48, following the suicide of her 18-year daughter. She quickly began to realize that painting was very therapeutic and contributes much of her grief healing to her spontaneous artistic discovery.

Her painting of her daughter, Lisa, was featured in the Selby Library art exhibition as part of an ongoing series in conjunction with the Herald Tribune called: FACEing Mental Illness: The Art of Acceptance. (Her daughter had suffered from mental illness). Her paintings have been exhibited at Café L’Erope and several galleries in Sarasota and Tampa—although she does not currently exhibit nor pursue the sale of her work.


In 2018, she hosted a television show on SNN called The Art For Healing Project. She currently, teaches acrylic painting to dementia patients at the Venice Friendship Center and works on private projects at her studio in Snug Harbor Village.


Cell: 941.806.9001

Email: catherine34231@gmail.com

becky searcy

Originally from Buffalo, NY, I obtained my Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and attended Secondary Science Education courses. After moving to Sarasota, I became a Group Fitness Instructor certified in Youth Fitness and Children's Nutrition. Currently, I teach fitness and nutrition classes at various preschools and daycares throughout Sarasota County. Being a mother myself, I know it can be difficult to convince your children to eat healthy foods. I am very passionate about educating children about the importance of balanced nutrition to provide the proper foundation for life-long good health.

stemania

STEMania participates in a variety of kid-based STEM activities, ranging from robotics, coding, chemistry, space, and much more! STEMania offers STEM Academy Classes (Interactive lessons on Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, STEM Escape Rooms), Spotlight Innovation Labs (Lego Robotics, Kid-Preneur, Coding, YouTube/Game/App Development, Chemistry Lab, Rocket Launch, KidMD, Zoology Series), and Interactive STEM Lab (Center for Open Play and STEM Creations). The STEMania team has developed a hands-on and activity-based curriculum encompassing their mission of Creating a 5C Community: Foster Curiosity, Stimulate Challenges, Inspire Creativity, Encourage Collaboration, and Generate Connections.


Founders are STEM Passionate. Founders Alisa and Curtis Craig, collaborating with 3 other Ivy League Graduates and Executive STEM Professionals, are passionate about getting kids excited about STEM! Alisa received her MBA from Cornell and BS from Vanderbilt in Chemistry and Neuroscience. She is currently the CEO of BioMedika Consulting and VP Marketing at Regentys. She has served in management positions at Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic, and Pfizer. Curtis received his MBA from U of Pennsylvania (Wharton), Nuclear Propulsion Engineer from the US Navy, and BS from the US Naval Academy in Systems Engineering. He is currently a VP at JP Morgan Chase. He has served in management positions at GE Healthcare, Becton Dickinson, Medtronic, and as a US Navy Nuclear Submarine Lieutenant.


STEMania Teachers are STEMtastic. They have their Masters in Early Childhood and Elementary Ed, and their STEM degrees range from Neurocience, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Math, and Engineering (Nuclear, Aeronautical, Astronautical, Systems).


STEMania Experience. They have taught over 1000 children in Sarasota and Manatee Counties. STEMania has partnerships with the YMCA and European Academy. Schools include Pineview, Ashton, Fruitville, Southside, Gocio, Wilkinson, St. Martha Catholic School, and Classical Conversation Homeschool Group. STEMania serves gifted and special needs programs.


Email: info.STEMania@gmail.com

Ellen Goldberg Tishman

Ellen Goldberg Tishman is a teaching artist with many years of experience teaching in a variety of settings including colleges, art centers, museums, libraries, public schools, galleries and other venues. She is a prize -winning artist who has exhibited widely and holds her MA in Art Education from University of Florida and BFA from Syracuse University. Over the years she has worked as a designer for corporations, curator/education /special events coordinator for museums and entrepreneur creating and selling her own line of self-created products including handbags, jewelry and other artworks.

Stacy worden

Stacy Worden is a homeschool mom to her daughter. She moved to the area about five years ago from Lakeland, where she attended college and earned a degree in Elementary Education. While living in Lakeland she taught kindergarten and first grade for ten years. She loves teaching and learning new things.

anglea zuknick

Angela is originally from Michigan. She received her Associates degree in Applied Science and began working for General Motors as a chemical technician. While working she continued her studies at the University of Michigan in elementary education. When 9/11 happened, she lost her job at the plant, so she decided to sell everything and follow her dream of living in Florida.

She continued her college career at University of South Florida, determined to get that B.A in elementary education. She began to intern at different schools around Sarasota. Then quickly realized that as much as she loved kids, this was not the way she thought teaching would be. She began working at Doctor’s Hospital in Medical Records. And started studying Medical Coding at SCTI. Once she graduated, she took a position at Sarasota Memorial where she works full time from home for them since 2009.

On a personal level, she met her husband the Summer she moved here in 2002. They married in 2004. Had their son in 2006 and their daughter in 2008. For various reasons they decided to homeschool in Dec of 2017. And she rescues, rehabs and releases animals…bats, iguanas and squirrels to name a few. She also has a dog, two cats and a bird who are all rescues and now part of the family.

Her hobbies include SCUBA diving, volunteering at Mote in the Dolphin/Whale hospital, Mixed martial arts, Disney, camping, and watching classic movies.