Meet The Inspiring Minds Staff
Founder & Director
Dawn was always on the lookout for educational opportunities for her daughter and realized that there was a lack of hands-on, multi-aged, creatively fun, nature-inspired, whole-child centered programs in her area. Which is what led her, in July of 2015, to began the journey to create The Living School, which she has since transitioned into the Inspiring Minds Day School. The journey has been a powerful one that has helped Dawn grow as a person, a mother, a business owner, and a teacher.
Dawn is a graduate of Ithaca College, with a degree in Theatre, and a minor in Dance and Writing. Since graduating from college she has worked as an actress in Film, TV, and Theatre. She has taught acting and dance to children ages 6 to 16. As well as directing and choreographing theatre and dance projects for children ages 6 to16. Dawn was also a Music with Mar Instructor using their curriculum to teach music and rhythm to children ages 8 months to 5 years old. And she created a homeschool language arts, math, and science class for K-3rd grade using Music with Mar songs as a base.
In the past Dawn has run two successful sales based businesses out of her home, but Inspiring Minds Day School is, by far, the project that is closest to her heart. It combines her passion for education, with her love of helping children, and her desire to make sure each child has a place
where they feel accepted and safe, and where they feel they belong. This is her goal at Inspiring Minds Day School. Dawn wants her child, and all those that attend, to have a safe environment to learn and grow in, to be excited to come to each week, and that sparks a lifelong love of
learning in them that will help them succeed at whatever they choose to do in life.
Dawn is so grateful to be able to homeschool her daughter, and to show her, by example, that you can achieve your dream if you are willing to work hard, give back to your community and those that helped you along the way, and stay true to your heart and who you are inside. She is
thrilled to share the journey of the Inspiring Minds Day School with her wonderful daughter and incredible husband. And she is grateful that the Central Florida community has embraced this dream, and is helping to make the Inspiring Minds Day School a reality, not only for her daughter, but for the children of their community!!
Vanessa is a State of Florida certified teacher in Elementary K-6 as well as certified by the American Montessori Society to teach Lower Elementary 6-9. She has taught in the classroom for ten years and had the pleasure of teaching her own children, each for two years. Her passion is storytelling and she uses it to invoke excitement about each lesson - from math and language to history and geography. As a teacher, she adopted the Conscious Discipline method which promotes emotional self-regulation and teaches children about inclusivity, compassion, assertiveness, emotional responsibility and focuses on connection. It was teaching in a Montessori school that she also became interested in becoming a certified kid’s yoga instructor. In this training, Vanessa became so intrigued about the affects yoga has on mind, body and spirit, that she decided to explore anatomy and physiology further by enrolling to become a Licensed Massage Therapist.
Vanessa enjoys working with those of all ages, but she specifically wanted to share with children the idea that emotional responsibility and love for others begins with oneself! She has taught over 300 children's yoga classes to date! Vanessa provides therapeutic bodywork and relaxation massages to clients in the Orlando area but she combined her passion and understanding of children with her knowledge of massage when she became licensed in Pediatric and Infant Massage in 2018. She sees pediatric clients and focuses on children with special health needs including children seeking relief due to poor digestion, anxiety, stress, ADD, ADHD, and/or sensory disorders. She also teaches infant massage classes to parents and caretakers that addresses the history of infant massage and the benefits and techniques of providing touch therapy to children to provide healthy emotional and physical development. Vanessa also shares the love of massage and yoga with her own two young children, Olivia and Gavin, that help her keep current with everything relevant in children's pop culture!
Sprouts (Ages 5-7) Instructor
Chelsea is Mom to two adorable girls and a very curious little boy, and has worked with children for as long as she can remember. She is incredibly passionate about teaching and working with kids. She has worked in numerous roles with children, doing everything from nannying to owning a dance studio in Seattle for 5 years to owning a local FIT4MOM franchise and teaching free children’s music and movement classes at her local library.
Chelsea is now a homeschooling mom and owner of Let’s Play School. Let’s Play School is a virtual shop that sells Preschool and Early Elementary curriculum, created by Chelsea, for homeschooling families. Chelsea also runs a blog and social media page where she helps homeschooling families by sharing educational and teaching ideas, tips and tricks!
“I am so excited to get to work with the Sprouts! This age group is my absolute favorite and I just love their joy and enthusiasm for everything. I can’t wait for all the memories we will get to make together as a class!”
Biology, Speech and Debate, and Creative Writing Literary Magazine Instructor
Jen Becker is a homeschooling mom, former computer systems administrator, and geek of all trades!
Before entering the Mom Life, Jen graduated magna cum laude from The College of William and Mary with a degree in Computer Science. She then worked for Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, CA for over 6 years as both a Render Pipeline Engineer for movies stretching from “Monsters, Inc” to “WALL-E” and as a member of the Rendering Team for “The Incredibles”.
Jen volunteers extensively with various youth organizations. She has led a Girl Scout troop for 7 years, a 4-H club for 3 years, and various Junior FIRST LEGO League teams for several years. She holds a diploma from the North American Montessori Center’s teacher training program, has tutored, and has taught homeschool classes and camps.
Jen homeschools to have the freedom to explore and embrace her children’s interests and strengths. Her focus has always been science and math, and she loves figuring out new ways to approach topics that work for each child’s abilities and learning style. In her free time, Jen enjoys traveling with her family in their RV.
Caitlyn Glatting is a graduate of Rollins College with a B.A. in Environmental Studies and a Masters in Public Health. She has worked to advance local food systems in the central Florida community over the past eight years. For the last 5 years she worked with the UF/IFAS Extension to help provide fresh produce to central Florida’s SNAP eligible communities. In doing so she was in charge of procuring thousands of pounds of Florida grown produce and coordinating with Orange, Osceola, and Brevard county schools to ensure that the produce was distributed in their school lunch programs. She helped to establish the Florida Crunch campaign, a statewide initiative in support of National Farm to school Month. And she was in charge of overseeing the education, installation, and maintenance of 35 school garden programs.
Her expertise is working to educate community members on how to grow their own food in their own homes. She is passionate about the development of urban agriculture and farm to school initiatives. Caitlyn has a passion for teaching. She enjoys sharing hands-on, educational ways to bring food to your own backyard, school, or community.
Caitlyn is excited to bring her passion and knowledge to the students of Inspiring Minds Day School. We can’t wait to see what they end up growing in the garden this year under her guidance!
Seedlings (Ages 7-9) Instructor
Lee has worked with preschoolers and elementary-aged children over the last five years from a private school setting to her local preschool. She currently teaches music and creative movement, providing young children with enriching opportunities to express themselves in a nurturing and supportive environment.
Lee was first introduced to Waldorf methods when her daughter was a toddler. It was a magical moment when they walked into a children’s center in California. To Lee, it felt like what childhood is supposed to feel like. It was filled with colorful murals, wooden trees, rainbows, handmade play structures, and costumes. This inspired her to rethink the way we traditionally teach and play with our children. Giving time and space for children to explore, create, and use their imagination can be so rewarding for the child and the parent.
Lee was born in Thailand and grew up in England. Her mother was a teacher in the Far East as well as in England. With a combination of her childhood memories and the Waldorf and Montessori approaches, she began her homeschooling journey.“Education can be an adventure mixed with twists and turns as you delve into the areas that ignite the curiosity and passions of your child.” Lee prides herself on taking a hands-on approach to learning. “I like to get messy with the children and let them lead our explorations! Taking a nurturing, gentle, and creative approach to education has always resonated with me. Homeschooling, goes a step further, creating space to explore the unlimited possibilities with your child.”
Lee is beyond excited to be a part of Inspiring Minds and looks forward to many adventures with the children!
Movement/P.E. and Music Instructor
Ms. Kaitlyn has a Bachelor in Fine Arts in Musical Theatre from Brenau University. She has been a professional singer, dancer, and actor for over 20 years, where she had the opportunity to perform in shows like Newsies, Shrek the Musical, Mamma Mia, Guys & Dolls, and more.
Alongside performing, Kaitlyn has been a teacher and choreographer for over 12 years, working with students from ages 3 to 63.
Her classroom environment is a safe space for students to fully express themselves and is a judgment-free zone! She is here to support her students in whatever way they need.
Ms. Kaitlyn can’t wait to join Inspiring Minds!
Assistant to the Director
Afternoon Arts and Crafts Club Instructor
Grant Norman is a professional actor who has worked steadily in the entertainment business for over 30 years. His credits include starring as Gaston in "Beauty and the Beast" on Broadway, the Beast in the National Tour of "Beauty and the Beast", and the Phantom in the National Tour of "The Phantom of the Opera". He was brought to London by Hal Prince and Cameron Mackintosh to play the Phantom in the West End production of "The Phantom of the Opera". His TV credits include "Law & Order", "Law & Order: SVU" and "Law & Order: CI".
Throughout the many decades of Grant's career he has enjoyed passing on his vast knowledge of acting, singing, and the theatre to students of all ages from upper elementary school through college. He has given Master Classes in Vocal Audition Technique, Scene Study, and Performance around the country to college students and professionals.
He also enjoys teaching the art of prop and set design to students as well. At Inspiring Minds you can often find him helping students design and create the props and sets we use in our show. He is a multi-talented artist that enjoys working with students and passing on his love of the arts with the benefit of his years of experience.
Grant is thrilled to be a part of the Inspiring Minds Day School family and looks forward to working with the students to help create whatever their imaginations can come up with!
Candi Clark is a Mom of three amazing kids with a very diverse background and love for learning. Candi has an Associate’s degree in psychology and worked as a crisis intervention counselor for the Georgia Department of Family and Children’s services. She went on to study anthropology with a focus on Mesoamerican archaeology at Georgia State University. Candi worked on archaeological sites in South Georgia with Georgia State University and Ferbank Museum of Natural History, as well as in the Yucatan Peninsula with National Geographic and Georgia State University.
Candi left the field of archaeology for less traveling and to teach at a private school in Georgia. She eventually left teaching to home school her own children.
Candi is now a professional photographer who owns her own business. Her company, Magical Pix by Candi Clark, has clients from all over the Unites States and the world who are visiting Florida. She specializes in family photography.
“I am so excited to join the team of amazing teachers at Inspiring Minds Day School, and I can’t wait to share my love of writing, literature, culture, and creative learning with these kids. I truly hope to foster in them a love of learning like I have.”