What to Expect at Faith Preparatory School...
Here at Faith Prep, children are given opportunities to learn new skills, develop their gifts and talents and appreciate God's creation. Our mission is to provide a high quality, faith- based educational program to young children, in a welcoming and loving atmosphere, where families are affirmed and strengthened.
Our curriculum is faith-based and developmentally age-appropriate. It is designed to meet the spiritual, emotional, social, physical and mental developmental needs of your child. We believe that play is the best way to teach your child. We provide structured time with learning activities developed around our monthly themes. All this, at an affordable price!
Faith Preparatory School is governed by a board of directors, managed on a daily basis by a Florida Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK) Credentialed director, with Florida VPK Credentialed teachers.
Faith Preparatory School does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, color or sex.
Our Executive Director, Ericka Brown
Ms. Ericka is the Executive Director at Faith Preparatory School. Having a passion for children and having worked in the education field for a long time, this is a dream “job” come true!
She has an AS degree from the University of Hawaii and a b-zillion credits towards her Bachelors…one day (maybe before retirement) she’ll get there! She has held every position at a preschool and believes each one has its benefits, and that each one has prepared her to do exactly what she is doing today!
Ms. Ericka and her husband Craig (aka: Johnny Appleseed, the Cat in the Hat, the Conductor and whoever else we dream up!) have 4 children. Tina and her husband, (retired USAF Senior Master Sargeant (E8) Laurence, live in Niceville, FL. They have two girls; Chelsea (who graduated college May 2018!) and Harlee, who graduated high school June 2021. Darren and his wife, Becca, live in Alexander, NC (just outside Asheville) and have three boys, Davok, Kaden and Nakoa and daughter, Aislynn. Justin and his wife, Lisa, live in Bristol, TN and have 3 children, Jackson, Peyton and Ellie. Alysen and her son, Harrison, live in Port Charlotte. If you lost count… that’s 10 grandbabies! Craig and Ericka visit them as often as possible!
They are a military family. Craig retired from the U. S. Coast Guard in 1997 after 23 years active service. Son-in-law Laurence retired from the U.S. Air Force February 2021, with over 26 years active service. Daughter Alysen served nearly 6 years active duty with the U. S. Coast Guard. Ericka grew up in the military as her father was career U. S. Coast Guard, having served 27 years active service. ♥
Ms. Alysen was born in Mobile, Alabama and three years later, moved to Honolulu for 5 years with her family. They returned to Mobile for a few years before moving to Florida in 2002. She attended Port Charlotte High School and graduated in 2007.
Ms. Alysen joined the U.S. Coast Guard in 2008 and served 6 years which allowed her to travel afar, including duty stations in Louisiana, California, and North Carolina. Ms. Alysen has the awesome memory and experience of being stationed in the same U. S. Coast Guard Cutter MORGENTHAU as her grandfather, 40 years later, to the month! Her grandfather was a USCGC MORGENTHAU "plankowner", an original crewmember. She was honorably discharged as an E5 not long after her son, Harrison, was born in March of 2014 and stayed at home for his first two years. She loved teaching him at home and was determined to make just about everything a ‘teachable moment’. The joy of watching a little one grow and learn is something that stuck with her.
After moving back to Florida in April of 2017, she pursued a degree in Early Childhood Education through American Military University, while teaching two days a week at Faith Prep. Ms. Alysen received her Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education in August 2018. Her son, Harrison, was a Faith Prep student through Kindergarten.
Ms. Amanda was born and raised in Port Charlotte, FL. She has been married to her husband David for 10 years and they have 3 children: Leighton, Lennox, and Layla. Her husband is a Command Sergeant Major (E9) in the U.S. Army Reserves and he is also a Lieutenant for Charlotte County Fire/EMS. Ms. Amanda finished her Associate in Arts degree at FSW in 2010. She worked part-time as an Office Manager and Legal Assistant for 10 years until she resigned to stay home and raise her family. When her oldest son, Leighton, started VPK at Faith Prep in 2018, she fell in love with Faith Prep. She started volunteering in 2019 when her middle son, Lennox, started in the 3’s class. She started working at Faith Prep in January 2020, assisting Ms. Ericka in daily office administration tasks, and then received her Teaching Credentials in August 2020 and has loved being in the classroom ever since.
She has always had a love for children and loves watching them think, explore, and grow. She is inspired, motivated, and excited for this upcoming year in VPK.
When Ms. Amanda is not in the classroom or helping out at school, she enjoys going to her sons soccer games, gardening, baking, family movie nights, and camping trips.
Ms. Annie's three children have all gone through Ms. Ericka's preschool and VPK programs and have grown leaps and bounds in confidence and development.
Upon completing high school locally at Charlotte High School, she went on to Florida State University where she majored in Finance. She and her high school sweetheart, Brett, married in 2003, and moved back to Charlotte County after Brett completed his Masters Degree in Tax at the University of Central Florida. She worked with an interior decorator locally and she and Brett began a family. During this time, Brett completed law school and now works at the Farr Law Firm doing Estate and Trust planning and Real Estate. They have three children; Corbin is twelve and in seventh grade, Lily is ten and in fifth grade, and Walker is seven and in second grade. They love watching their children develop a love for learning, and watching how unique each child is!
In their spare time they enjoy traveling, attending their children's sporting events, being with family, watching Florida State football, and going to the beach. Ms. Annie looks forward to instilling a love for learning and loving one another, just as this program has done for her children.
Ms. Dawn was born in Montréal, Québec, Canada and was raised in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She has been serving the Lord in Children's Ministry in Canada and in the United States for over 20 years, and has acquired a wealth of knowledge and experience from seasoned mentors. She attended Bible College in Oshawa, Ontario and studied Theology and Early Childhood Education.
Ms. Dawn is married to Minister Roger Davis and has 3 daughters who attended preschool under the leadership of Ms Ericka Brown. She has had the opportunity to be a Girls Club Mentor and Youth Ministry Director and is currently teaching Sunday School and Bible Classes in her local church, at the preschool and at elementary levels. Ms. Dawn is enjoying her role at Faith Prep and is looking forward to the Lord's blessings there!
Ms. Emily was born and raised
in Erie, Pennsylvania. Ms. Emily moved to Florida in
2001. She has 3 children, Mckenna, Landon and Weston. Both
Landon and Weston went through Ms. Ericka’s preschool and VPK.
Ms. Emily finished the Florida Child Care Professional Credential (FCCPC) program and is VPK certified. She is continuing her education in the field of Early Childhood Education.
In her spare time, Ms. Emily enjoys attending her children’s many sporting events, going to the beach, paddle boarding and watching movies with her family.
Ms. Emily feels so blessed to be apart of the Faith Prep family and feels like she has found her calling!
Ms. Jan was born and raised in Ravenna, Ohio where she met her husband, Les. They were high school sweethearts and have been married 49 years. Ms. Jan attended Kent State University in Ohio and was a stay at home mom for many years with their 2 sons and 1 daughter. The family moved to Port Charlotte in 1984 when Les was offered the position as Band Director at Port Charlotte Middle School. Ms. Jan worked as an elementary school para-professional for 26 years in the Charlotte County School System before retiring. During the past years she completed many courses at Edison Community College, as well as sign language and computer courses through the Charlotte County Schools. She has also completed DCF’s Child Care Training Program. Their son, Eric and his wife live in Tampa and daughter, Kelly, her husband and 3 boys live in Seffner, Florida. Their son, Brian lives in Morgantown, West Virginia. One of her many blessings is being “Nana” to her three awesome grandsons, Aiden, Alex, and Avery. Reading is her favorite pass time, as well as any type of crafting and collecting antiques. She and her husband are active members of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Port Charlotte. She feels very blessed to be working at Faith Preparatory School with the outstanding, caring staff, and looks forward to an awesome school year.
Ms. Kim has her degree in Elementary Education with validations in learning disabilities and early childhood. She is a member of NAEYC since 1994, UMAP since 2010, and has been teaching preschool since 1988. In her free time, Ms. Kim enjoys reading, watching movies, all things zombies and Sesame Street. Ms. Kim married her husband Jeff in 1996. He is a physical therpaist at Fawcett Memorial Hospital's outpatient clinic. He enjoys golf, football and super heroes. Kim and Jeff have two children. Her son, Jacob, loves to read, write poetry, and enjoy manga comics. Her daughter, Becky, attends college in Savanah, GA. She is a golfer and a babysitter.
Ms. Michele was born and raised in Westland, Michigan. She graduated from Livonia Franklin High School in 2000. Ms.Michele is a proud Army wife to her husband, Jeff. They married in 2004 and were stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia for four years. After Jeff's honorable discharge, they made their home in Punta Gorda in 2008.
In 2011, Ms.Michele and Jeff welcomed their son, Cash. Cash is a graduate of Faith Prep and attends Community Christian School. Cash is a Lego lover and makes amazing Lego creations, loves reading, dinosaurs and Godzilla!
Ms. Michele credits Faith Prep and Ms. Ericka for helping her to find her "calling" of being a preschool teacher. She started volunteering when Cash was in the 3's class and fell in love with the preschool atmosphere and most importantly, the kids. She has been teaching the 3's class since 2015 and loves being a part of helping the students learn and grow each day, sharing the love of Jesus with each child and making sure that each student that leaves her class knows that they are smart, loved and a child of God. Ms. Michele loves being a part of the amazing sisterhood of Faith Prep teachers and is thankful to call all the Faith Prep staff not only her coworkers, but her family.
When Ms. Michele isn't teaching or helping out at school, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, hanging out in her pool, going to the beach, staying healthy with long walks and runs, cooking and baking tasty treats, crafting and reading.
My name is Michele VanderSpoel, AKA Ms. Michele. I was born in Long Island, NY and lived there until I was twelve, when we moved to Florida to be closer to our family. I am a proud mother of three handsome boys and a beautiful girl, Chase (20), Logan (18), Shane (15) and Jessa (5). Chase graduated from Port Charlotte High school and is pursuing a degree in ministry at South Eastern University. Logan graduated from Port Charlotte High school and loves traveling so now works at Allegiant airport to pursue a career in that field and is very computer savvy. Shane is in 10th grade, enjoys basketball, fishing, hunting and cars. Jessa is in dance, cheerleading and gymnastics, and is a smart, adorable and loving little girl who completes our family. I am married to my husband Nathan who works for Argos. He enjoys Jiu jitsu, fishing, and spending time with our family. During my free time I enjoy spending time with my big wonderful family, going to the beach, camping, gardening and teaching preschool children.
I have been teaching preschool aged children since I graduated high school in 1997. During that time I have earned my Child Development Associate certification, first aid and CPR, Developmentally Appropriate Practices with infants and toddlers, Behavior Observation and Screening in child care and my Associates of Science in Early Childhood Education. I am honored to work at Faith Preparatory School of Lake Suzy and feel so blessed to be a part of this wonderful group. Waking up every day and giving each student a safe and nurturing environment is one of the most rewarding professions, I love what I do! Some of my favorite things to do with the children are science activities, enjoying nature and reading fun books.
Ms. Natalie was born and raised on Long Island, New York and attended SUNY Cortland. She has her Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts and continued her education through the Education Preparation Institute at the State College of Florida. She is certified to teach Pre-kindergarten to 3rd grade, Elementary Education (K-6th) and also has her ESOL and Reading Endorsements. She has worked in the field of early childhood education for over 27 years.
As an educator Ms. Natalie feels it is her mission to create a nurturing, motivating and stimulating environment to help all children reach their full potential.
Ms. Natalie is married to Scott Toney who is also an educator, teaching American History at Port Charlotte High School and together they have a creative, dance-loving girl, Rachel who is also a Faith Prep alum.
In her free time she enjoys gardening, baking, hiking, snorkeling, roller blading and spending quality time with her family and friends.
(Bio to follow soon)
Ms. Tara was raised in Arcadia, Florida. She graduated from DeSoto
County High School in 2003. She then attended the University of South Florida
where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Master’s Degree
in Reading Education. She taught 1st grade for 9 years at
West Elementary in Arcadia before leaving to raise her children. She
later continued her education at USF and obtained a second Bachelor’s Degree
in Communication Sciences & Disorders (Speech Therapy).
Ms. Tara has been married to her husband, Shane, since 2013. They have 3 daughters together- Ava, Mia, & Harper. All three have been Faith Prep students. It is through seeing how much her children thrived at Faith Prep, that she truly felt called to be a preschool teacher. She began teaching in 2020 in the 3-year old classroom and has loved every minute watching her students learn and grow. Faith Prep has been a part of Ms. Tara’s story for many years and will be for many years to come!
When Ms. Tara isn’t teaching, she enjoys traveling with her family, watching her daughters’ sports events, reading, crafting, and family movie nights.
Ms. Tracey was born in Long Island, NY. She moved to Port Charlotte in 6th grade, where she met her future husband Matt. After graduating from Port Charlotte High, Matt joined the United States Air Force. They lived in Missouri for 6 years and grew their family of 5 there while Ms. Tracey worked at the Child Development Center on Whiteman AFB.
After returning to Charlotte County to live closer to family, Ms. Tracey started to work for Ms. Ericka. All 3 of her children, Juliana, Elizabeth, and Joey, went through Ms. Ericka’s preschool program. Ms. Tracey’s husband, Matt, works as an Insurance agent in Punta Gorda. Juliana and Elizabeth are very involved in competition dance and Joey is busy with baseball and basketball. Ms. Tracey and her family have been long time members of Deep Creek Community Church, where she is the coordinator for the 2-year-old Sunday School program. The Sacilowski’s like to spend their free time with family, camping, fishing, and going to the beach.