Angela is passionate about education and has more than 19 years teaching experience. She studied and received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Florida State University in Literature. She then went on to earn a Master of Science degree in Library and Information Studies. At the heart of her academic pursuits was the desire to learn and to share her passion for learning with others. She feels that each student has individual needs and that creating connections with her students is the foundation of meeting those needs. Being an educator has allowed her to become a facilitator of self-discovery, using a child’s natural wonder to expand their knowledge.
As the son of two former educators and having been born and raised in the beautiful state of Oregon, teaching and nature have always played a major role in my life. I graduated with a Bachelor's from Willamette University in the state capitol of Salem in 1998, and entered into jobs in hospitality and inside sales. In 2006, I found I just wasn't finding the fulfillment that I wanted from those jobs, and decided to obtain my Masters in Elementary Education through the University of Phoenix. I have been teaching ever since, working with students between 4th and 12th grade. Throughout my career, I have found frustration with how our education system is set up to teach based on age rather than on ability. This is my main reason for choosing to search beyond the public school setting in the hopes of finding a place like Verdi EcoSchool. I am very excited for the opportunity to meet students where they truly are, and help them grow and flourish!
Anthony Razzino is the co-owner of Free Motion Physical Therapy of Brevard PA, along with his wife
Stacie. It has been his mission and great passion to bring healing to people who have been through and
are currently dealing with a traumatic injury, physical disabilities, or debilitating diseases, with a focus on dignity, compassion, and respect. Anthony helps his clients, who include children, adults, and families, find solutions to their unique physical problems using a patient centered philosophy, in order to provide them with independence needed for lifelong change. He co-founded Free Motion Physical Therapy to provide quality, specialized care to his patients without the pressures of a corporate or physician owned practice. He spends many hours at his clinic as business owner and clinician, and finds helping his patients most fulfilling. Anthony enjoys his time at home, outdoors, and traveling with his wife and three daughters. He graduated magna cum laude with a BS in Exercise Physiology in 1997 and a Master of Science in Physical Therapy in 1999 from the University of Massachusetts Lowell.
While earning her Master’s degree in School Counseling from New York University, Phoenix became passionate about non-traditional education. She has worked with the Conservation Corps as a steward in the Hudson Valley and Catskills in New York and run social-emotional and play support groups with pre-kindergarten students and believes that deep, sustained play is foundational to learning. Phoenix loves to be in nature and knew that she wanted to incorporate nature into her career in counseling and education. She is grateful to have found a like-minded community that allows her to expand on her interests and skill sets.
My connection with nature began in my youth, growing up in rural Pennsylvania and exploring in my own backyard. I have my Bachelors in Business and Marketing from Penn State, I've worked with children as a volunteer for 10 years before coming to Verdi EcoSchool, and am a certified ERAFANS Nature Based Educator.
My experience includes working with a community based preschool program, involvement in a local 4H farm program, assisting visitors at a local preserve and nature center, and volunteering in K-2 classrooms. I am passionate about sharing a love and wonder for our world with children, while helping them build strong foundational skills and a connection to our environment and community.
Mr. Ethan joined the EcoSchool Family in 2019 as a physical education specialist.
Mr. Ethan holds a BS in Physical Education and a MS in Exercise Science.
Mr. Ethan also holds a certification as a strength and conditioning specialist.
Brooke is an Upper School and EcoHigh educator who believes social emotional learning is an integral part in a child’s education. Brooke is grateful to have joined a school community that values the development of self-awareness and empathy in a natural setting. Brooke studied Secondary Education at the University of South Florida, then moved to Jackson, Mississippi to serve in the Americorps as an educator with Teach for America. While teaching in middle schools during the COVID 19 pandemic, Brooke saw firsthand how social emotional learning (SEL) advances educational equity. Now Brooke uses SEL along with project-based and place-based learning to guide Social Studies and English Language Arts experiences at Verdi EcoSchool.
Johanna's life passion is connecting others to nature through movement, play, music and hands-on learning. She grew up in Maryland on an island in the Chesapeake Bay where she gained a deep appreciation for the natural world. She earned a degree in Environmental Anthropology and Sustainability at the University of Maryland and has since lead nature programs at multiple Maryland State Parks and nature centers, from the barrier islands of the Atlantic to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her teaching philosophy is based on the "Coyote's Guide to Connecting with Nature" out of the Wilderness Awareness School, where the educator takes on the role as "mentor" and "facilitator", gently guiding little ones through nature and life experiences. Outside of school, you can find Johanna hanging out at the beach, doing yoga, meditating or cooking delicious vegan food.
My name is Cayli and I lead the students in EcoSchool's Harvest to Table experiences. Outside of my work at EcoSchool, I am a professional personal chef.
I'm honored to be a part of the Verdi EcoSchool community, and I look forward to learning and growing along with the students.
My name is Molly and I am originally from Lakeland, Florida!
My family were Florida orange growers in Polk County until 2019 and I am honored to be able to carry on their agricultural legacy through agriculture education. My best childhood memories were made under the hot sun running wild with my cousins in the orange groves. I studied in the North GA Mountains and received a degree in Sustainable Community Development with a focus in agriculture. I have worked at farms in Georgia, California, Indonesia, and here in Florida!
I have worked for the past 2 school years as a certified agriculture teacher in Florida and am excited to continue growing plants and minds here at Verdi EcoSchool!
In 2016, Ayana established Verdi EcoSchool to provide hands-on educational
experiences for children in the historic Eau Gallie Arts District in Melbourne, Florida.
Created originally to offer enrichment options for homeschool families, the Verdi EcoSchool
quickly grew to become the first K-8 urban farm school in the southeastern United
Awarded the prestigious Drexel Fund Fellowship, Ayana’s educational and professional journey has
included studies in both the United States and New Zealand as she pursued a degree in
Veterinary Medicine while operating a canine wellness spa in New York City. Inspired by the
nature-based school her son attended while she lived and studied in New Zealand, Ayana is
committed to cultivating community based and environmentally aware educational options
John Verdi is a retired law enforcement officer from NYC and a 9/11 First Responder. John received a degree in Criminal Justice from St. John’s University and is the Founder of the Hey, Blue! Initiative: an interactive approach to creating meaningful connections between police officers and the communities they serve. John is also the co-founder of the Verdi EcoSchool, the only place and project based urban farm school in the southeastern US. John is a proud husband to his wife Ayana, father to his 2 children Giovanni and Annabella and enjoys making connections with people in his community.