MARY ASTA

Executive Director

Mary has served on the board of the Gargiulo Education Center since 2017 and was named its Executive Director in January, 2018.  She has an extensive history in philanthropy.  As Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation at Rockefeller University in New York City, she developed the foundation’s structure from the ground up, raising millions of research dollars as well as pro bono media dollars.  She has sat on the board of and/or advised several foundations, including The Intrepid Museum, Fisher House Foundation, Michael Stern Parkinson’s Foundation, Fallen Heroes Funds, and Hanover Charities. Mary currently serves on the board of the Montessori Academy of Naples.  As a successful entrepreneur, she owns a patent-holding company, Master Poe Innovations, and has an extensive history in the entertainment and fashion worlds.  In her spare time, she works with Alzheimer’s patients.

 

EILEEN ARAMBARRI

Educational Director

My name is Eileen Arambarri. I was an educator for 38 years. I attended New York University where I completed my Bachelor’s degree is Teaching English As A Second Language. I also
have a Masters degree in Teaching English As A Second Language. My second Masters degree is in Educational Administration and Supervision.

After retiring from teaching in June 2021, my husband and I moved to Florida. After one month of being in Florida, I realized that I missed teaching and started to apply for teaching positions. As luck and fate might have it, I applied for a teaching position at Gargiulo Education Center. I have been at Gargiulo for close to two years.

Needless to say, the students and staff here are my family. The strong relationships I have formed here have solidified my confidence in continuing to work with the students and families here at Gargiulo.

I have two children of my own. My son is a Mental Health Counselor and my daughter is about to graduate from Law School. I have always motivated my own children to excel and overcome any and all obstacles. This is the same determination I will impart to all the students here at Gargiulo. As we all work together, we can insure that every student here at Gargiulo will be successful and accomplish and fulfill all their dreams and ambitions.

 

LISA COTTO

MS / Teacher

Lisa retired from Collier County Public Schools after spending forty-one years in the classroom having worked in five different states with the last twenty years here in Collier County. Lisa has a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish and a Master’s Degree in ESOL/Curriculum and Instruction. Lisa holds eight current state of Florida certifications and is certified to teach all grade levels K-12 with a major focus in Early Literacy, Reading, Language Arts, Literacy, Social Studies and working with students who speak English as a Second Language. Her motto is “Reach For the Moon…Even If You Miss You’ll Land Among the Stars.”

RON HESSINGER

3 – 4 Teacher

Born and raised in PA. Veteran of the U.S. Air Force. Built, owned, and operated a hotel in the Ecuadorian rainforest for 10 years. Employed at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility as a Correctional Officer. Worked as a Florida DCF Child Protective Investigator for 5 years. Currently in my 17th year teaching science at the high school level. I have earned a B.S. in Secondary Education, M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction, M.Ed. in School Leadership. I am fluent in Spanish, spoken and written. 

 

LARRY JENSEN

3 – 5 Teacher
Larry’s background includes experience as an eighth grade U.S. History and ESL Reading teacher at Gidley Elementary School in El Monte California. He has also taught eighth grade Communication Skills and Social Studies at Parkwood Middle School in Monroe North Carolina. His education consists of a B.A. in Politics and Public Affairs from the University of Miami and a B.B.A. in Marketing and Business from Northwood University in Midland Michigan. He completed his teaching curriculum at Chapman University in Orange California. In addition to his formal education, he has also completed courses in Teaching ESL students and Writing Skills. When not teaching he enjoys swimming, bicycling, reading, sports, and travel. 

GINA JONES

K – 2 Teacher

have been a teacher for about 20 years including being a homeschool teacher for my two daughters. My bachelor’s degree is in Elementary Education and Special Education and my master’s degree is in language, literacy, and socio-cultural studies with concentration in Bilingual Education from the University of New Mexico.

I have high expectations for all my students, and I focus on Montessori vision on having students to explore through their learning. My passion is to guide and support children throughout their personal and academic goals as well as provide them with methods and strategies to facilitate their learning. I believe that open communication between home and school regarding children’s performance is very important. I’m glad to be part of this great community

KATHY McGRATH

Math Teacher

Bio Coming soon.

TYRONE TAYLOR

MS / Math Teacher

Bio coming soon.

PERLA TORRES

K – 2 Teacher

Perla Torres was born and raised in Brownsville, Texas. This small city borders with Matamoros, Mexico. Perla graduated from The University of Texas at Brownsville (UTB) in 2011 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Bilingual Early Education through 6th grade. She began her career working as a daycare provider for 1 year and then becoming the daycare director for another year. Soon after, she began substituting in different schools; which later took her to being hired as a teacher in a 2nd grade position. Since then, she had been working as a 5th grade teacher in an elementary. Perla had also served for several years as the chair member for the Language Proficiency Assessment Committee (LPAC) for her school. She presently moved to Florida this summer and has found a great opportunity to help students in need find their potential. Perla lives with her husband and their four children and are very excited to explore what lies ahead of them.

MARY FAHRER

Substitute Teacher

Bio Coming Soon.