We founded OMA with the philosophy that all children have the ability to learn; it is how they are taught that matters most.  We individualize and customize every service we offer to target the specific needs of each student.  We pride ourselves on creating a space where "kids can be kids" and learning is fun!  

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Sara Frost, M.Ed.

Co-Founder and Director of Academics

Sara Frost holds a Bachelor's Degree in Child Development and a Master's Degree in Reading Education, grades K-12.  She holds her teaching certificate in grade PreK through 3rd Grade.  She comes to OMA with many years of experience working with children of all ages in and out of the classroom.  Her energy and enthusiasm is contagious.  Sara lives in Wellington with her husband, Brian, and children, Ethan and Addison. 

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Tyler Shernoff, M.Ed. 

Co-Founder and Director of Operations

Tyler Shernoff holds a Bachelor's Degree from Emory University and a Master's Degree in Education and School Counseling from the University of Pennsylvania.  She has worked in the Wellington Equestrian community since 2010 and is passionate about customizing education programs to accommodate student athletes’ unique needs.  Tyler lives in Wellington with her children, Anna and Evan.

Katherine Romero, M.Ed.

Office Administrator

Katherine is a Gator grad with a Bachelors in Elementary Education and a Masters in Special Education, both from the University of Florida. As a  certified teacher she also holds reading and ESOL endorsements. She has recent teaching experience in the Palm Beach County School District. Katherine's Spanish language background stem from her Peruvian roots. When she's not traveling to Peru to visit family, Katherine enjoys trips to different countries to experience new cultures. She has travelled to 10 countries, in 5 continents. She hopes to one day touch each country in the world!


Jessica Rosenfeld, M.Ed

After School Tutor

Jessica recently graduated from the University Of Kentucky with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education. She grew up in Princeton, New Jersey with a passion for working within the education field most of her life. Jessica has been a part of her family owned schools for the past 7 years. She is a competitive equestrian and an identical twin! When she's not teaching or riding horses, Jessica loves to travel. Jessica hopes to go on a mission trip sometimes this summer and continue to pursue her career in Education!



Yahaira Battiata

Spanish Tutor

Yahaira Battiata is from Dominican Republic. In the Dominican Republic, she studied Education in “La Universidad Tecnológica de Santiago, (UTESA).”  She received her Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education with a teaching major-in Social Sciences, and a Master Degree in Spanish in August 2006 from the same University. Yahaira also got a Master Degree in Latin American Literature and Culture at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, IL. Yahaira Battiata has taught Spanish in High School, Elementary School, cultural workshops and camps in Dominican Republic, Haiti and Chicago, and adult classes at the College and University level in Chicago. Yahaira Battiata is not only passionate about engaging her students in the Spanish language, but also love to teach about the Latin American Culture. Yahaira loves to teach!  In her free time, she enjoys long walks along the beach, going to zumba clases, creating workshops, Reading books, wacthing movies, and traveling to other countries.


Melissa Illance, M.Ed

After School Tutor

Melissa holds a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education and a Masters Degree in Education, both from the University of Florida. She is certified K-6th grade, is ESOL Endorsed, and finishing her Reading Certification. She has experience teaching in Miami, Florida, Cincinnati, Ohio and Mexico City, Mexico in different school environments from Charter to Inner City and Reggio Emilia School culture. Her love for teaching has traveled around the world! Melissa is bilingual in both Spanish and English, deriving from her Cuban-American background and growing up in Miami, Florida. Melissa lives in the Royal Palm area with her husband and son.

Cynthia Sutlzberger, M.Ed

Reading and Handwriting Specialist

Cynthia received her Bachelors of Arts in Child Psychology from Duke University and a Masters in Reading Specialization from Bank Street College of Education in New York City.  She worked as a kindergarten teacher, and later as a reading specialist at her alma mater, The Dalton School.  In 1997, Cynthia moved to East End of Long Island where she worked for 11 years as a reading specialist at The Ross School.  Cynthia and her family moved to Palm each 8 years ago where she has been doing private tutoring.  


Niki Giliberti, M.Ed

After School Tutor

Niki received her Bachelors in Elementary Education with a Minor in Psychology of the Exceptional Child from Cortland and a Masters in Educational Leadership from Lynn University.  For many years she has used her teaching and mentoring skills to catapult students to their next levels in academics and in life.  She has taught a variety of ages and abilities in and out of the school setting, owned and managed an influential dance studio, and currently enjoys freelancing as a teacher, tutor, coach, and mentor.  Her favorite job is being a wife to her hubby Jason, and mom to her two kids Luke and Alison. 

Heather Hopper, M.Ed

After School Tutor

Heather received her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Central Florida.   She is certified Pre-K-Third Grade, is ESOL endorsed, and is in the process of finishing her Gifted Endorsement.  Heather has been a certified teacher with the Palm Beach County School district for 9 years, having taught one year in Orange County, Florida.  Along with being a teacher, Heather wrote Writing curriculum for the district for 3 years and has sat on many curriculum committees.  “My biggest passion is helping kids to really LOVE learning!  I believe that EVERY student has the potential to succeed, they just need to be given the tools to do so!” –Heather Hopper


Melissa Dill, M.Ed


Melissa holds Bachelor's Degrees in Elementary Education and American Studies as well as a Teacher of Students with Disabilities endorsement.  She is certified to teach both elementary and special education.  Melissa has worked in both NJ and FL over the last 5 years in various classroom settings and grade levels.  She is deeply passionate about defeating the common doubt in the abilities of students with special needs and allowing their light to shine.  Melissa resides in West Palm with her husband and daughter.

Tiffany Penta, M.Ed

After School Tutor

Tiffany received her Bachelor's of Science in Elementary Education from Molloy College on Long Island, Ny.  She received three Masters Degrees in Elementary Education, Special Education, and Literacy from Touro College in NY. She taught in the classroom in New York City for three years and worked as a Reading Specialist for seven years in the city and on Long Island.  Tiffany loves to make learning exciting and enjoyable for her students. 

Chelsea Privett

After School Tutor

Chelsea Privett has eleven years experience working with young children.  In addition to a passion for early elementary education, she has a background in nursing with CPR and LifeSupport, and First Aid Certification.  She loves to bring creativity and hands on activities to her lessons and is enthusiastic about using manipulatives and interactively engaging her students.  Chelsea has two young children of her own and lives year round in Wellington, Florida.

Annie Simard

French Tutor

Annie  graduated from Rosemont College as a Medical Laboratory technologist and she obtained a Certificate in Management of Health and Social Services from University of Montreal. She grew up in Montreal, Canada and her native language is French. She moved to Florida in 2013 and had her first child. She discovered through her son that children have the ability to absorb different languages easily. Since then, she enjoys teaching French and likes to share her passion for this beautiful language.


Minka Hoffberg, M.Ed


Minka Hoffberg holds a Bachelors degree in elementary education grades K-8 as well as a Masters of Education.  She is also Nationally Board Certified in Reading/Language arts and holds a teaching certificate in Palm Beach County for grades K-6. Minka has over fifteen years of experience both in and out of the classroom with children of all ages. She is a firm believer that learning should be fun and engaging.   Mina relocated to Florida 12 years ago from New Mexico and enjoys outdoor activities such as gardening, swimming, bike riding, and walking.  Minka lives in Lake Worth with her husband and 2 children.

Ivana Mlinar

Enrichment Tutor, Art

Ivana received her Master's Degree in History of Visual Arts, Fine Arts and Fine Arts Teaching in University of Split, Croatia. She also completed several courses of Italian arts and culture in several Italian cities. In 1991 she moved to US with her husband who is also an artist and their two children. She lives in Wellington. She is an accomplished award winning painter who also gives private drawing and painting classes in her studio.

Kasey Verneer, M.Ed

After School Tutor

Kasey received her Bachelor's of Science degree in Elementary Education from the University of Central Florida.  She then went on to obtain her Master's Degree in Exceptional Student Education from the University of West Florida.  Kasey is certified to teach grades K-6 and is ESOL endorsed.  Kasey loves working with children and lives in Wellington with her family.


Kristen Licht, M.Ed


Kristen Licht holds a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and a Master's Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Florida. She holds her teaching certificate in Elementary Education grades K-6 and is certified in Exceptional Student Education as well as endorsed in Gifted Education. She has taught in Palm Beach County schools for 5 years and is passionate about meeting the unique needs of every student. Kristen lives in Wellington with her husband and two sons.


Tracy Stuba, M.Ed

Tutor and "Wacky Science"

Tracy holds Bachelor's Degrees in both Early Childhood Education and Child Psychology.  She is in the process of completing her Master’s in Education with a focus in Curriculum and Instruction.  Tracy loves to read and has an extensive collection of books. She is especially passionate about fostering a love for literacy in all children.  She is a lover of Science and spends a considerable amount of time conducting science experiments with her two young children.  She is a Navy Veteran and former Department of Defense employee.


Jamie Zimmelman, M.Ed


Jamie Zimmelman is a new team member of Open Minds Academy. She comes to OMA with more than 10 years of experience teaching children of all ages. She earned her Bachelor's Degree in Anthropology and Sociology from Florida International University (FIU). She also holds a Florida Teaching Certificate in Elementary Education (K-6) and English (6-12) as well as a TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certification. She has experience in both private and public school and is very excited to be a part of OMA this season. Jamie lives in Wellington with her husband, Stuart, and children, Adam and Ryan.  

Jolie Izenwasser

Jolie has always been a lover of dance & music. She graduated from LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in NYC as a Vocal Music major. She then went on to receive her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. During her study of dance Jolie became more interested in other studies of movement such as Yoga and Pilates. She went on to graduate from Hunter College NYC with a Masters of Science Degree in Early Childhood / Elementary Education. Jolie was fortunate enough to teach Preschool in both NYC and in Palm Beach County in Florida.
When Jolie was looking for a fun and unique birthday party idea for her Daughter she discovered Kidding Around Yoga (KAY). It was love at first sight. She then went on to receive other certifications through KAY including, Pre-KAY, and Yoga Yeladim.  Jolie is also certified with Karma Kids Yoga & Rainbow Kids Yoga.

Fred Shernoff, MBA

Coding Tutor

Fred earned his Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from Temple University and his MBA with a concentration and special certification in logistics from Lehigh University. He is a licensed real estate broker and works as a commercial investor. Fred earned a certificate in Computer Science from MIT's Ed-X program and is an experienced Objective-C (iPhone) developer.


Educational Specialists

Jennifer Valentine, Ed.S., NCSP

School Psychologist

Jennifer Valentine is a Florida licensed and nationally certified school psychologist who was trained in the School Psychology program at the University of Central Florida, in Orlando, Florida. She has experience working with children of various ages, backgrounds, and exceptionalities from pre-kindergarten through post-secondary school and in various settings, including the Palm Beach County Public School System, private practice, and local mental health facilities. Jennifer Valentine is a current member of her local, state, and national professional organizations. For the past several years she has served as secretary for the executive board of her local organization (Palm Beach Association of School Psychologists) and continues in this position currently. She also served on the executive board (as student delegate and co-newsletter chair) for her state organization for several years. Jennifer specializes in psychoeducational evaluations to help develop the most appropriate educational programming and planning for children with varying exceptionalities, including but not limited to giftedness, autism spectrum disorders, emotional/behavioral disorders, learning disorders, global developmental delays, academic concerns, attention deficit disorders, information processing/memory concerns, etc. She is available to meet for psychoeducational evaluations, parent conferences, and/or educational consulting during the week or on weekends. 

Andrea Capranos, CCC-SLP

Speech Language Pathologist

Andrea holds a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Central Florida. She is a certified speech-language pathologist in the state of Florida (CCC-SLP) and holds her teaching certificate in the area of speech-language impaired K-12.  Andrea has worked in the public school system with children of all ages and with various exceptionalities, however her favorite population is elementary school students.