2020-2021 OASN Academic Programs Staff Biographies (more coming soon!):

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Samantha Owens

Academic Support Coordinator & Teacher

Samantha started college in 2013, with plans to become a physician's assistant. While interning with our parent company in 2013 (OaSN Inc.), she developed a love of working with children with different learning needs.  She realized that her unique talents and creativity allowed her to meet the individual needs of children, causing them to blossom into their own talents and gifts. She interned for our parent company, Outreach Autism Services Network (OASN) for two summers before coming to work at OASN's Active Minds Summer Camp and then as a teacher for OPA in 2016.

Samantha received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of South Florida in 2016 and received her Masters in Exceptional Student Education at the University of West Florida in 2018. She is in a doctorate education program currently.

Samanatha is excited to continue using hands-on experiments, projects, and games to teach her students. Additionally, Samantha is one of our Academic Support Coordinators. She provides academic guidance and support to paraprofessionals and teachers as well as overseeing testing, grades, and our tutoring program.

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Lavern Williams

Academic Support Coordinator & Teacher

Lavern is an enthusiastic advocate of personalized and wholistic education who began teaching at OPA in 2017. She has fifteen years of experience teaching in various locations including the island of Jamaica, New York City, and at Shores Christian Academy in Ocala, where she also served as the Guidance Counselor. She has taught elementary and middle school grades as well as various high-school classes such as biology, anatomy, physiology, physical science, and health.

A graduate of the University of the West Indies with a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Sciences she also has previous work experience in health care research and aquaculture.

Additionally, Lavern is one of our Academic Support Coordinators. She provides academic guidance and support to paraprofessionals and teachers as well as overseeing testing, grades, and our tutoring program.

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Lori Silloway

Administrator

Ms. Lori is the "Wonder Woman" of our academic programs and our parent company, OASN. She was born in New York but spent her childhood in Rhode Island.  In 1974, she graduated from Sawyer Academy as an executive secretary. She worked as an executive assistant for a few years before moving to Florida in 1979. After spending some time in other professions, Lori found her niche building her own business in auto sales for 11 years. She later ran a multi-corporate business in the auto industry, successfully managing a salvage yard, used car lot and other related businesses.

After raising a family, Lori decided to go back to school and graduated with honors from Rasmussan College in Ocala with an Associate of Science degree in Health Information Technology. Soon after, Lori was appointed to the board, as the secretary of our parent company, OASN Inc. As the organization grew, Lori became the first paid employee (our staff was all volunteer for many years) of OASN Inc. and later, OPA. She now wears many hats while serving as our Administrator at OPA.

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John Davis

Support Services Director

John's avid interest and curiosity in technology began at the age of 7 when he built his first computer by finding parts at various locations. His passion for working with children, especially those with unique behavioral needs, started in high school at a summer camp. John's interest in security began in high school when he joined the Police Explorers which led to his first loss prevention job after high school.  This diversity of skill sets grew into dual careers: 1)  Technology (over 30 years) and 2)  Safety and Security (over 20 years). As a result of John's extensive experiences, his background includes myriad professional certifications, training, and serving as a resource for corporate solutions.

John is skilled in security, security integration, IT, programming, and web development. John is experienced in working with .Net, C#, VB, XML, and JSON. Furthermore, John has extensive experience with developing cross-browser and cross-platform web applications. Moreover, his deep understanding of HTML, PHP, CSS, MySQL, Swift, and JavaScript complements the innovative learning experiences he creates for his students.

John recently accepted the newly created position of Support Services Director. This position oversees IT, Safety, Security, Student Discipline & Extended Care.

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AnnMarie Sossong

Education Specialist

AnnMarie has been teaching in the state of Florida for over 30 years. In that time, she has worked in public and private schools as well as for online schools. Furthermore, she has participated in the local home school community as a teacher, evaluator and as a parent.

She has operated several businesses in the Ocala area including music instruction and tutoring services. AnnMarie has had a passion for the struggling learners since the beginning of her career and has continually worked, to the best of her ability, to support students who need a helping hand to access age-appropriate instruction.

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Jocelyn Figueroa

Teacher

Joselyn was born and raised in Puerto Rico and moved to Ocala in 2017. She has a BA in Early Childhood and Primary Education as she loves working with children. Additionally, she holds an MBA in Business Administration.

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Frances Lopez

Teacher 

Frances was born and raised in Puerto Rico but has called Ocala home for the past seven years. She interned for the 2017-2018 school year and has been on staff since she finished her internship in 2018. Frances graduated from the Inter American University of Puerto Rico with a Bachelor of Arts in Education.

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Sheila Ramos

Teacher

Sheila Ramos, owner of Artist Hub of Ocala & has worked in several private schools in Marion County. Sheila has a BA from St. Leo University and was the Coordinator of Art & Cultural Programs at CF Institute for ten years. Sheila was an instructor for Early Childhood classes for the CDA credential and instructed renewal classes for childcare owners for their National Credential from Washington DC. Sheila has been on staff since 2016.

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Nicole Rivera

Paraprofessional

Nicole is originally from Chicago, IL and relocated to Ocala in 2004. She has a BA in Early Childhood Education with a concentration in Special Needs. Nicole's experience includes teaching children from birth to high school in MCPS and through her church ministry. She has been on staff since 2017.

Ocala Preparatory Academy is an academic program offered by OASN, a non profit organization serving the community since May 12, 2011.  Choice scholarships accepted. Call us with questions regarding openings (if available) or to be put on our waitlist. 

7634 SW 60th Avenue
Ocala, Florida 34476

Any questions?

Call us: 352-509-4085