Atlantis Academy
Palm Beaches


Mary Joyner, Director 


Kevin McIlvain, Assistant Director


Patricia Giner, Director of Education and Community Outreach

For more than two decades Ms. Giner has devoted her career to Atlantis Academy. As director of education and community outreach, she educates present and prospective Atlantis Academy families on community resources, guides them through the admissions process and assists them in navigating alternate educational funding options.  Prior to her current position, Ms. Giner served as director of development and admissions for Atlantis Academy. Ms. Giner’s impressive professional background also includes serving as a teacher in the first inclusion classroom in a private preschool in Miami-Dade County, a child advocate for Dade County Public School Chapter One Handicapped Students, national director of admissions for College Living Experience and an independent educational consultant for students with special needs. She received a certificate in Cuban-American Studies from the University of Miami and Guardian Ad Litem Training in Dade County. Ms. Giner is certified in Early Childhood Education and Advocacy and Self-Determination Skills. She received degrees from Barry University and the University of Miami. In addition to her professional accolades, Ms. Giner is also involved with professional and civic organizations. For the past 15 years she has served as a Child Development Advisory Council Member for the University of Miami Mailman Center, board member for The Coalition of McKay Scholarship Schools, coordinator for the CHADD of North Broward Chapter, committee member for Families First of Palm Beach County, advisory board member  for the Self-Advocate Leadership Training (SALT) at the University of Miami Mailman Center, member of the Florida Foster Care Review Panel and a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. In her free time, Ms. Giner enjoys boating, snow skiing, gardening and Italian language studies.

Lauren Altschuler Option 2





Lauren AltschulerOffice Manager

Ms. Altschuler is the office manager at Atlantis Academy. She has worked at the school for more than 30 years, during which time she has managed the school office and held all job-related responsibilities. Ms. Altschuler has also dedicated her time to serve as summer camp director over the years. She attended Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York where she studied elementary education. In her free time, Ms. Altschuler enjoys reading and snorkeling.

Sharon Parker-Bookkeeper





Sharon ParkerBookkeeper

Ms. Parker has served as the bookkeeper for Atlantis Academy since 2009 and manages student accounts and processes payroll. Previously, she worked in various roles in the fields of education, real estate development and property management. She earned her college degree from Palm Beach State College and completed upper level work in visual arts at Florida State University and Florida Atlantic University. For the past 10 years, Ms. Parker has volunteered for the community theater and currently works with a company that teaches musical theater to individuals of all abilities.

Academic Staff

 Leslie Butler, Teacher, Kindergarten and Grade 1

Since 2004, Ms. Butler has taught the students of Atlantis Academy. She teaches 8th grade using the co-teaching model. Ms. Butler also provides instruction on reading and organizational skills and assists in coordinating the after-school program. Prior to her position with Atlantis Academy, Ms. Butler taught in Palm Beach County schools and the private sector for 11 years.

She earned a master’s degree in elementary education and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Palm Beach Atlantic University and a master’s degree in special education from Nova Southeastern University. In addition to teaching for more than 20 years, Ms. Butler has also served as a Civil Air Patrol Emergency Services Officer for 30 years. When she isn’t working, Ms. Butler enjoys gardening and disaster, search and rescue work.

Tyler  Cotton, Physical Education Teacher

Mr. Cotton is the physical educator at Atlantis Academy and is responsible for developing and leading the physical education programs, which include activities such as flag football, basketball, bowling and dancing. He devotes his time to teaching students the importance of staying active and lifelong fitness. Mr. Cotton earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education K-12 from Palm Beach Atlantic University, West Palm Beach, Fla. He is involved in SHAPE Florida, an association for the P.E. teachers in the state of Florida, and enjoys participating in outdoor activities.

Nadia Filan, English Language Arts Teacher, Grades 6-12

Ms. Nadia Filan joined Atlantis Academy in 2014 as the English Language Arts teacher for grades 6-12. With her worldly educational experiences from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to Rome, Italy, along with her extensive travel abroad, Ms. Filan brings her adept knowledge of teaching special education to the Atlantis Academy students.

She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Government and Politics with a minor in Social Work from St. John’s University, New York. Upon entering the workforce, Ms. Filan worked with adults and children with disabilities as a Developmental Special, Recreation Special and Advocate for persons with disabilities. She continued her graduate studies in Elementary and Special Education at Mercy College, The College of St. Rose, and Touro College New York while pursuing her New York State Special Education teaching license. After teaching middle school Special Education Language Arts and Science in Brooklyn, New York she and her family relocated to New Jersey where she then taught as a Highly Qualified High School World and United States History special education teacher.

Mrs. Filan continues to hold her K-12 New Jersey Teacher of the Handicapped license and has recently received her Florida Exceptional Student Education K-12 license. She is a member of S.E.N.G. (Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted), National Association of Special Education Teachers , Council for Exceptional Children and The Fish Philosophy Network. She enjoys spending her spare time at the beach and in the pool with her four amazing boys, wonderful husband and crazy pets. She reads avidly with her children daily and is involved in each of their school’s Parent Teacher Organizations.

Daphney Harrison, Teacher, Grade 8

Ms. Harrison started working at Atlantis Academy in February 2013 as a middle school self-contain teacher for grades 6-8. She graduated from St. Thomas University with a master’s degree in special education where she also earned a certification to teach Gifted Students and is certified to teach special education grades K-12. Ms. Harrison is currently earning her doctoral degree specializing in organizational leadership. She has worked in both the public and charter school settings and has a background as a social worker. As an educator, she is committed to the social and academic development of each student and to developing meaningful relationships with each of her students and parents. In her spare time, Ms. Harrison enjoys spending time with her son, shopping, reading, visiting with family and friends, baking, and attending her husband’s football games.

Kerri Jenal, Elementary Foundations Assistant Teacher

Ms. Jenal has served as the teaching assistant for the Elementary Foundations classroom at Atlantis Academy for the past four years. Since moving to Florida, she has obtained her Paraprofessional Certificate, 40 hour; DCF Certificates; and several other Florida DCF trainings. Ms. Jenal relocated from New York, where she received training in multiple areas, including Functional Behavior Assessment and Understanding Data Collection and Applied Behavior Analysis. She has been happily married for 21 years and enjoys watching her two children play sports in her free time.

Melissa Stearns Rice, Teacher, Grade 6

Ms. Rice began teaching at Atlantis Academy in August 2014 as a 6th grade teacher and classroom facilitator/co-teacher. For the last 10 years, Ms. Rice taught special education in North Carolina in both middle and elementary schools. In this role, she taught a wide array of students: autistic, Asperger’s syndrome, visually impaired, space and orientation impaired, intellectually impaired, hearing impaired, ADHD and multiple disabilities. Ms. Rice successfully created and implemented Individual Education Plans with IEP teams and has experience working with school intervention teams for students with special needs.

Ms. Rice attended the University of North Carolina in Greensboro, NC where she graduated cum laude with a double major in history and psychology. When she’s not teaching, Ms. Rice enjoys reading and traveling. She is an avid New England sports fan and, with her husband, has traveled across the country to see the Red Sox play.

Ursula Scott, Spanish Teacher

Ms. Scott has taught Spanish at Atlantis Academy since 2012. She is extremely passionate about the Spanish language and culture, having been born and raised in Lima, Peru, and enjoys teaching elementary, middle and high school students. Before joining Atlantis Academy, Ms. Scott taught at Baltimore City Public School for nine years. She is a proud valedictorian from University of Sacred Heart where she earned her bachelor’s degree in communication studies.

Rome Stockdill, Middle School Foundations Teacher

Mr. Stockdill has served as a special education teacher for more than 12 years and joined Atlantis Academy as the Middle School Foundations teacher in August 2014. Before joining Atlantis, Mr. Stockdill spent the last several years teaching special education at an elementary school in Winter Haven, Fla., a charter high school in Lake Charles, Fla., and at various elementary schools throughout the York County School Division in Virginia.

He has earned certifications in the areas of emotional disturbance, special education, specific learning disabilities, library media and elementary education. He is a graduate of University of Minnesota, Moorhead, Minn., and enjoys reading, traveling, interior design and hiking.

Michael Warman, History Teacher, Grades 7-12

Mr. Warman is the social studies teacher and teaches 7th grade civics, 8th and 9th grade US history, 10th and 11th grade world history and 12th grade American government and economics. He is also on the yearbook committee and participates in numerous other activities throughout the Academy. Previously, Mr. Warman worked in the Palm Beach County School district as a district-wide substitute teacher. While in Palm Beach County, he worked in every high school, middle school, and alternative school in the county, as well as several elementary schools. Prior to that, he worked as the Teen Program Director at Gesher Summer Camp located in Livingston, NJ, and as a substitute teacher at Harding Township School located in New Vernon, NJ.

Mr. Warman received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Mass. with a double minor in Education and Psychology. He went on to gain a Masters of the Art of Teaching degree from Montclair State University located in Montclair, NJ, where his focus was on social studies for grades K-12. His student teaching was completed at Thomas A. Edison Career and Technical Academy located in Elizabeth, NJ. He is currently certified to teach in both New Jersey and Florida for social studies.

Mr. Warman is an avid reader who also enjoys playing video games, exercising, reading, cooking and history. He comes from a long line of teachers and his true passion is teaching and working with young people.

Toni GrahamArt Teacher




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