Our Private School faculty is committed to your child’s education in Fernandina Beach
Our staff are believers in Jesus Christ. They are committed to their faith and teach and live their lives as Christian citizens.
Our faculty does more than simply instruct students; they mentor young minds to learn, lead and serve. As we grow our school, we grow His kingdom. We are a community Christian school on the beautiful campus of First Baptist Church, Amelia Island, Florida.
Administration, Teachers and Staff
Frank VacircaPrincipal / Head of School
Frank Vacirca is a retired district superintendent from Massachusetts. He has served as a teacher, coach, principal, college professor and educational consultant.
Shannon HogueCoordinator of Curriculum and Instruction
As an educator with 17 years of experience, Shannon Hogue serves as Coordinator of Curriculum and Instruction at FBCA. She has an important role in ensuring the academic integrity of the school. She works directly in the classroom with teachers and students. Shannon is also responsible for mentoring our staff and performing student assessments. As Coordinator of Summer Camps, Shannon continually works to provide creative summer learning experiences that are fun. She has a education degree in middle grades and originally hails from Georgia. She is married and the mother of three daughters. She is an active member of First Baptist Church.
Karin StewartAdministrative Assistant
Karin Stewart serves as administrative assistant to the principal. She grew up in Stuttgart, Germany, where she received her degree in economics and foreign languages. Her administrative skills and knowledge of technology has made office management more efficient and accessible. Karin and her husband, Dr. Philip Stewart, just had their first child, Alexander.
Wendy Waas is starting her fifth year in teaching. She is a graduate of St. Leo University with a B.A. in Psychology and received her Elementary Education K-6 degree from Florida Southern University. She is a certified teacher through the Florida Department of Education. Wendy is a lifelong, fifth generation resident of Fernandina Beach. She has written two children’s – The Harriet Hedgehog Series.
Marcie Barker is originally from Georgia. She is a graduate of Kendall College with a B.A. in Early Childhood Education with a concentration in Special Education. She holds a Master’s degree in education. Marcie is married and has three children. She is a devoted Christian who is excited to be part of a Christ centered school.
Deanna McNealFirst Grade
Deanna is originally from Gainesville, Georgia having moved to Fernandina Beach with her family when she was eight years old. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Florida State College in Jacksonville.For the past five years, she has been a Children’s Teacher in the Amelia Island Community Bible Study. From an early age, Deanna has always loved children and knew that she wanted to be a teacher. She is excited to share her love of The Lord with her students.
Carrie VitoriSecond Grade
Carrie Vitori is originally from Dallas, Texas. She graduated from Texas State University with a B.A. in Geography & Planning and a specialty in Resource and Environmental Studies. Carrie has public, private and Montessori teaching experience. She is married with two children and feels blessed her family has the privilege of being the “Welcome Family” for FBCA parents.
Natalie LoucksSecond Grade
With 10 years of teaching experience in the Florida public schools, Natalie Loucks has a keen passion for educating young minds. She is a graduate of Auburn University with a B.A. in Public Relations. Natalie inspires children to be high achievemers. She strongly desires that her children have a strong sense of self-worth and a fervent love for the Lord. She is married and is a mother of two children who attend the school. She is an active member of her local church and enjoys spending time with her family in the outdoors.
Merinda AstlesThird Grade
Merinda Nunez Astles is in her 23rd year of teaching in Nassau County. She is a graduate of The University of North Florida and holds a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education. She is a life-long resident of Fernandina Beach. Merinda is married to Steve Astles. She has 2 children, Jack and Bridget. She is THRILLED to be teaching in a Christian school where she can share the love that she has for Jesus with so many children.
Casey WilburFifth Grade
Casey is originally from Nassau County. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Preschool-Primary Education and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. She taught elementary education in Nassau County public schools for 5 years and has been teaching special education in Camden County schools for the last 7 years. Casey is married to Jason Wilbur. They have 3 children. She loves Jesus and makes it a priority to instill Biblical principles in her own children and enjoys teaching in a loving, Christian environment.
Janelle GelstonFifth Grade Math, Science, Social Studies
Hailing from Watertown, New York, Janelle received her B.S. in Elementary Education from Houghton College with a strong concentration in mathematics. Along with being a highly effective teacher, Janelle coordinates our student garden program, Bible Studies for teachers, Signing and Singing and Lego Robotics. Janelle is a devout Christian woman, she is married and a mother of two children who attend the school.
Carol AdamsPE Teacher
As instructor of physical education, Carol Adams ensures the children understand the importance of exercise. She is energetic and truly enjoys her role as a PE Teacher. Carol is married and a mother of three children. She also assists her mother, Judy Ankersen, with our very popular after school Lego Club. Carol and her family are active members at Amelia Baptist Church.
Barbara BookSpanish Teacher
Barbara Book serves as Spanish teacher where her love of teaching and of children is evident in her classroom instruction. She is energetic and creative which makes her students love her. Along with teaching Spanish, Barbara is a gymnastics instructor at a local dance studio. She is a devout catholic and attends mass daily at St. Michael’s Church.
Shea ZaccaroMusic Teacher
Shea Zaccaro has an undergraduate degree in music from the University of Florida and a master’s degree from the University of Connecticut. Shea also gives individual piano lessons and is the music director at the local Methodist Church. She is responsible for the annual Christmas and Easter Concerts at FBCA.
Stacy HarrisInstructional Aide
Stacy Harris comes to FBCA with 16 years of classroom experience working with young children, teachers and parents. Her role is specific to classroom support and one-on-one instructional help with each student. Her role at FBCA greatly enhances each child’s academic progress in the classroom. She is married and has 3 children. She and her husband are very active with local scouting programs.
Juanita ColemanInstructional Aide
Juanita Coleman is our instructional aide to intermediate grade students. She has volunteered tirelessly at FBCA before being appointed to a position on staff. Her dedication to students and staff is visibly demonstrated daily by her caring and supportive nature. Juanita is married and the mother of a student at FBCA.