CinDay Academy

Faculty & Staff

You will see passion in everything our teachers do

True learning is a student driven process. Thus, CDA teachers are the facilitators that guide the learning of their students. Our teachers love what they do and believe that every child matters. Each one goes the extra mile to individualize and ensure that they are challenged.

Amanda Becker

Preschool Teacher

I am an Early Childhood teacher. I believe that learning should be a fun and interactive process that involves all senses. We will play, sing, paint, read write and more. I look forward to helping your children grow and learn in the classroom. I attended Wright State University and Antioch McGregor in Early Childhood Education. Previously, I was the Director of a daycare and preschool program for a school in Dayton. I am an avid animal lover and enjoy nature and photography. My husband and I have 3 wonderful children. My passion, however, is teaching and children. Thus, I am very excited to teach at Minds In Motion since they have a great program and are doing wonderful things to excite young children about learning.

Julie Blasko

High School Aide

Julie Blasko

Christopher Braun

Band Director

I graduated with a Master of Music degree from Wright State University and have a Bachelor of Music degree from The Ohio State University. I am experienced as a performer, educator, and conductor. As a music educator, I strive to inspire learning and to pass on my passion for music. My experiences with learning music have played a vital role in my personal development. Some of my teaching experiences include working as a Graduate Assistant at Wright State University, Master class teacher at the Salvation Army Kroc Center and teaching at various band camps and programs in the Dayton area. I previously served as Music Director of different churches in both Florida and Ohio. I currently work as the Adjunct Trumpet Instructor at Sinclair Community College and also teach private lessons at Dayton area music stores. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as the Band Teacher at The CinDay Academy and look forward to great things from the students.

Mara Burnett

Music Teacher Prek-5


Katie Campbell

Primary Teacher

I studied Early Childhood Education at Indiana Wesleyan University as a graduate student and am certified to teach preschool-3rd grade. Additionally, I have a bachelor's degree in Psychology from Ohio University. I have numerous hours of teaching experience in preschool, 1st, and 3rd grade. I absolutely love the wonder, joy, and curiosity that Early Childhood Education allows me to experience each day! As an educator, it is my mission to give ALL children access to learning in authentic purposeful ways that support their social-emotional skills and academic growth. My husband, Dave, and I live here in Springboro with our two children Emma and Jake. We are lucky to have our parents just down the street to support us and enjoy spending time with them often. In my spare time you will find me cheering for my kids' sports teams, walking my dog, or outside in the garden. I also enjoy photography, reading, and yoga. I feel very fortunate to be teaching at The CinDay Academy where I am surrounded by people who truly care about the success of each child, and I am inspired everyday as a teacher.

Kyle Dinger

Middle School Teacher

I am a certified 4-9 teacher at The CinDay Academy. I graduated from the Ohio University and have been teaching since 2009. I have taught everything from 4th grade through 8th grade. I have taught in Florida, North Carolina and now Ohio. I have taught at a variety of schools ranging from private, charter, alternative and public. I have three boys with my wife, Ashley, and we live in Springboro. Some of my hobbies include fixing/building things, exercise, gardening, and watching movies.

Sarah Flax

Primary Teacher

I am the Kindergarten teacher. I started at MIM as a PreK teacher and then taught a primary class at The Academy for several years. When I had my son & daughter, I wanted to spend some more time at home with him so I am thrilled to be teaching Kindgergaretn again. I graduated from Ohio University with a degree in Early Childhood Education. I have numerous hours teaching experience in preschool- 1st grade classrooms and have taught at CinDay Academy since 2005. My hobbies include scrap booking, hiking, listening to music and spending time with family and friends. Teaching is the only thing I could ever image myself doing. I want the families and children in my classroom to know that I care about them. I really enjoy the early years and looks forward to helping the children learn.

Erin Fortener

Middle School Art Teacher & DSS

I graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelors of Science in Early Childhood Education. I have taught pre-kindergarten, Kindergarten, a Multi-Disabilities classroom and a primary class. I was a Primary Teacher at The Academy then took time off to spend more time with my 2 young children and have rejoined The Academy in the art program. I enjoy reading and spending time with friends and family as well as expressing my creativity through craft and art projects. I also love learning from others because I feel everyone has so much to offer to our lives.

Tricia Fote

Business Director

I have been with The CinDay Academy from the very beginning and am very proud to be a part of this amazing school. I graduated Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a BA in Speech Communication and an emphasis on Public Relations from Miami University. Previously, I was the Director of Marketing and Sales Support for a local promotional and manufacturing company. I am married to my husband, Tom, and have twin daughters. Our family also includes a cat and a dog. My hobbies are reading, exercising, traveling and gardening. CDA is an important part of our community. I look forward to helping the team continue to expand this unique school and I am excited about the impact we have on our community.

Emily Fuller

Kindergarten Teacher

I am a Kindergarten Teacher with a degree in Education and I am very excited to be a part of the CinDay family. My husband and I have 2 young daughters and we have lived all over the country. We moved to the Dayton area in 2014 and we love it here. In my spare time, you can find me reading a good book, playing the piano, running or watching movies with my family.

Alexis Gomez

Spanish Teacher

I graduated from Wright State University with a Bachelor's Degree In Spanish Language. I have traveled and studied in Spain, Mexico, and Belize. I absolutely love teaching Spanish and watching the minds click as you start to understand and communicate in another language. I am also extremely passionate about music. I have spent the last several years as a professional musician. I love incorporating language, music, creativity and outside the box thinking in the classroom. I enjoy traveling, outdoor adventures, and spending time with my amazing family! Although I was born and raised in the South Dayton area, I just moved back after spending 5 years in Nashville. I couldn't be more excited to be back in my hometown and teaching at CinDay!

Rachel Green

Drama Director

I received a BFA in Acting with an Emphasis in Musical Theatre at Wright State University. I have been acting, singing, and dancing since I was five years old. Some of my credits include, If/Then (Elizabeth), Mamma Mia (Donna), Les Miserables (Fantine), Into The Woods (The Witch) at the Alliance Theatre, and Lizzie (Swing) with the Human Race Theatre Company. I plan to move to New York City to further my career in the Summer of 2022. My approach to acting, singing, and movement is fueled by my passion for storytelling. I always thrive in a supportive environment and will encourage this atmosphere in my classes. I want my students to feel free to explore new ideas and skills. My goal is to help each student grow in confidence, ability, and self expression. I am also a Cycle Instructor at Rinse Cycle and a former Barista at Ghostlight Coffee. I enjoy long runs, tea, and discovering new music. My motto is, “Be humble in your confidence, yet courageous in your character.” If you can’t find me teaching or performing you can find me playing with my dog, Halo. For performance videos and more information feel free to visit my website:

Elizabeth Heering

Primary Teacher

I graduated from Belmont University in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in Education. In 2014, I graduated with a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Concordia University. I am a certified teacher in the state of Ohio to teach preK-5th grade. Before coming to The CinDay Academy, I had the opportunity to teach at a variety of schools in 6 states. This allowed me the chance to learn different approaches to teaching. Through this journey I have found that an outstanding teacher is one who provides students with the ability to learn in a range of individual styles. Each student has something to offer and the teacher’s responsibility is to nurture those skills and strengths in order to foster lifelong learners. Furthermore, an outstanding teacher communicates with parents/guardians on how to work toward success in a child's future. Teachers that show promise also collaborate with other teachers and staff for the good of the students. I moved to Springboro last summer with my husband, Tom and two children, Telsa and August. Telsa and August attend The CinDay Academy. We enjoy spending time as a family participating in outdoor activities such as biking, hiking, kayaking, swimming, and running. This area is great for all things outdoors!

Aaron Hildebrand

Building Assistant & JP Aide

I attended the University of Cincinnati DAAP program where I met my wife, Amy and got my BFA in Photography. I’ve been working alongside my wife as a professional photographer for the past 12 years and have enjoyed working as a youth development counselor at the Countryside YMCA in Lebanon as well, for the past 3 years. I believe that everyone is creative and creativity is a key component in problem-solving. I’m excited to be with CDA to continue inspiring today’s youth and be a part of their artistic / educational journey!

Lauren MacDonald

Intermediate Teacher

My name is Lauren MacDonald and I am a certified teacher for The Academy. I graduated from Miami University and have been teaching for over 20 years. I also have numerous continuing education credits. I have taught K-5th grade. Before coming to MIM, I taught 1st grade at Bishop Leibold for 7 years. I am very proud of my excellence in teaching awards: Archdiocese Teacher of Excellence, Excellence in Education, and Nominated for Disney’s American Teacher Award. I have a strong passion for teaching and believe that children deserve the best education possible. Thus, I have worked hard to receive additional funding for classroom learning. I have obtained grants for continuing education in the subjects of Birds of Flight, Wright Brothers and Traveling with Lewis & Clark. I have 2 wonderful children with my husband, Scott. My hobbies include website design and photography.

Erin Magness

High School Math Department Chair

I have an undergraduate degree in mathematics and secondary education from the University of Cincinnati and a master’s degree in mathematics teaching from Miami University. Most recently, I have been teaching high school math at the Warren County Career Center. I have also worked with high school students through Young Life for seven years. I am married and have a 1-year old son. I am looking forward to working at CinDay and getting to know all of the students!

Jody Massey


I graduated from Miami University with a Bachelors of Arts in the School of Education. I worked as an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher in Cincinnati at a school called Cincilingua and then moved to Monterrey, Mexico for four years with a non-denominational Christian ministry that aided orphans. My family and I try to return to Mexico at least once a year to continue caring for those we love and to teach their children about how other people live in the world. I currently live in Centerville with my husband and 4 children. I homeschooled my children for 5 years while working part time in the areas of nutrition and tutoring students in Spanish. I taught Spanish at Alexandria Montessori School in Centerville for ages 6-14.

Ryan Massey

High School Teacher

I have my Bachelors in Communication with a rhetorical Influence focus from Miami University. I have worked with middle and high school students for fifteen years. After Miami, I worked as a youth pastor in Oxford, OH for four years. Following that, we moved to Monterrey, Mexico for four years where we worked with Back2Back Ministries, an organization that provides care and hope for orphans and vulnerable children. Then we moved to Dayton, where I’ve worked at SouthBrook Church now for 10 years, 7 of them as the high school pastor. I live in Centerville with my wife, Jody, and 4 children, Julian, Isaiah, Jacob and Autumn. For the past 6 years, Jody and I have homeschooled our kids. My personal interests include hiking, camping, climbing, disc golf, Ultimate Frisbee, basketball, going on dates with my wife, and spending time with friends and family.

Sherry McMahan

Assistant Principal

I am the Vice Principal at The CinDay Academy. I bring over 15 years of homeschooling experience to our staff. Prior to joining the school, I was the Director of Children's Ministries at SouthBrook Christian Church. I attended Cincinnati Christian University, where I met my husband, Charlie. We have 2 grown children and live in Centerville.

Saralyn Moon

High School Guidance Counselor

I graduated from Bowling Green University with a degree in Education. I student taught Kindergarten in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and have been teaching at The CinDay Academy for many years. I love to mentor students, travel, go boating and be outdoors. The CinDay Academy has a great philosophy that I believe places the children’s needs first. I hope to create an environment that is stimulating for learning and teach in a child-centered style manner that is appropriate for each of my students. I am very excited and honored to be a part of The CinDay Academy team.

Meredyth Moore

Physical Education Teacher

I graduated from Bowling Green State University in 2005 with a Bachelors of Science in Physical Education with a Minor in Adapted Physical Education. I have taught Physical Education to children with disabilities for two years in the Greene County schools. I am originally from the Toledo area but love living in Springboro. I am married to, John Moore and sister-in-law to Ms. Moore, an Academy Primary Teacher. I also have an adorable son who makes my life extra special every day. I am very excited to be teaching OTGO at Minds in Motion and PE and ASE at The Academy and look forward to inspiring your children to have an active body and active mind.

Justin Niswonger

High School Teacher

I am a certified 7-12 teacher at The CinDay Academy. I am a graduate from Capital University where I received a Bachelor’s degree in Adolescent to Young Adult Social Studies Education. While at Capital I was a Scholar All-American soccer player. I have a year of experience teaching history at the Montgomery County Juvenile Detention Center and am going to be looking into earning a Master’s degree in Education shortly. When I am not teaching I am coaching the goal keepers for the Men’s Soccer Program at Springboro High School, and Ohio Galaxies F.C. Additionally, I have been a volunteer for the Muscular Dystrophy Association for the past 8 years and am excited to continue that work moving forward. I am originally from Centerville but currently live in Middletown with my best friend. As a young educator my philosophy of education is always changing and I am excited to see how it fits here at The CinDay Academy. Some of my hobbies include, coaching, music, woodworking, and traveling.

Caitlin Pelzer

Primary Teacher

My name is Caitlin Pelzer and I am the new Primary Teacher at CDA. I graduated Cum Laude from Eastern Michigan University with an Elementary Education degree and minors in Integrated Science & Language Arts. I taught at a unique, multiage, school in Michigan prior to moving to Ohio. My philosophy is to utilize internal motivation psychology, honor human development, hold high expectations, and use a whole child approach. I believe that learning should be a continuous, mastery based process. My classrooms are very hands-on with flexible groupings that allow me to meet my students needs and push them forward. In addition to my experience, I believe my flexibility, work ethic, patience and ability to build strong, positive relationships will have a decisive impact on CDA and your child.

Courtney Popson

Technology Coordinator

I am a graduate of Antioch University with a degree in Early Childhood Education and an Endorsement in Reading.  I have numerous hours of teaching experience in infants-1st grade classrooms. I also run a summer Safety Village Program and volunteer as an English as a Second Language teacher. I love spending time with my nephew and my hobbies include playing games, traveling, crafts, and photography.  Making a difference in children’s lives is the most rewarding part of teaching. I knew from a very young age that I wanted to be a teacher and I look forward to making a difference in your child’s life.

Becky Roop

Central Team Lead

I am a primary teacher with over 10 years teaching experience. In addition, I have worked as a University of Dayton student teacher supervisor. I graduated from Beloit College with a degree in Elementary Education and English Literature and received a Teaching Excellence Award. I live in Centerville with my husband and 6 children. I am passionate about children and helping others so I foster children, volunteer at Child Advocacy, Southbrook Church, St Vincent’s Shelter and Center of Hope and Interfaith. My mission is to help children thrive in school.

Mike Roop

High School Teacher

I live in Centerville with my wife and my 6 children. I was previously a math teacher at Centerville High School and have my Bachelors in Math and Sociology and earned my Masters in Secondary Education from Wright State. I did my post-graduate work in Counseling at University of Dayton. I developed ACT & SAT Test Prep Curriculum and Strategies in order to help students excel on the ACT & SAT tests. I also developed a ‘Life Patterns’ discovery process to be applied to future life-decisions and to be used by middle school through college-aged students At Centerville High School, I helped select the initial AP Statistics Curriculum and was the first teacher to teach the course at CHS. Currently, I tutor students in math for all skill levels and abilities from pre-algebra to calculus. I am also on staff at SouthBrook Church.

Amanda Schuler

Middle School Teacher

I am a graduate of the University of Dayton with a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and have over 10 years of teaching experience. I taught 4th grade reading and language arts for most of my years at Waynesville Elementary where I developed differentiated lesson plans to a diverse group of learners, and created reading and language arts curriculum and literacy units. I have had the privilege of learning best teaching practices from many nationally known presenters. I was nominated and awarded the Excellence in Teaching Foundation Award of Project Excellence. I was a tennis instructor at Sycamore Creek Country Club during the summer for many years and coached the Springboro JV High School Boy's tennis team for 3 years. I believe that all students have innovated and creative minds. As an educator, I strive to inspire my students by creating a well -balanced, supportive, loving, caring, and engaging learning environment so all students can be successful. I have had the privilege of spending the last few years at home raising my 7-year-old daughter, and I am looking forward to getting back into the classroom teaching at the Academy! I enjoy running, playing tennis, and most importantly family time with my husband and daughter. We love bike riding, playing at the park, and endlessly riding roller coasters at Kings Island.

Gina Shields

Founder and Principal

I graduated from Bowling Green University with a BS in Education and I am a certified teacher with over 25 years experience. I have acquired certifications in the following educational areas; Kindergarten, Early Childhood Special Education, Elementary Education, Learning Disabilities, Behavior Disorders, and Developmentally Handicapped. During my graduate work at Ohio State University, I studied Early Childhood Education with an emphasis on developmental delays. This program gave me the opportunity to attend and observe numerous progressive early childhood educational classrooms, workshops and seminars. Previously, I was the Preschool Director of Westerville City Schools, a teacher at Centerville Kindergarten Village, and co-coordinator of the YMCA preschool programs. I also participated in the Early Childhood Masters program at Ohio State University. I founded Minds In Motion Early Learning School in 2002 and The Academy at Minds In Motion in 2005. We expanded our campus in 2013 with our arts & fitness facility, Impact Point. I believe that children learn best when they are in a small class size that offers individualized & differentiated instruction while providing challenging hands on activities. Our warm and inviting environment coupled with an excellent staff and best teaching practices makes this an exceptional school with extraordinary opportunities for success. My mission is to give every child his deserved chance to learn, in whatever way he needs to learn, because every child is unique and every child matters.  With this mission, the school is a change agent in the trajectory of the lives of hundreds of students as well as many families and is preparing them for their role in the 21st century.

Megan Slagle

Primary Teacher

I graduated from Wright State with a degree in Early Childhood Education. Having also acquired a reading specialization, I started my career teaching reading intervention. After teaching at different public schools and helping children to read, I found my perfect home and school family at CinDay. I have a passion for science, nature and garden-based learning. My childhood struggles with math and reading give me a special patience and understanding; I know school doesn't come easy for everyone. That is why CinDay was created, a school where everyone is met where they are and celebrated for their individual strengths and weaknesses. My husband, Connor, my son, Ben and I live in Belmont. We love trying new things, playing outside, making messes and reading together.

Marissa Smith

High School Teacher

I am a graduate of Lee University with a BS in Education and a Master of Arts in Teaching (Learning and Motivation) from Wright State University. I am certified to teach MS-HS Science. I previously was a Middle School Science Teacher at Springboro Junior High for 6 years prior to joining CinDay. My hobbies are reading, puzzles, music, science, travel, being outdoors, and exercising. I especially love spending time with my family. I have 2 children Cason and Lilah and a dog Nova. My son Cason attends The CinDay Academy and loves it.

Hannah Sove

Middle School Math Teacher

I graduated Salutatorian from Waynesville High School in 2006. I went to Northern Kentucky University on a golf scholarship and earned my Bachelor's Degree in Middle Grades Math and Social Studies. I completed my Master's Degree in Instructional Design and Technology in 2018. I took a break from education to explore the corporate world. I worked as a Safety Trainer, Social Media Facilitator, Accounting and Graphic Designer. I am thrilled to be back in the classroom and I have three step-children Audrey, Avery and Riley who now attend CinDay. In addition to teaching, I have also been coaching math camps, golf camps and basketball teams for several years now. My philosophy of teaching is to get students excited about learning math. Math comes with a large stigma of being difficult, but I show my students that they can not only learn math, but they can have fun while doing it! I'm so grateful for the opportunity to teach at such a wonderful school.

Anna Studer

Primary Art Teacher

I have a degree from Asbury University. I've been a professional artist for the past five years, in addition to teaching day camp and substitute teaching at CinDay. I live in Germantown with my husband, two children, and our St. Berdoodle, Zoe. I fell in love with art in middle school when I received a Bob Ross painting kit for my 13th birthday. Since then, art has taught me many lessons: the courage to try something new, the grit to keep trying, and how the slightest shift in perspective can completely change how we see things. I can't wait to share the joy of creating with the students at CinDay.




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