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

PreK 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.

Sydney Boyle

Director of Enrollment & School Counselor

I am the School Counselor and Director of Enrollment at CDA. My career in education began at The Academy in 2012 where I taught as a Primary classroom teacher for several years. After living out west with my husband and our Golden Retriever, Sophie, we now reside back in our hometown of Dayton. I am returning to The CinDay Academy as a licensed K-12 School Counselor. My background includes a Bachelor’s degree in Education from Bowling Green State University and a Master’s Degree in Education and School Counseling from the University of Dayton. I am an avid reader and enjoy spending time outside. In my free time, you can find me working in my garden, playing sand volleyball with friends or on the trails hiking with my family!

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.

Ashley Cozzens

Music Teacher

I was born and raised in the Dayton Cincinnati area. I now live in West Chester with my husband and our 5 children. I graduated from UC (go Bearcats!) and have been teaching in the home education world since 2015. I love puzzles and board games, reading books, sipping coffee or tea and teaching myself to paint with watercolors. It sounds like I have a lot of free time, but I mostly squeeze those things in around all the joyful chaos of family life. I really love music and enjoy singing along to things like Hamilton the musical, Disney songs, and all those nostalgic hits from the 90’s.

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 Kindergarten 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

Primary Teacher

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 truly enjoy working with children and discovering the way they learn best! 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.

Adriana Garay

High School Spanish Teacher

My name is Adriana Garay and I am a Spanish teacher. I decided to go back to school and turn my passion into a new career, receiving my teacher certification from The Ohio State University. I’ve been teaching Spanish and English in an online setting for several years, and am very excited for the opportunity to do this in a classroom. As a native speaker, sharing the love for my language and culture is my passion. I’m a lifelong learner with a deep love for reading and problem solving that I work to instill in my students every day. I believe that a good education shapes not only minds but hearts as well.

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!

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!

Taylor Herbert

Primary Teacher

Hi! I am so excited to be a part of CinDay this year! I grew up and live in Springboro with my husband James, little boy Everett and our 2 cats. This will be my 8th year teaching and I feel very blessed to be going on this new adventure of teaching first grade at CinDay. Outside of school I enjoy reading, being outdoors, and spending time with family and friends. My family and I also spend a lot of time at Lake Erie during the summer. Some of my favorite things are music, playing tennis, and watching football.

Aaron Hildebrand

Primary Teacher

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!

Amy Hildebrand

High School Art Teacher

I graduated with a BFA (specializing in photography), from The University of Cincinnati in 2007. Receiving global recognition for my photography work entitled With Little Sound, my husband and I decided it would be a great time to start our own photography business! For the past decade we have traveled all over, photographing commissioned fine art, portrait and commercial work, as well as teaching others how to master their craft and connect with their subject matter. I am so excited to bring my skills to the CinDay high school team as their new art teacher!

Heather Jolley

Intervention Services Specialist

I am the intervention specialist here at CinDay! I attended Ohio University for my bachelors degree in middle childhood education grades 4-9, and University of Dayton for graduate school to earn both my preschool-3 general education and intervention specialist license. I am trained in Orton Gillingham, a multi-sensory approach to teaching literacy. I have taught in both private and public school settings, and can truly say our wonderful school is unlike any other! I am proud to partner with our teachers to provide an inclusive, creative, and nurturing learning environment where all students feel valued. My husband and I have two children who attend CinDay. When we are not in school, we enjoy being outside hiking and biking. We spend our summers by the pool and love visiting the lake and Hilton Head Island.

Katie Lundbeck

High School Teacher

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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. I think high schoolers are the best people in the world and have been working with them through a ministry called Young Life and/or through teaching since I graduated high school myself, My husband and I have four kids and we are so thankful to have found a home at CinDay!

Jody Massey

Building Aide

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.

Sherry McMahan

Principal & Head of School

I am Principal and Head of School at the CinDay Academy. I have been a teacher and administrator at CinDay for 16 years, and prior to that I was the Children’s Ministry Director at SouthBrook Christian Church. I have two grown children, whom I homeschooled K-12th grades, and 5 grandchildren. I live in Centerville with my husband, Charlie and my dog, Rafa, and I absolutely love spending each day with our CinDay students and staff.

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

Student Health & Culture Director

I graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelors of Science in Physical Education with a Minor in Adapted Physical Education. I taught Physical Education to children with disabilities for two years in the Greene County schools before coming to teach at CinDay. I am originally from the Toledo area but love living in Centerville. I have a wonderful husband who I have been married to for 16 years. We have two children, both go to CinDay as well, my son (5th grade) and my daughter (3rd grade). I am expanding my role as Director of Student Culture along with teaching. I am honored to take on this new role. I will be focusing on overall social health, safety and well-being of each student. We want all students to feel belonging here at CinDay, we will be focused on creating an equitable, inclusive and supportive environment for the students.

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

I graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2014 with a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education and endorsements in Language Arts and Integrated Science. Since the beginning of my teaching career, I’ve taught in a multiage first/second grade classroom. I love the flexibility that a multiage classroom allows. I moved back to the Cincinnati area from Michigan in 2018 and was thrilled to stumble upon CinDay- a school that shares so many of the same philosophies that I do! Outside of teaching, I love spending time with my family, traveling back to Michigan, and learning more about photography. I have two daughters (Blayke and Piper) that join me at CinDay.

Leslie Pheanis

Preschool Teacher

Hello CinDay! I moved from Alabama to Springboro in 2016 and have worked in childcare for twenty years. I have a degree in child and human development and love spending my days with children. My two sons, Tristen and Dane, keep me busy with baseball and football. I am thrilled to be teaching our sweet preschoolers this year!

Courtney Popson

Business Director & Technology Director

I am the Business and Technology Director. My career in education began at The Academy in 2013 where I taught as a Primary classroom teacher. After my daughters were born, I worked from home, running technology for the school. I love spending time with my husband and two daughters. We enjoy gardening, long walks, games and traveling. I’m excited to be back in the office as the Business Director, and to help serve our staff, students and parents.

Becky Roop

Vice Principal

After over twenty years of teaching, 9 of those here at the amazing CinDay Academy, I am excited to join the administration team full time this year as Vice Principal. I also run CinDay's wrap around care program which serves students the hour before and two hours after school. My goal is to serve CinDay parents and staff as we partner together to create a nurturing and exciting school experience for each of our valuable students. My husband Mike and I have six wonderful children, all with unique learning styles and social emotional needs. It is with this knowledge that I can confidently shout from the rooftops, "CinDay's mission is the BEST!"

Amber Schmitt

Intermediate Teacher

I graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education (certified 1-8) and a Master of Education degree. I began my teaching career in Springboro, where I taught for 13 years before staying home to raise our two boys, Easton and Cooper. Once our boys started school, I felt it was time to get back into the classroom where I could once again see a group of students that are enthusiastic and eager to learn. My husband, Shawn, and I live in Springboro with our two boys. In my spare time you will find me on the sidelines watching Easton and Cooper, snuggled up on the couch reading or watching a movie, or outside working in my garden. I feel fortunate to be able to join The CinDay Academy family and to work alongside an incredible group of educators who truly care about the success and interests of each student.

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 Executive Director

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.

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

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.

Jacob Toller

High School Teacher

I am looking forward to being a part of the CinDay high school team again this year. I served as a long term sub last year as well as a math tutor. This year I will teach Physics and continue math tutoring. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, chess, playing video games and trying out different cuisines. I live in Miamisburg with my wife and two cats, Gus and Lulu and I enjoy my second job as a soccer referee.

Lacy Wolfe

Speech Therapist

I graduate from the University of Cincinnati in 2008 with a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology. Prior to that, I graduated from Northern Kentucky University with a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Professional Writing. I started my career at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital: Division of Speech Pathology as a clinical speech-language pathologist working in outpatient settings with children ages 2-18 years. After Cincinnati Children’s, I transitioned into the role of Primary and Intermediate Speech-Language Therapist at Springer School and Center in Cincinnati, Ohio where I worked for several years. Most recently, I have worked for a speech and language private practice in Kettering, OH. My family and I moved to Springboro in 2017. My husband and I have three children who join me at CinDay. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with CinDay students, families, and teachers as part of the CinDay team!

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