MYcroSchool Gainesville has a highly qualified staff with a broad range of experiences. What they all have in common is a strong commitment to helping students learn, grow, and succeed.
Mr. Randy Starling has been the principal of MYcroSchool since August 2011. Prior to his current position, he was a Business Education teacher in Bradford County, FL for 16 years, as well as the director of the technical center there. A current challenge is to keep students in school (aka attendance), and his goal at MYcroSchool is to “increase student achievement.” Starling is a 1982 graduate of Bradford High School and a 1986 graduate of Palm Beach Atlantic University. He is the father of five children, and in his spare time he enjoys cooking and travel. His staff is extremely appreciative of his culinary talents; each month staffers are treated to their favorite birthday foods such as homemade cheesecake, pies, and chili with cornbread.
Elliot Newman (Instructional Technical Assistant)
Joining us in September 2015, Mr. Elliot Newman is the Instructional Technical Assistant (ITA) at MYcroSchool. A graduate of the University of Florida, he received his Bachelor of Science in Psychology in 2010. His post-graduate work includes teaching English overseas and assisting student entrepreneurs starting their own small businesses. Elliot orients new students to the school, and teaches technical electives. When Mr. Newman has free time, he enjoys traveling, writing, and learning new skills.
Daniel Barnett (Reading Teacher)
Mr. Daniel Barnett is MYcroSchool’s full-time teacher of reading with administrative duties in discipline. With a Bachelor’s degree in English and a Master’s in Reading Education from the University of Florida, Mr. Barnett previously taught as an adjunct professor in pre-writing and reading at Santa Fe College in Gainesville, and at the SIATech Jacksonville. Appreciative of the “opportunity to work one-on-one with students,” he is prepared to face the challenges of his new position, which include the “lack of attendance” that “can hinder student progress.” A husband with a young daughter to occupy his time, Mr. Barnett still finds time to enjoy Gator football as well as working with the youth of his church.
Allyson Corcoran (Counselor)
Allyson Corcoran is a clinician from Meridian Behavioral Healthcare, Inc. A graduate of the University of Florida and Webster University, Ms. Allyson has resided in Gainesville since 1994. She is the mother of a teenage daughter, and she previously worked for Shands. Ms. Allyson also spent ten years as the director of a local preschool. One of her goals is to “be a resource” for students. Ms. Allyson is available to meet with morning and afternoon students every Wednesday. Students interested in receiving counseling should see Ms. Thomas in the English classroom. Those who are minors will first need to have a parent/guardian complete a consent form for treatment before being eligible for counseling services.
John Fuller (English/Reading Teacher)
Mr. John Fuller is the English, Reading & History Teacher at MYcroSchool Gainesville, with administrative duties in curriculum. He absolutely loves teaching. He holds bachelors and master’s degrees in Education from the University of Florida. He originally taught elementary school, but has transitioned to teaching high school English and literature. He especially enjoys the close family atmosphere at MYcroSchool and the small class sizes. He thrives on assisting students with accomplishing their dreams of attaining a high school diploma and looks forward to MYcroSchool Gainesville’s annual graduation events.
Brian Giles (Science/Math Teacher)
Brian Giles is MYcroSchool’s science and math teacher. A 2004 graduate of the University of Florida with a Bachelors in English, he minored in Classical Studies. Mr. Giles stated that his goals and challenges at MYcroSchool are identical. He wishes to “graduate everyone.” A former Instructional Technical Assistant at the Gainesville Job Corps Center, Mr. Giles’ hobby is “the pursuit of esoteric topics in science and math.” He provided no elaboration.
Dennis Harsh (Testing Specialist/Electives/CTSP)
Dennis Harsh is our Testing Specialist, electives and CTSP (senior projects) teacher. He graduated from Santa Fe College with a Bachelor’s degree in Health Services Administration. He is an avid football fan (Go Gators and Oakland Raiders) and auto racing enthusiast. He has been at MYcroSchool Gainesville since July 2011 and thoroughly enjoys his job.
Scott Hunter (Social Studies/English Teacher)
Mr. Hunter began his career with MYcroSchool as an ITA for Gainesville SIATech's English and Social Studies classrooms. He later moved to the Creative Technology classroom and taught there until the Gainesville Annex (which would later become the first MYcroSchool) opened. When it opened in 2011, he was one of the first two teachers to transition to the new building. He currently teaches both Social Studies and English, and he operates as the National Lead Social Studies teacher, supporting all other Social Studies teachers in a range of capacities. Mr. Hunter has a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Florida, and he is a third-generation Gator alumnus who loves working with MYcroSchool’s population of “at-promise” students. He looks forward to continuing his journey: not only teaching them, but learning from them as well.
Ryan Lloyd (Science Teacher)
Mr. Ryan Lloyd is the full-time science teacher. A 2013 graduate of the University of Florida with a Master's in Biological Oceanography, Mr. Lloyd (known as "Fish" to his friends) began his MYcroSchool career last year as a math tutor. A challenge of his job he intends to meet is "trying to make difficult scientific subjects relatable to the students." He chose MYcroSchool because "many kids need a second chance or an alternative way to learn and MYcroSchool can give them that." Mr. Lloyd is an avid UF football fan who enjoys hunting and fishing. His personal goal is to become a certified scuba diving instructor.
Alex Madriz (Math Teacher)
Born and raised in Miami, Alex Madriz is a graduate of Florida State University, and he is a man who bleeds orange and garnet. A 2012 math addition to the MYcroSchool team, he had previously taught in the public school system and the juvenile justice system. When asked what he loves about his job, he indicated, “I enjoy working with the population that’s underprivileged. I also enjoy aiding in the changes that foster success in our students.” Mr. Madriz is “sincerely passionate about healthy eating and leading an active, exuberant lifestyle,” as is often demonstrated by the fresh fruits and nuts he often offers his students.
Dozie Sirmones (Custodian)
Hailing from the Gainesville Job Corps Center where he worked as an Independent Living Counselor, Mr. Dozie Sirmones has been married to our school's administrative assistant, Ms. Penny, for almost two decades. They share six children. Asked what he likes best about his job, Mr. Sirmones stated, "I enjoy the kids and the staff." A native Floridian, Mr. Sirmones is a big fan of Florida State football, as well as antique car shows. Personal words of wisdom: "In anything in life we all have our problems and our ups and downs. We just have to learn to deal with each other."
Tiffany Smith (ESE Specialist)
Ms. Smith is the ESE Specialist at MYcroSchool Gainesville. Prior to her full-time position, Ms. Smith was the school’s Great Leaps lead reading tutor and Instructional Technical Assistant (ITA). With a 2013 Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Florida, she comes to us with additional experience in the classroom as a volunteer at three area public schools. She wants to see her students “set and achieve realistic and attainable higher goals.” In her spare time, Ms. Smith can be found listening to country and rock music and watching Gator football.
Nan Thomas (English / Reading Teacher)
Ms. Nan Thomas teaches English and reading at MYcroSchool. She joined the MYcroSchool family in August 2013. A graduate of Drake University in Iowa, Ms. Thomas, a native of the state of Maine, has taught for over 13 years in the public schools as well as at Job Corps. A self-described “word nerd” and “grammar geek,” she is a former felony parole officer. In her spare time, she enjoys music, writing and poetry. Her favorite aspect of teaching involves the challenge of reaching students who often have undiscovered abilities: talents that have been hidden by layers of family failure, personal failure and self-doubt.
Penny Sirmones, MYcroSchool’s Administrative Assistant, originates from Gainesville, FL, yet has resided in the Lake Butler area for the past 19 years. She has also been married to Mr. Dozie Sirmones, MYcroSchool’s custodian, for 19 years. She is the mother of six. Ms. Sirmones has always worked as an administrative assistant, and she has been at MYcroSchool since 2011. She loves that her position allows her the “opportunity to be a mentor,” and she further stated, “Hopefully what I do will impact the lives of our students.” In her spare time, Ms. Sirmones enjoys shopping, television, movies, and reading.
Delia Hunt is the school’s registrar. The mother of two young children, she enjoys “seeing students succeed.” A resident of Gainesville for nine years, she came to MYcroSchool in 2012 after leaving employment with P.A.C.E. Center of Girls. Ms. Hunt also worked for the Alachua County Sheriff’s Department as a dispatcher and 911 operator. A fan of both basketball and football, she loves to eat and travel.