About Us

Our mentoring coaches are responsible for supporting the professional growth of teachers through coaching and collaboration to augment effective implementation of district and school initiatives in order to impact teaching and learning. They can be reached by calling 850.983.5110 and our staff will get word to them to get back to you.

Christina Andrus

Serving: Gulf Breeze High, Woodlawn Beach Middle, Oriole Beach Elem., Bagdad Elem.

"I am currently a District Mentor Coach. My primary responsibilities include assisting alternative certified teachers through the certification process, providing ongoing professional development targeted to a teacher’s needs, supporting new teachers and peer coaching. I am in my 18th year with Santa Rosa County, in my fifth year as a mentor coach and my previous role being a first-grade teacher at West Navarre Primary School. I can observe lessons and provide feedback, model lessons, work on planning and classroom strategies, share best practices, analyze data, provide guidance through the certification process and so much more!  I love being a mentor coach because I am able to support and retain new teachers and provide them valuable support when beginning their teaching career."

Iris Harrell

Serving: Hobbs Middle, Pace High, Milton High, District Staff

As a graduate of our SRCDS’s K-12 public education system and Florida State University, I was confident that I would be a teacher someday. What I didn’t realize though was that I would be a lifelong learner during my 30 years (and counting) career as an educator. Each year has taught me more about myself, what I still can and need to learn, what learners need from their teachers, how vulnerability can be an open door to new and exciting career opportunities, that intentional reflection is a necessary growth component, and how important it is to believe in ourselves and in our ability to encourage, support, motivate, and challenge others.  As a district mentor coach, I have the privilege every day to positively influence the learning of students in our classrooms by directly working with teachers through one-on-one coaching, feedback, and collaboration. I am very grateful to be part of SRCDS’s mentoring team which is an amazing group of educators with a wealth of knowledge from various experiences. We are always learning from and with each other so that we can be fully equipped to best serve and assist new classroom teachers as they work through the Alternative Certification Program in order to earn a Professional Teaching Certificate from the state of Florida.

Courtney Emling

Serving: West Navarre Intermediate, Gulf Breeze Elem., East Bay K-8, Holley-Navarre Intermediate

I have taught in Santa Rosa County for 16 years.  I began my career teaching 4th grade which I quickly fell in love with.  My journey then led me to become a reading and math interventionist, which was rewarding in itself, before finally coming into my dream role as a district mentor coach.  In this position it's my honor to assist those in the alternative certification program in becoming professionally certified.  Working side by side new teachers being their support, encouragement, and a helping hand throughout their journey are just some of the many perks of my day to day.  It's a pleasure to watch them grow as educators and an absolute joy to be a part of their adventure.

Molly Keene

Serving: Avalon Middle, Milton High, King Middle, Santa Rosa Adult/High

I am currently a District Mentor Coach and the District Director of the AVID program. My primary responsibilities are to guide alternative certification teachers through the State's certification program, assist in the creation and delivery of data-driven professional development to teachers, and overall to help train and retain the very best educators for the students of Santa Rosa County. I'm in my second decade of education, having previously taught ELA and theatre at Avalon Middle School as well as teaching ELA in Texas. I was an alternative certification teacher myself, so I'm passionate about this program and the alignment that it has to the mission of Santa Rosa County Schools: as we foster the potential in quality educators and equip them for excellence, we do the same for our students.

Wendy Upton

Serving: Pea Ridge Elem., T. R. Jackson Pre-K, Central, Chumuckla Elem., Jay Elem., Jay High

I am Wendy Upton, Teacher on Special Assignment, currently working for Santa Rosa County as a District Mentor Coach. In this position, I mentor Alternatively Certified teachers. I work hand in hand with the Alt Cert teachers as they complete the Professional Development Certification Program, which is one step in receiving a Professional Teaching Certificate. I support the professional growth of new teachers through coaching and collaboration. I observe and provide feedback, assist with lesson planning, communicate effective classroom strategies and best practices, and much more.

Before accepting the position as a Mentor Coach, I spent 15 years in the classroom. I taught kindergarten, 2nd, and 5th grade. I am currently in my 20th year with Santa Rosa County, and this is my 5th year as a Mentor Coach.

For 15 years I poured my heart into teaching. The best part of everyday was the time that I spent teaching and molding the minds of my students.  Little did I know that the “dream job” was still out there; being a Mentor Coach. I am now getting to share my love of teaching with my mentees, which in turn is touching hundreds of students each day.

Kaitlin Marshall

Serving: W. H. Rhodes Elem., Russell Elem., S. S. Dixon Primary, S. S. Dixon Intermediate

I am in my 11th year of teaching in Santa Rosa County. I am a product of Santa Rosa County schools myself and am proud to be serving in this county! I have taught 1st grade, reading intervention, and am currently serving as a District Mentor Coach. As a mentor, I work primarily with new elementary teachers who are working to receive their professional teaching certificates through the state's alternative certification program. I meet weekly with my teachers to provide support and encouragement. I assist with everything from planning to data analysis to classroom management. I am able to go in and co-teach with my mentees in order to model best teaching practices, which is one of my favorite things to do! I am honored to hold this role and serve our new and eager teachers! It is my goal to help my teachers implement effective lessons, build relationships with their students, and foster a love for teaching.

Shawn Wilcox

Serving: East Milton Elem., West Navarre Primary, Navarre High, Berryhill Elementary

I am a District Mentor Coach for alternative certified teachers in Santa Rosa County. My responsibilities include supporting teachers through the certification process by providing guidance and assistance with instructional best practices and strategies, lesson planning, standards-alignment, classroom management, assessments, and student data analysis. I have worked in education for 20+ years and prior to mentor coaching, served as an Academic Intervention Specialist in Reading and taught first grade. I started my educational career as an “alternative certified teacher” and worked closely with a mentor teacher for two years. That time was invaluable and such a positive experience, and I hoped that one day I would have an opportunity to give back to my profession by mentoring other teachers. It is a privilege to work with educators in the early years of their careers.

Elizabeth "Liz" Mann

Serving: Holley Navarre Primary, Navarre High School, Berryhill Elementary

I am currently in my 19th year of teaching in Santa Rosa County. I began my teaching career as a first-grade teacher and later transitioned into an ESE teacher serving students across a variety of settings. Currently, I am a District Mentor Coach serving teachers in the alternative certification program. I work with new teachers by providing mentoring, collaboration, classroom management strategies, and standards based instructional supports. I enjoy co-teaching with my teachers, and modeling best practices while meeting the needs of all students. I am honored to work with new teachers in our district and hope to instill that building a loving relationship with all students is the key to a successful academic journey.