Meet The Preschool Educators


Preschool Director, Rebecca Lockwood, M.A. in Clinical Psychology with a child/family concentration and a B.S. in Psychology with a minor in PreK/Primary Education has been a part of Forty Carrots since 2006.  Rebecca's background includes a strong emphasis on PreK/Primary years and Montessori training, as well as child development and family systems. Prior to becoming Preschool Director, Rebecca most recently worked as a Parenting Educator at Riverview High School, SOLVE Maternity Homes in Manatee County and First Step Mothers and Infants Program. Previously, she also worked in the Preschool in Wing 1, as well as many other Parenting Program classes. Rebecca brings with her a long history and firm commitment to the mission of Forty Carrots. 


Alexis, B.F.A. in Art Education from Tufts University and also has her State of Florida art teaching certification. Alexis has been working at Forty Carrots since 2012. She has had the opportunity to work with all of the age groups at our center, and will be teaching in the Davis classroom this year. Alexis has taught and worked with children in Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey and India. She is ready for the fast-paced environment and curiosity that comes with being a 3 year old teacher. 


Amanda W., B.S. in Psychology, Elementary Education (K-6), Management and HR Training and Development. Amanda joined the Forty Carrots staff in 2005 and has enjoyed teaching in the Charlie, Dart and Davis rooms over the past 9 years. She has also taught kindergarten and middle school science. Prior to working at Forty Carrots, Amanda worked as a caregiver for special needs preschoolers. When Amanda is not at Forty Carrots she enjoys cooking, traveling, swimming and spending time with her two school-age daughters.


Ashley, B.S., M.A.  Her degrees are based in Elementary Education and Curriculum and Instruction from the University of South Florida. She has been teaching and working with children in and out of the public school system for the past 9 years. She enjoys hands on activities that encourage children to become more curious and creative. Ashley has a love for art, her family and friends, boating and watching young minds grow.


Debbie, C.D.A. has been with Forty Carrots since it opened in 1993 and has been teaching for 25 years.  Her passion is working with children and their families.  Debbie loves her job and looks forward to each and every day.  She has been married for 39 years with two grown children and a four year old granddaughter, who attends the Preschool.  When not working, Debbie loves to read, boat, cook and spend time with her family.


Laura, B.S. in Social Work is joining Forty Carrots as a teacher in the Charlie Class this year.  She is currently in the process of completing her Master's in Social Work at FSU and furthering her education in Early Childcare at SCF.  Working with children comes naturally to Laura and makes her happy.  She is very excited about the opportunity to teach at Forty Carrots.  When not working, Laura loves spending time outdoors at the beach or camping, writing, art, and taking care of her bunny that is litter box trained and comes when called.


Lauren, B.S. in Elementary Education has been teaching at Forty Carrots for 6 years, and is excited to be reunited with Ms. Debbie in the Grace Classroom. Lauren has a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from The University of South Florida. She is originally from Chicago, but has been in Florida for 17 years. Teaching is her passion, and she has been working with children for almost 9 years. You will often find her working on writing and dancing with the children, getting messy with art, or reading a book in the library.


Mary Jane has been working at Forty Carrots since 1995.  During this time, she has facilitated classes in the Parenting Center and On Wheels, has been a classroom teacher in the preschool, and a floater, which she continues to be for this year. She describes her floater position as “a true gift to be able to be involved with all the classes and get to know all the children."  Mary Jane enjoys interacting with the children, and watching and helping them grow through their time at Forty Carrots.  Mary Jane has two grown children, her son recently graduated from college and her daughter will be graduating this spring.


Rachel, B.A. in Child & Family Studies is joining Forty Carrots as a teacher in the Daisy Class this year.  She was born and raised in Nashville, TN, but relocated to Sarasota two years ago.  She earned her degree from the University of Tennessee and has taught children from Pre-K through 5th Grade over the last seven years.  Her passion is working with children and introducing them to new and exciting ideas every day.  Rachel's goals in the classroom are to keep the children challenged and engaged, while still maintaining a fun and entertaining learning environment.


Therese, B.S. in Early Childhood Education from the University of South Florida. After spending a year at home with her baby boy, Therese is excited to rejoin the Forty Carrots team for her third year. She likes to share and incorporate experiences in the classroom from her native Sweden and other places she has traveled while working in the fly-fishing industry. When not at Forty Carrots, Therese enjoys spending time with her husband and son.