Meet The Preschool Educators


Preschool Director, Flora Oynick, M.A. and a B.A. in Education, with a Certificate in Early Childhood Education. Flora's background is rooted in over 30 years of Early Childhood teaching and management. After moving to Sarasota from Mexico City, Flora has worked in Early Childhood settings as an administrator, developing curriculum, finding and creating opportunities for professional development for her staff and herself, and building relationships with children and families. Prior to becoming the Preschool Director, Flora most recently worked as a Forty Carrots Parenting Educator at the Sarasota and Manatee County Libraries. When Flora is not at Forty Carrots she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, reading and traveling. 


Alexis, B.F.A. in Art Education from Tufts University. Alexis has been working at Forty Carrots since 2012 with experience in all age groups. During that time she has had the opportunity to loop with many of the same children since age 2. She will be teaching in the Daisy room with Ms. Rachel. Alexis has taught and worked with children in New Jersey. Massachusetts, India and Florida. She is looking forward to creating a 360 degree learning environment in which the children learn from her and she continues to grow and learn from the children.


Amanda, M.A. in Psychology, Elementary Education (K-6), Certified Elementary K-6 and VPK, 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. 


Courtney, B.S. in Psychology with a concentration in Family and Child Sciences/Child Development from Florida State University (2001). With over 15 years of experience in Early Childhood Education and Child Welfare, Courtney joined the Forty Carrots staff in 2014-2015 when she married her husband Corey and relocated to Sarasota. She is now a teacher in the Dart Room, with the 2-day and 3-day two year olds; however, prior to joining Forty Carrots, she taught at the Jewish Community Center Preschool in Tampa (two's, three's and Pre-K) from (2001-2006), was a Foster Care Adoption Supervisor (2006-2012) and later a Juvenile Welfare Board Contract Manager for early childhood programs in Pinellas County (2012-2014). When she's not in her classroom, Courtney enjoys spending time with her husband and stepchildren, reading, quilting, cooking and hanging out with her golden retriever. 


Crystal, B.A. in Early Education and Exceptional Needs from Purdue University in 2005. Crystal has experience teaching Toddlers, 2 year olds, 4 & 5 year olds and working in mixed age classrooms with 2-5 yea olds. Crystal joined Forty Carrots in June 2014. She loves teaching children of all ages, but feels there is something extra special about teaching in Wing 1. Crystal is married and has two boys. She enjoys reading, going to the beach and spending time with her family. 


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.


Debra S., M.A.T in Elementary Education (K-6), Certified Elementary K-6 and ESOL, and B.A. in Anthropology. Currently Debra enjoys teaching in the Davis Classroom at Forty Carrots. This is her second year teaching at the preschool though she has been participating in both the library program and the preschool program for many years. Previously Debra taught kindergarten in Sarasota County public schools. When Debra is not at Forty Carrots, she enjoys spending time with her family. 


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, who have both graduated from college. 


Nancy, B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Florida. Nancy was born and raised in Sarasota and has always had a job working with children! From running her own summer camp for her son and his friends, to now managing a tutoring business; children are her passion! Nancy has nine years experience teaching elementary school and three years experience teaching mommy and me classes. She is thrilled to be joining the staff at Forty Carrots as the new science classroom teacher and a floater in the threes. Nancy is excited to provide daily, hands on science discovery that will extend the curriculum of all the preschool classes. While not working, Nancy loves to spend quality time with her high school aged son, husband, parents, family and friends!  


Rachel, B.A. in Child & Family Studies has been working at Forty Carrots since 2013 in the Daisy Class.  She was born and raised in Nashville, TN, but relocated to Sarasota three years ago.  She earned her degree from the University of Tennessee and has taught children from Pre-K through 5th Grade over the last nine 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.


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 employed at 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. Rebecca was the former Preschool Director and has worked as a Parenting Educator and Preschool classroom teacher. Rebecca brings with her a long history and firm commitment to the mission of Forty Carrots. 


Therese, B.S. in Early Childhood Education from the University of South Florida. This is Therese's fourth year at Forty Carrots. She is very excited to be in the new role of a Wing Two floater. While teaching, she liked to share and incorporate experiences 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 family.    


Trish, B.A., Elementary Education from Elon University in North Carolina. She joined the Forty Carrots family at the end of the 2013-2014 school year. Prior to that she was home with her twin boys for almost six years and worked part time as an aide at their preschool. Her background includes work in the fields of elementary education, early childhood development, child protection, and adult education. She loves working with children and enjoys seeing them learn and grow through a variety of experiences including play, exploration and creativity. When she is not at Forty Carrots, Trish loves spending time with her family, reading, crafting, cooking and walking.