At our school there is a team of people who make sure that all organizational and business activities are synchronized. To make it easier for you to get in touch with the people who can help you, allow us to present our support team.
Personal and professional conduct
Tanya Jovanovic – Director
Tanya Jovanovic was born and raised in Akron, Ohio. She completed her elementary and secondary education through the public school system and then went on to pursue her Bachelors Degree in Secondary Education with a concentration in Comprehensive Social Studies. Tanya graduated from the University of Akron in 1998 and then she went on to teach 8th grade History and English at the same middle school that she attended. After a year of teaching middle school Tanya wanted the challenge of teaching older students. So, she made the transition to high school and that is where she stayed for the majority of her career. After a few years of teaching she made the decision to pursue her Masters Degree in School Counseling which she completed in May, 2005. Unlike her teaching certificate her certification in school counseling is Kindergarten through 12th grade, but again Tanya chose to spend 12 years as a school counselor in two high schools.
After almost 23 years as an educator Tanya wanted a change in her day to day routine and a challenge, so she decided to apply for positions internationally. In January, 2017 she accepted a position as the Director of a Secondary School grades 7-13 in Europe. While her tenure there she was promoted to the position of Head of School as well.
She is married and has two daughters who are 13 and 16 years old.
Shaidy Fernandez – Faculty
Mrs. Fernandez is a Florida State Certified Teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in English from Florida International University, and is currently working toward her Master’s Degree.
While working at the FIU Center for Academic Success, Mrs. Fernandez tutored and mentored students of all ages, helping them achieve their academic goals.
In addition, Mrs. Fernandez has previous experience working as an elementary school teacher.
Carolyn Longstreet – Faculty / Accounting
Ms. Longstreet grew up in North Miami Beach and is Allison Academy’s technology specialist. Graduating from North Miami Beach High School she became a certified EMT and paramedic graduate in 1985. Deciding to make a career change to business, Ms. Longstreet began working in accounting, office, operations and Business management and was President of a medical software company before opening her own software/hardware business in 2013.
A former tutoring student of Allison Academy, she returned to college in 1997, and earned her Associates degree from Broward Community College graduating with honors. After graduating from Broward, Ms. Longstreet attended Florida Atlantic University where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology. She is an advocate for victims rights and has her Victims Services Practitioners Designation from the State of Florida.
Ms. Longstreet has been Allison Academy’s technology specialist for over fifteen years where she teaches Robotics/Coding and works in accounting.
Jorge Vargas – Faculty
Mr. Vargas, a native of Miami, began working with children at the age of 19. He was a member of the civil service organization, Americorp. With the help of Americorp, he founded a non-profit after school tutoring program for kids in the West Hialeah community. The program still exists today.
He holds a B.S. in Psychology from Barry University where he graduated in 2000, and went on to earn his M.S. in Psychology from Barry in 2002.
Mr. Vargas is a lifetime member of Psi Chi, the National HonorSociety in Psychology. Mr. Vargas became a member of the Allison Academy faculty in 2002 and has taught psychology, social studies, peer counseling, and is the senior sponsor, yearbook, newspaper, and prom committee advisor.
Elthon Castillo – Faculty
Mr. Castillo received his B.S. degree from Florida International University (FIU) in architecture. After obtaining his B.S. degree in 2003, Mr. Castillo worked as a junior architect and drafting engineer in several architectural, engineering, and construction firms in Broward and Miami –Dade counties. His teaching career began in 2009 when he became an adjunct professor of computer-aided drafting design and construction management at ITT Technical Institute locations in Miami and Fort Lauderdale.
Mr. Castillo joined the faculty of Allison Academy for the 2012-13 school year, where he is teaching high school mathematics and science. In addition, he is one of the coordinators of the Allison Academy chess club.
Mr. Castillo is a Florida Certified teacher for middle grade (5-9) Mathematics, and science, high school mathematics (6-12), and elementary (K-6) education.
Thomas Gilfoy – Faculty
Mr. Gilfoy grew up in North Miami Beach, and attended the Honor’s program at Miami-Dade College. He later transferred to Warren Wilson College in Ashville, North Carolina where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Studies with specialties in Conservation and Wildlife Biology.
Mr. Gilfoy joined the Allison Academy staff in 2004. He is an avid supporter of several environmental science projects in the area including managing the Oleta River State Park location for the Urban Paradise Guild which eliminates invasive non-native vegetation from Oleta River State Park.
Mr. Gilfoy is also our faculty leader for the Fairchild Challenge, which is sponsored by Fairchild Tropical Gardens.
Crystal Hawthorne – Faculty
Ms. Hawthorne is Allison Academy’s reading specialist. She received her Bachelor of Elementary Education from the University of Florida, her Masters of Education with a specialization in reading from the University of Southern Mississippi, and her Specialist is Education, with a specialization in reading from the University of Florida.
Ms. Hawthorne first joined the Allison Academy staff in 1989.
She moved out of the area for a period of years and returned in 2008.
Janet Horowitz – Faculty
Mrs. Horowitz has an Associate’s Degree in early childhood, and a bachelor’s degree in elementary and she teaches middle school education.
Prior to joining Allison Academy in 2017, she taught at the Museum of Science, and the Children’s Museum, as well as other private schools in South Florida for 30 years. At Allison Academy Mrs. Horowitz teaches middle school math, English, reading, and history. She also teaches chorus and drama for middle and high school, and is the choral director.
Mrs. Horowitz is married and lives with her husband Adam and two children, Nina and Daniel. She is also a professional singer and performs regularly in area venues.
Anthony Johnson – Faculty
Coach Johnson attended Florida Memorial College, earned his A.S. in general studies, then attended Johnson and Wales University from 1999-2003 for his A.S. in Business Administration in 2001, and B. A. in Business Management in 2003. He was a college basketball national championship winner as a player in March of 2003. Coach Johnson was a two-time boys’ basketball state championship coach during his time at American Preparatory Academy 2009-2015. Coach Johnson is now the associate head boys’ basketball coach at Miami Norland Senior boys’ basketball program.
At Allison Academy Coach Johnson is our Athletic Director, a proactive educator who teaches Math Algebra, Geometry in high school, and physical education/health for all grade levels.
Coach Johnson is married and has a daughter who is 17. Coach Johnson is currently pursuing a master’s degree in sports management.
Nicolette Milner – Faculty
Mrs. Milner is a native of North Miami Beach and graduated from Allison Academy as Valedictorian. She attended the Honors College at Miami-Dade College where she was an Environmental Fellow at the Environmental Fellow at the Environmental Ethics Institute, was honored on the Dean’s List, and received multiple Service Learning Awards.
She graduated with “Highest Honors and Distinction” with an Associates Degree in Exceptional Student Education. She then went to Florida International University where she received the Sanford and Dolores Ziff and Family Scholarship. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education.
She is certified and endorsed in ESOL and has a minor in Environmental Education. She is a member of Phi Theta Kappa. Mrs. Milner joined our faculty in 2011.
Walter Milner – Faculty
Mr. Milner grew up in North Miami Beach. He received his B.S. from Florida International University in Journalism with a minor in English. He received his M.S., also from FIU, in Comparative Religion.
Mr. Milner joined Allison Academy in 2006. He teaches history, music, speech and debate, and is the developer and director of the Allison Academy rock/jazz band.
Mr. Milner graduated magna cum laude for Undergrad degree with a major in journalism, and a minor in English. He graduated summa cum laude for his Master’s Degree, and is a member of Theta Alpha Kappa and Phi Theta Kappa.
Nicholas Kaiser – Faculty/Facilities Manager
Mr. Kaiser grew up in the North Miami Beach and attended local schools. He worked at several businesses before joining Allison Academy in 2002.
Coach Nich also oversees the girls volleyball team, is an assistant coach for the boys basketball team, and he does a wonderful job managing the schools facilities.
Esther Alvarez – Administrative Assistant
Esther Alvarez emigrated to the United States from Cuba with her parents in 1969. She completed her elementary and secondary school education in Miami. Graduating from Miami Senior High School, in 1976, with a Certificate of Child Care. In 1981, she started her career with the International Trade Transportation, handling customs formalities while working with different foreign corporations, and she remained there until May of 2020.
An opportunity was presented to her in September 2020 to become part of the Allison Academy staff as an administrative assistant. She seized the opportunity by letting go of her past and embracing the future.
Alexandra Gales – Admissions Counselor
Alexandra Gales grew up in Washington, D.C. She has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration/Management.
Prior to joining Allison Academy, she helped with the intellectual disability in the private sector and in the school system.
Ms. Gales is excited for the opportunity to help the students at Allison Academy achieve their educational goals.