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12 NEW TEACHERS WELCOMED TO STANLEY SWITLIK ELEMENTARY

By Anthony Guntert

Stanley Switlik Elementary is welcoming a dozen new faces at the Middle Keys for the 2021-22 school year. They range from newly credentialed locals to transplants. If you see them at the grocery store, give them a Keys welcome.

Miriam Hribar

Miriam Hribar

  • Class: Pre-K, 3-4 years old, Headstart Teacher
  • Hometown: I am from Argentina, but I’ve been a citizen since 2003. I’ve lived in Marathon since 2000.
  • Degree from: bachelor’s in natural science, Argentina / master’s of education in TESOL, Miami SUASM-University of Turaloo (Puerto Rico)
  • How long have you been in the Keys: 21 years
  • Why did you decide to become a teacher: I decided to become a teacher when I was a teenager; I love to teach science! 
  • What is your teaching style/philosophy: Discover the world, take care of it because it’s our home.
  • What are your hobbies outside of school: I love to travel, spend time with my friends, draw whatever is around me and watch my novelas. 

Regla Calandra

Regla Calandra

  • Class: 5th Grade
  • Hometown: Pembroke Pines, Florida
  • Degree from: Nova Southeastern University 
  • How long have you been in the Keys: 3 months
  • Why did you decide to become a teacher: To instill a love of learning
  • What is your teaching style/philosophy: Building connections and helping to both guide and inspire lifelong readers. 
  • What are your hobbies outside of school: Reading, softball, beach


Misty Reininger

Misty Reininger

  • Class: 3rd Grade
  • Hometown: Poplar Grove, Illinois 
  • Degree from: Eastern Illinois University
  • How long have you been in the Keys: 4 years
  • Why did you decide to become a teacher: I’ve always enjoyed spending time with kids and it’s why I want to guide them toward academic success.
  • What is your teaching style/philosophy: I believe in connecting with each individual student on some level, then tailoring my teaching to fit their needs. 
  • What are your hobbies outside of school: My hobbies include spending time with my husband and three kids outside, on the water or at baseball games. 

Roxy F. Murphy

Roxy F. Murphy

  • Class: ELL / Reading Intervention
  • Hometown: Odessa, Ukraine
  • Degree from: Mechnikov National University
  • How long have you been in the Keys: 12 years
  • Why did you decide to become a teacher: I come from generations of professional educators and teachers. 
  • What is your teaching style/philosophy: Staying true. 
  • What are your hobbies outside of school: Mastering the art of doing nothing.

Jesika Ban

Jesika Ban

  • Class: Computer lab manager
  • Hometown: Marathon, Florida, born and raised
  • Degree from: Currently working towards bachelor’s at FIU.
  • How long have you been in the Keys: My whole life.
  • Why did you decide to become a teacher: I wanted to make a difference in children’s lives. 
  • What is your teaching style/philosophy: My teaching style is very open and engaging, ensuring everyone gets what they need. 
  • What are your hobbies outside of school: Outside of school I enjoy relaxing with my family.

Tom Ballanger

Tom Ballanger

  • Class: 5th Grade, Emergency sub for Ms. Gonzalez
  • Hometown: Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Degree from: Northeastern State University
  • How long have you been in the Keys: 1 month
  • Why did you decide to become a teacher: I love helping young people succeed.
  • What is your teaching style/philosophy: The school is the student’s, I’m just a facilitator. 
  • What are your hobbies outside of school: Reading, running, SCUBA


Selena Gonzalez

Selena Gonzalez

  • Class: Nurse Technician 
  • Hometown: Marathon, Florida
  • Degree from: College of the Florida Keys
  • How long have you been in the Keys: My entire life.
  • Why did you decide to become a nurse tech: I just graduated nursing school and I have a passion for helping children and I wanted to explore the area of scholastic nursing. 
  • What are your hobbies outside of school: I enjoy spending time with my husband and  family and playing with my dogs.


Amelia Buchanan

Amelia Buchanan

  • Class: Title 1 Interventionist 
  • Hometown: St. Petersburg, Florida
  • Degree from: St. Petersburg College
  • How long have you been in the Keys: 5 years
  • Why did you decide to become a teacher: I have always enjoyed helping others. Becoming a teacher means I get the opportunity to work with and help kids become the best they can be. 
  • What is your teaching style/philosophy: I wholeheartedly believe everyone has the potential to achieve their dreams with the right amount of support, hard work and perseverance. I am lucky enough to help kids reach their goals every day.
  • What are your hobbies outside of school: I enjoy being out on the water. I also enjoy trying out new recipes at home. 

Bill Eller

Bill Eller 

  • Class: Guidance Assistant
  • Hometown: Reading, Pennsylvania
  • Degree from: Berk’s Technical Institute 
  • How long have you been in the Keys: 1 year
  • Why did you decide to become a teacher: Everyone should enjoy watching children learn and develop. It’s exciting to watch them grow!
  • What is your teaching style/philosophy: Every child is an important part of our community, we must pay close attention to each and every one!
  • What are your hobbies outside of school: Football, fishing, boating, snorkeling, exploring

Annette Maxwell

Annette Maxwell

  • Class: K-2 ESE 
  • Hometown: Port Huron, Michigan 
  • Degree from: Central Michigan University
  • How long have you been in the Keys: 4 years
  • Why did you decide to become a teacher: To help children learn and grow.
  • What is your teaching style/philosophy: Learning follows trust in the teacher. Love your students and make them feel safe.
  • What are your hobbies outside of school: Fishing, reading and driving my 1993 Jeep YJ

Regina Saller-Paskiewicz

Regina Saller-Paskiewicz

  • Class: 4th Grade
  • Hometown: Marathon, Florida (Originally New Jersey, but have lived in Marathon since I was a kid)
  • Degree from: St. Thomas University
  • How long have you been in the Keys: 40 years
  • Why did you decide to become a teacher: I enjoy being around children and seeing them light up when something “clicks.” 
  • What is your teaching style/philosophy: Since this is my first full year teaching, my style/ philosophy is a work in progress. Respect for self and others will be a big theme this year. 
  • What are your hobbies outside of school: I like to read, spend time with my husband and kids, and boating.

Tracy Garcia

Tracy Garcia

  • Class: Kindergarten
  • Hometown: Grantsville, West Virginia
  • How long have you been in the Keys: 35 years
  • Why did you decide to become a teacher: I love working and spending time with children and I want to make a difference in their lives. 
  • What is your teaching style/philosophy: I believe all children learn in different ways so I use large groups and hands-on learning to ensure all children learn. 
  • What are your hobbies outside of school: Baseball games, volunteering in the community and spending time with family and especially my grandbabies

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