Penny Vardas


I have been teaching here at UCELC since 2004. I have been teaching preschool for over 30 years (!) and I can not imagine doing anything else.

I grew up in south Florida and also lived in New Hampshire, Boston and Alabama. I’ve had the opportunity to work in some very fine schools, so I was happy to bring all of my wonderful and valuable experiences to UCELC.

It is my goal to make sure the children in my class have a nurturing, warm and caring environment. I want them to know they are unique, capable and creative individuals who have the tools to explore their world and their role in it.

Annette Ventura


I was born in the Dominican Republic and moved to the United States at the age of 7. I lived in Queens, New York, where I grew up and went to school. I moved to Orlando in 1992 and have 3 beautiful children. I am very family oriented and very involved in my children’s lives. They are my first priority. I was a stay-at-home mom until I became an Early Childhood Educator. I decided to teach preschool when my daughter started attending. I wanted to be involved, so I volunteered and did some substitute work. I realized that being a teacher is what I really want to do, so I got my Florida Staff Credential certification. I want to work with children and make a difference in their lives, by teaching them while they are learning and playing in the process. My greatest joy is to see their progress and growth throughout the school year. I have worked in a preschool environment for many years teaching 3-year olds and VPK. I am blessed to be a part of the UCELC family!


Katrina Barnes


I am a Florida native who has lived in Orlando since 2001. I am married and have two fantastic daughters. I am a graduate of University of South Alabama and worked briefly as a Child Protective Services Counselor for DCF before becoming a stay-at-home-mother. When my younger daughter was old enough for school, I became a preschool teacher. Over the years I have worked with 2, 3, and 4 year olds and I love watching little brains grow and develop. I feel blessed to teach in the wonderful family-oriented, Christian environment here at UCELC and I look forward to the journey each new school year brings.


Darcy Williams


I am an only child who was raised by my grandparents in a small town called Christmas, Florida

After my twentieth birthday I met a wonderful man. His name is Sean and was in the United States Navy and now we have four wonderful children.

My youngest children started at UCELC. I did a lot of volunteer work and really enjoyed being around the children and the school. My son’s last year I began to work as a substitute support and the following year I moved into a full time position.

I feel that God had plans for me to be in this school and to be with these wonderful families. I’ve been here several years and hope to continue on for many more. I can’t see myself being any other place.

Melissa Kantrowitz


I was born and raised in Florida. I have had the love of teaching my entire life. After graduating Summa Cum Laude from Florida State University with an Early Childhood Education Degree, I taught kindergarten and first grade for 7 years in Hillsborough and Clay County. I became a stay at home mom when my oldest son, Tyler, was born in 2002. Then in 2005, I had my twins, Reese and Bradley. We lived in Iowa at the time. My husband Alan and I have lived in Oviedo since 2012 and enjoy the small town feel.

I decided to go back to teaching since my children are now settled in school. I love teaching and being part of the children's early education. I am very happy to be a part of the UCLEC family!


Michele Reed


My name is Michele Reed. I am married and have two sons. I have lived in Florida since 1993, after moving here from Northern Virginia, where I grew up and attended college. I also spent my childhood growing up in Hawaii and Australia.

I am a member here at University Carillon, and have been involved in many Bible studies over the years. I love working with children, and feel blessed to be a part of UCELC. I believe each child is uniquely special, and should be able to learn in a safe and caring environment, surrounded by the love of God.

Cathy Forkenbrock


I was born and raised in Stamford, CT and moved to Florida where I graduated from college and met my husband.  We have been married since 1984. We have two wonderful children. Our son, his wife, and our grandson live and work in beautiful San Diego, CA. Our daughter is a Registered Licensed Occupational Therapist living and working in tropical Miami. I began my preschool educational career when my two children were in their preschool years and I have been teaching for over 25 years. I have had the pleasure of being here at UCELC since 2008. I truly enjoy learning and growing with our preschoolers - they are one of God’s greatest blessings, and their families too! I look forward to our school year together and the memories we will make!



Kelly Faber


I was born in New York but moved to Florida 1992 where I met my husband (who is also a native New Yorker).
I spent 16 years working in the defense industry for Grumman Corporation until my son was born.  A few years later my daughter was born and I knew my focus had changed and I was ready for a new career.
We joined the church and enrolled our children at UCELC.  The dedication and devotion of the staff led me to join as a 2 year old support teacher.  I continued as a support in the 2,3 and 4 year old classrooms until 2006. I left for a year to substitute in the Orange County Public school system.
I was lucky enough to rejoin UCELC in 2007.  I returned as a VPK lead teacher.  I have been here for 11 years now and I love spending time with the children in such a special place.


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