Experienced Educators
With Passion And Talent

Get To Know The Early Education Experts Committed To The Success Of Your Child


Experienced Educators With Passion And Talent

Get To Know The Early Education Experts Committed To The Success Of Your Child

Quality Preschool and Daycare serving Central Florida

Maria Dos Santos

Maria Dos Santos

Owner and CEO

Maria has worked in early childhood education since 1997, and is continually analyzing the field’s evolution to update the school’s curriculum. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from the Metropolitan University of Caracas, Venezuela, and an Advanced Level Director’s Credential in Florida. Since 2001, Maria has served in many capacities in the United States and positively shaped the lives of more than 1800 children through preschool operations.

Kathy Gomez

Regional Director

Kathy has joined our MFA team as our Regional Director. She has over 29 years of experience working with children, with 23 of them being in the Early Childhood Education field. Kathy holds her National Child Development Associate and a Level II Director’s Credential. She has served in many roles during her career such as Pre-school and Pre-K Lead teacher, Summer Camp Counselor, Assistant Director, and Director. Kathy worked for over 16 years for Primrose Schools where she gained a lot of wonderful experience and knowledge. As our schools keep growing with multiple locations, she will be overseeing our many centers helping the management teams maintain state compliance with health, safety, and educational standards. Her commitment to making sure that there is a nurturing, safe environment, where children can find a love for learning is what she values most.

Michelle Dos Santos

Marketing Director

Michelle has worked in the Marketing Industry since 2017. She has worked for Tommy Hilfiger and Milan Fashion Week while obtaining her Summa Cum Laude Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from the school of Istituto Marangoni in Milan, Italy. Bringing her skills to the Early Childhood Educational field, Michelle enjoys capturing the sweetest moments that will surely last a lifetime and serve as a core memory for the families of My First Academy, as well as, navigating all social channels to continuously increase the brand awareness of the growing company. 

Tania Hernandez

Executive Director

Tania has worked in early childhood education since 2004 and is passionate about educating and working with children. She completed her BS in Biology, holds her Director’s Credential in Florida, and is currently pursuing an MA in Educational Management and Leadership. She is devoted to the physical, cognitive, and social development of her little ones. For six years, she was Director of the “Escuela Materno Infantil” at the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico. Since 2017, she has been an integral part of the MFA family. She feels happy, blessed, and eager to continue contributing to each child’s development.

Debora Lutz

Director at My First Academy 2

Deborah began her Early Childhood Education Degree in 1993 at the University College Monseñor of Talavera. While completing her degree, Deborah began working for the Instituto Andes School as the Lead Pre-K Teacher. She remained in that position until 2013 when she moved to Miami, Florida, where she began working for the Wee Kids Preschool as the VPK Teacher and later as the Assistant Director. Deborah holds her Advanced Director Florida and Texas Credentials as well as her Florida Staff Credential. She has served as the Director for different preschools and now has found her way to becoming the Director for My First Academy 2. Deborah is a passionate, happy, calm, and down to earth leader who has become an essential part in our My First Academy family.

Angelica Cosme

Director at My First Academy 3

Working in early childhood education since 2011, Angelica has served in many capacities in a preschool setting and brought her diverse skill set to every role. She holds her Director’s Credentials in Florida and an Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts. Helping wherever she can and seeing children with smiles on their faces is the most rewarding part of her job.

Angelica Cosme

Nicole Calvo

Director of My First Academy 1

Nicole has worked in the Early Childhood education field for over 10 years. She began her career in Early Childhood as a Teacher throughout all the different age groups. Nicole holds her National Child Development Associate as well as her National Director’s Credential with VPK Endorsement. Since a young age she knew her passion was working with children and striving to give them the best quality and nurturing environment and education she can provide. She believes the first years of a child’s life are the most important as they learn to be compassionate, confident, and curious, building skills that will change the world. Her goal is to continue to grow as an Early Learning Education professional providing the best possible learning experience for both the children and parents.

Noelia Velez

Noelia Velez

Director of My First Academy 1

Since 2011, Noelia has been a dedicated teacher and leader in the early childhood educational field. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from the Central University of Bayamón, Puerto Rico, and the Director’s Credential for the state of Florida. Throughout her career, she has served as a Preschool teacher, VPK Teacher, Assistant Director, and now, Director. She brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise into her Director role. Her commitment to fostering a supportive and engaging learning environment has made and will continue to make a lasting impact on young learners and their families. She is excited to be back at My First Academy 1, and looking forward to what the future holds!

Eliana Mata

Director of My First Academy 2

Eliana has worked for over 23 years in the Early Childhood Education field. She received her Cum Laude Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from the José Antonio Paez University of Valencia, and in 2013, she received her Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling from Carabobo University while also earning the same Degree at a regionally accredited institution of higher education in the United States. Eliana holds her Director’s Credential for the state of Florida. She has worked for over 15 years in the nationally recognized Educational Institution Juan XXIII, who are accredited with the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program, supporting teachers, management, staff members, parents, and the community as an Academic Coordinator and Teacher. Eliana is so excited to come back to the My First Academy Family to continue to live out our mission and core values.

Eliana Mata
Aida Mora

Aida Mora

Director of My First Academy 3

With rich experience spanning 26+ years, Aida is well versed with experience in the education field, particularly in Early Childhood Education. Holding a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Curriculum, Aida has dedicated her life to fostering learning and development in young minds.

Her journey in education began soon after graduating. The early years of her career saw her exploring various facets of teaching and educational administration, laying a strong foundation for her future endeavors.

The pursuit of further knowledge led Aida to obtain a Master’s degree, during which she undertook significant projects in curriculum development and educational leadership. Post-graduation, her career took a notable turn as she assumed roles that allowed her to influence educational policies and curriculum designs, impacting students and educators alike.

Aida’s heart, however, has always been with Early Childhood Education. Her approach, deeply empathetic and innovative, has touched many lives. Whether it was through developing new teaching methods or advocating for policy changes, her contributions have been both meaningful and lasting.

Looking ahead, Aida aspires to complete her Doctoral Degree, delving deeper into research and investigation in Early Childhood Education. Her goal is not just to contribute to the field academically but to shape the very way we think about early childhood education.

For Aida, education is not just a profession but a lifelong passion. Her advice to aspiring educators is simple yet profound: “Educate with love, and let every lesson be a stepping-stone towards a brighter future.

Samara Temple

Samara Temple

Director of My First Academy 3

Samara Temple is passionate about early childhood education and dedicated to creating a nurturing environment where young minds can flourish. With 25+ years of experience, Samara is honored to serve as the Center Director of My First Academy 3. Her mission is to foster a love for learning, promote social emotional development, and ensure every child feels valued and supported. Samara looks forward to partnering with families and the entire team to provide the best possible start for My First Academy’s little learners.

Lizmar Santiago

Director of My First Academy 4

Lizmar has worked over 16 years in the Early Childhood Education field. Working as a teacher for toddlers and VPK, and earning the position of Assistant Director, she has showcased her abilities of being passionate, determined, and hardworking. Lizmar is an advocate of the importance and benefits of Early Childhood Education in the success of all children. She believes that Early Childhood Education is the foundation children need to begin their unique and individual journeys towards their own success while developing their social, emotional, and cognitive skills. Lizmar has an Associate’s Degree in National Child Development and obtains her Directors Credentials for the State of Florida. In her 16 plus years of experience, she has supported teachers, management, and staff members across many different educational functions within the field.

Lizmar Santiago

Kimberly Ortiz

Administrator Coordinator

Kimberly is passionate about helping and supporting others. In 2019 she began to work as an Office Lead supporting the Store, Human Resources, and Operational Management of Tommy Hilfiger. She then joined the My First Academy family to gain experience and manage the HR Department all while continuing her education to obtain her Degree in Human Resource Management.

At the heart of My First Academy, our Directors and staff welcome you warmly and invite you to be part of the community.

How Old Is Your Child?


6 Wks - 12 Months


1 - 2 Years

Early Preschool

2 - 3 Years


3 - 4 Years


4 - 5 Years

School Age

5 - 11 Years

summer camp

5 - 11 Years