Christine Brown received her Bachelors in Studio Art from Towson University, with a concentration in metalworking, jewelry, and sculpture. She set up her first studio in Boulder, Colorado twenty years ago and has been creating and teaching art ever since. She believes everyone is made in the image of an incredibly creative God and creativity should be intentionally nurtured by everyone.
William Castaldi has an undergraduate degree in Classical Civilization and in Religion from Mary Washington University; a M.Div. from Biola University; and a MSW from Norfolk State University. He is an avid writer and musician. In the near future, he plans for two of his works to be published for the benefit of those who struggle with English grammar. He is given permission to preach and present from time to time at local venues in the central Florida area. On occasions he leads worship at and performs original music compositions when and wherever he is allowed. He is married to the greatest wife ever (Brenda). He has a son who is quite amazing—extremely talented, gracious, and smart. (He likes to ask questions, as does his father.) In addition, he is blessed with two cats and a service dog named, Phoenix—he goes with William wherever William goes, especially to work
Kristie Craig attended Taylor University in Indiana and majored in Elementary Education. She ran a small home daycare for 4 years up until she and her husband internationally adopted 3 children of their own. Since moving to Florida, she has worked as a Children’s Ministry Director and homeschooled her 3 children. When the Craig family is not at Smith Prep, you can find them at Disney.
Jason Dalton received his B.S. in Computer Science from Georgia Tech in 2003 and an M.Div. from Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, MS in 2011. He has served as a solo pastor outside of Portland, OR and Rapid City, SD. He has also served overseas as a missionary and trainer of pastors. He is currently the Central Florida Director of two prison ministries and enjoys ministering to those who are often forgotten by society. He has been married for over 20 years to his wife, Elizabeth, and he is the father of five children: Alexander, Christine, Olivia, Emily, and James.
Monica Elwood and her husband of 25 years have 2 children. She received a BS in Chemistry from the University of Miami with a minor in math. She has been a science and math tutor since college and in 2015 she joined the Smith Prep community not only as a parent but also as a teacher upper school mathematics.
Chas Evans received her B.S. from the University of Central Florida. She has been teaching Environmental Education to 8th graders over the summer for the last 25 years including teaching how to canoe, about Florida's water resources and life skills. Mrs. Evans enjoys teaching because it gives her the opportunity to make a positive and influential difference in the lives of her students and co-workers. Mrs. Evans has two children, Chloe and Clark, who also attend Smith Prep.
Rachel received her Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance with a minor in piano from Houston Baptist University. Growing up, she was involved in her homeschool’s drama department, and performed in many local community theater plays. In college, she performed in her school’s operas, and competed in choir and vocal competitions throughout the state of Texas. Since she was 18 years old, she has been teaching music, mainly as a private voice and piano instructor. She and her husband, Tyler, have 3 kids, ages 9,7, and 5, and they just moved to the Orlando area a year ago from Detroit, Michigan. Her husband, Tyler, is the lead pastor at Orangewood Church in Maitland, and Rachel is very much enjoying the warmth and sunshine. She is excited to be part of the team at Smith Prep!
Jennifer Gross received her B.S. in Early Childhood Education from UCF and used it to homeschool her eight children for nineteen years. She has taught co-op classes, tutored students in reading and writing, and directs a children’s choir at St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church. She is thrilled to be a part of the Smith Prep community and is passionate about creating lifelong learners that glorify God. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, singing praises to God, and writing poetry.
Fr. Daniel Hickman received a B.A. in Biblical Studies from Moody Bible Institute in 2000 and a M.Div. from Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando in 2003. He has served as Rector at St. Stephen Orthodox Church in Longwood since 2009 and also serves as priest-in-charge of St. John the Merciful Orthodox Mission, a newly planted church in Kissimmee. He serves on the board of St. Francis House of Hospitality, a ministry to the terminally ill; and he is the director of Camp St. Christopher, an Orthodox Christian summer camp for children and teenagers. Fr. Daniel and his wife Marcella have four children, all attending Smith Prep: Gabriel, Cassiana, Jude, and Peter.
Leia LeMaster Horton helps students earn full tuition scholarships by raising their test scores. Students become prepared test takers ready to conquer the ACT, CLT and SAT exams. Leia classically homeschooled for 18 years and her 3 children earned full tuition and private scholarships valued at over $316,000. Since then, she’s helped countless others do the same. Her passion is to help students understand that as image bearers of the one true God, they can LEARN ANYTHING.
Carolyn Hunter received her B.S. in Psychology from UCF and Masters in Teaching from Pace University in New York City. She taught middle school in Brooklyn for 7 years. Mr. and Mrs. Hunter recently relocated to Central Florida where they are raising their 2 small daughters and schooling through Smith Prep.
Heather Mellichamp comes to Smith Prep with over a decade of teaching experience in multiple settings and environment. She loves the the classical approach that emphasizes all aspects of student growth and development, including their walk with God. Ms. Mellichamp has three teenagers with whom she enjoys spending her evenings and weekends. She is passionate about her faith and active in her local church. Her hobbies include writing, reading, and volunteering in the community.
Headmaster Michael Phillips earned his B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Biblical Studies and Theology from Boyce College in Louisville, Kentucky. He has also studied religion and philosophy at Carson-Newman College and theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. In addition to his work at Smith Prep, Mr. Phillips is the Director of Veritas Academy, a non-traditional private school serving the state of Florida. He is the Executive Director of Legislative Affairs for the FCCPSA and a member of the Association of Christian Classical Schools and the Society of Classical Learning. Mr. Phillips is working on his Master’s in Liberal Studies from Rollins College.
Melissa Phillips has taught first and second graders at multiple schools, including Sayers Classical School in Louisville, Kentucky. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies from Toccoa Falls College. She was instrumental in assembling Smith Prep’s Lower School curriculum and training our teachers. She enjoys standing alongside our families as they walk the path of classically educating their children.
Aaron Ott received his education from Shasta Bible College, Dallas Theological Seminary, and the University of Houston, where he taught Bible and Christianity for 10 years. Doctoral studies at UCF brought him to Orlando, where he combined his interests in religion and anthropology to research religions of ancient Mexico and Florida as an archaeologist.
Mr. Ott has served as a Deacon at St. Alban’s Anglican Church in Oviedo and as a Chaplain to fire departments in Texas and now with the Seminole County Fire Department. He brings to Smith Prep a passion for mentoring youth and equipping families to grow next-generation Christian leaders.
Laura Roberts has been teaching science in the Central Florida area for over two decades. She studied Animal Science at the University of Florida and earned a BS in Cardiopulmonary Science from the University of Central Florida. She is nearing the completion of a MA in Christian Education from Whitefield Theological Seminary. While homeschooling her own children, Mrs. Roberts (the Zoo Mom) discovered a true love for teaching and developed a wildlife education business to inspire students to a love of God’s creation.
At the beginning of his career, Dr. Smith worked for eight years as a sales professional and trainer for the pharmaceutical giant, Merck & Co. During this season, Dr. Smith earned his business degree in management and finance. Upon graduating from seminary, he became the founding Dean of Distance Education at Knox Theological Seminary in Fort Lauderdale, FL. While serving at Knox, he continued to pursue advanced studies in theology and ministry culminating in doctoral studies. He was ordained as an Anglican minister in 2011. Committed to the truth that God changes lives through faith in his Son, Jesus Christ, he transitioned from academic to pastoral ministry. He’s been pastoring in Central Florida since 2014.
Tiffany Tinley graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University with a BA in Spanish Education K-12, and a minor in TESOL. She taught Spanish prior to becoming a full-time mom. She and her husband of 15 years serve in their church through small groups and marriage mentoring. All three Tinley children began Kindergarten at Smith Prep. The critical thinking skills, maturity, and overall learning each child has shown after lessons at Smith Prep prompted Mrs. Tinley to eagerly join the faculty as a Kindergarten Teacher three years ago. She believes in the power of story to teach Truth and is committed to sharing stories with her students. Her goal is to spark their imagination and dig into spaces in the heart that the mind cannot see, planting seeds of Truth. She prays each student will know they are loved at school and by God. She hopes that they will find wonder and joy in the order and beauty of God’s creation, and that they will cultivate virtue and a love for Truth, so that when they have grown, they may hold out the Word of Life as lights to the world around them.
Julie Wolf is currently a Licensed Mental Health Counselor through the state of FL, MH8080 and is also the founder and owner of Hope Counseling Clinic, a Biblically based, private practice counseling center located in Winter Garden, FL. She specializes in counseling teens, individuals, and couples. Julie earned her B.A. in Psychology from Samford University in 1995 and her M.A. in Counselor Education from the University of Central Florida in 2001. Julie’s favorite job is raising her two active teenagers alongside her husband of over 20 years. She also loves reading, hydroponic gardening, and eating delicious food.