Universal Orlando Youth Programs Spotlight: Program Development Team
Back in May, we posted about the top 5 Reasons to Book Your Education Program with us and one of our FAVORITE reasons was that our programs were developed by former classroom teachers. Our educators truly have a knack for preparing engaging lessons that align the curriculum to relevant national and state standards. You know what that means. Not only can you rely on our educators’ programs to takeover or enhance the lesson plan for the day, but it will directly correlate with what your students are learning in the classroom… while taking it up a notch! After all, our classroom is one without walls, in the heart of our interactive, theme park learning environment.
Not convinced yet? Let’s take the time to introduce our out-of-this-universe Program Development team. We think it’s time you met them!
Originally from Connecticut, Teresa moved with her family to the quiet town of Port Charlotte, Florida during 8th grade and graduated from Charlotte County Public Schools. After a spirited 4 years as a PCHS Pirate, Teresa went on to Florida Southern College to study as a pre-med student, and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology while minoring in Sociology and Physical Education. Realizing her passion was more in teaching than practicing medicine, Teresa obtained her Florida Professional Certificate for Life Sciences grades 6 – 12 and began her career as an educator in Charlotte County. Starting with high school math, Teresa spent time teaching students with varying exceptionalities before landing in her Biology classroom as one of the original teachers for the Oak Ridge High School Hospitality Magnet program in Orange County, Florida. In addition to her career as a teacher, Teresa brings a variety of experiences to our programs at Universal Orlando. She was an accomplished dancer, owns an Italian restaurant in its 28th year with her family, has worked for a large pharmaceutical company, and has authored two lab manuals for another learning program. Teresa has 2 children, ages 13 and 15, both active in band and dance programs within Orange County Public Schools.
Regina is an Orlando native who spent her childhood in the classrooms of Orange County Public Schools. As a sophomore in high school, Regina secretly fell in love with a boy wizard, and her passion for reading was born. After graduating high school, she embarked on an adventure to Nashville, TN where she embraced country music and biscuits, and earned degrees in both child studies and education from Vanderbilt University. While at Vanderbilt, Regina’s passion for reading was slowly morphing into a reading endorsement, but during graduate school she realized how much she loved teaching math, so she began to develop a new approach to math instruction. With her teaching certificate in hand, Regina returned to her roots and spent eight years teaching gifted, reading, college prep, and math to some phenomenal students in the county where she was brought up. Now at Universal Orlando, Regina uses her talents to help create educational experiences for youth groups. As a mom to a preschooler and wife to an elementary music teacher, Regina, and her family spend their free time living like true Floridians – at the beach and enjoying the best theme parks in the world! Regina maintains her Florida Professional Certificate in Elementary Education (K – 6) and Math (5 – 9).
As the 34th employee of Universal Studios Florida, Michael brings a wealth of knowledge to our visiting students with over 30 years of experience in our parks. Michael has held integral roles in the development, operation, and management of Universal Orlando while acting as technician, performer, manager and, prior to his first retirement, Senior Director of Entertainment. All of Michael’s roles have allowed him to make authentic career connections for our students while facilitating our youth education programs. In the mid-90s Michael was part of the reengineering team whose work resulted in a more collaborative environment at Universal. Michael is fortunate to hold many firsts at Universal — he was the first Ghostbuster hired, first performance coach, first entertainment employee of Islands of Adventure™, and first original employee to retire, only to be the first to return and become our very first Youth Educator. Out of all of these firsts, the one he’s doing now is his favorite because he gets to influence our future. If you’re driving around Orlando during Mardi Gras, be sure to look for Michael on billboards around town as the memorable Mardi Gras icon, Marty! And when you’re walking through Universal Studios toward the NY Public Library, look to your left and check out the door of the fire station.
Ready to have your students learn from our incredible team? Learn more about our Education Programs, Contact Us for more information, and use #UniversalYouth to keep up with us on social. We’re excited to meet you!