Celia Lawrence - Principal     561.290.7661

Mrs. Lawrence was born in Monterrey, Mexico; her family moved to the United States when she was eight years old. Her childhood dream was to become a teacher, that dream came to fruition when she graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a Bachelor's in Elementary Education and taught at the elementary school she attended. After spending several years as a first, fourth, and dual-language Spanish teacher, she became a literacy specialist for the central region of the School District of Palm Beach County. 
As a district literacy specialist, she served ten schools needing improvement and supported teachers and administrators as they implemented literacy strategies to increase student achievement. Soon after, Mrs. Lawrence graduated with her Master's in Educational Leadership from Florida Atlantic University and became an Assistant Principal for a dual-language elementary choice school in Boynton Beach, Florida. She is pursuing her Doctorate in Educational Leadership at Lynn University and creating a research-based mentorship program for Latina educators hoping to advance to leadership positions in education. 
Mrs. Lawrence believes all students can learn and succeed when given opportunities to shine in a safe and nurturing environment. As an immigrant and English- Language Learner, Mrs. Lawrence understands the value of a high-quality education coupled with hard work and dedication. As the Principal of GSOTA, she hopes to inspire educators and students alike to dream big, set goals, make mistakes, and always keep growing and learning. 
Mrs. Lawrence is a proud wife and boy mom. She loves cooking, baking, traveling, and Starbucks. In her spare time, she enjoys going to off-Broadway shows and knows every lyric of Hamilton! 

Danika Augustin - Assistant Principal      561.290.7661

Ms. Augustin is a New York native but have called South Florida home for the greater part of my life.  She completed her undergraduate schooling at UCF (Go Knights!) and continued onto Palm Beach Atlantic University where she graduated with a degree in Organizational Leadership. She is currently pursuing her M. Ed at Barry University and expects to graduate this Fall. 
This is Ms. Augustin's sixth year in the education system which has included experiences in teaching 4th grade, 3rd grade and STEM. In her free time, she can be found enjoying nature trails or trekking the sidewalk of the nearest beach on her fixie bike. She also enjoys traveling to new places, cooking and of course, trying new food! 
Ms. Augustin's teaching philosophy is to create student-centered learning environments in which the student is in the driver’s seat of their own learning. As a leader, she sets high standards and expectations by promoting growth mindsets among her students and peers. All of her students know that she expects them to give their best effort daily and strive for continuous self-improvement every day.

Jeanne Benz - Director of Operations

Mrs. Benz was part of the founding team of Gardens School of Technology Arts in 2010. She was instrumental in the initial establishment of Gardens SOTA and has been responsible at various levels for the management and operation of the school.
Mrs. Benz has worked in educational administration in several capacities throughout her career. In 2006 she co-founded The Children's Academy at Covenant, an early childhood center, and served as Director for six years. With over 17 years of experience in business management, Mrs. Benz is responsible for general operations and compliance for the school. She is committed to maintaining integrity and excellence in Gardens SOTA's programs and management and to ensuring that the unique mission and vision of the school's charter is upheld and fulfilled.
Mrs. Benz holds a Bachelor's degree in Sociology from Florida International University. She has always had a passion for the well being of children and the community, and she served for several years as a Guardian ad Litem in the 15th Judicial Circuit of Palm Beach County. She was born and raised in South Florida and currently lives in the Acreage with her husband Erik, their three children, seven dogs, three goats, ten chickens and an indeterminate number of cats.