Administration

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 15 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, five dogs, three goats, ten chickens and an indeterminate number of cats.

Lauren Zweber - Principal (Director of Academics)

Mrs. Zweber grew up in the Philadelphia area and received her Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education degree from Kutztown University in 2009. She began her teaching career as a building substitute at a local K-12 charter school and later became a 4th-5th grade classroom teacher.
In 2014 she was ready to trade in that northern weather for a more tropical background and moved to South Florida where she began teaching 6th-8th Middle School ELA here at GSOTA. During her teaching years, she assisted Ms Ryan with the Snorkeling and Fishing Club and worked for a local non-profit organization called Florida Fishing Academy.
In 2018 she became the school's first School Culture Coordinator and helped facilitate school wide events and generate a positive environment for students and staff. Then in 2019 she moved into the role of Assistant Principal where she developed her leadership skills under the guidance of administration. In 2020, she became the Principal of GSOTA and is enjoying her role developing academics and curriculum to continue making this school a unique place to learn.
In her free time she enjoys cheering on the Philadelphia Phillies, scuba diving, and exploring Florida's diverse natural environments.

Danika Augustin - Assistant Principal

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.