September 2019

As Rosarian Academy prepares for the start of the 2019-2020 academic year on August 26, Head of School Linda Trethewey recently announced the addition of new faculty/staff members to support the school’s growing student body and stellar educational programs and experiences. The school prides itself in retaining and hiring exceptional educators who make Rosarian a model independent, Catholic school.


Rosarian Academy new principal Nicole Ewing

Nicole Ewing joined Rosarian Academy as School Principal effective July 1. Mrs. Ewing holds Master’s Degrees in both Education and Educational Leadership. She most recently served as Middle School Principal of K12, Inc., where she managed a school of 650 students and 35 teachers. Mrs. Ewing also oversees ten Florida Standards Assessments (FSA) and End-of-Course (EOC) testing sites. Prior to her role as Principal, Mrs. Ewing served as Assistant Principal for Florida Virtual Academy, and she holds 18 years experience facilitating instruction from second grade through high school--including teaching middle school mathematics at All Saints Catholic School and teaching at St. Ann School. “Mrs. Ewing embodies the characteristics of patience, courage, confidence, empathy, integrity, and authenticity. We are confident that in joining our community she will empower others, teachers and students alike, to reach their greatest potential,” commented Trethewey.


Keller Lanahan is now serving as Assistant Principal, overseeing both the Early Childhood and Lower School programs.  Mrs. Lanahan has been a member of the Rosarian family since 2011.  Over the last eight years, Mrs. Lanahan has served Rosarian as an assistant and lead teacher in the Children’s House classrooms and then Early Childhood Director. Prior to coming to Rosarian, she taught 2nd grade, 4th-8th grade science, and 5th grade religion at Holy Name of Jesus School and was an Adjunct Professor in the Teacher Certification Program at Palm Beach State College. She holds her Master of Elementary Education K-6 from Palm Beach Atlantic University.

Rosarian welcomes Lynn Black as School Nurse. Nurse Black started her career working at St. Mary’s Hospital as a Registered Nurse--for one year in oncology and then five years in labor and delivery. She later spent 12 years at All Saints Catholic School. As the school nurse, Mrs. Black provided nursing care to 480+ students and 60+ faculty members. School Nurse is a position new to the school and one instated in conjunction with Rosarian Academy’s Oakley Debbs Health & Wellness Initiative. A full-time nurse further ensures the health and safety of Rosarian students and faculty.


As Rosarian launches a Gifted & Talented Program, Lindsay Dougherty transitions to the Academic Center for Enrichment (ACE) team and serves as the dedicated gifted & talented teacher for grades K-4. Mrs. Dougherty holds her Bachelors of Science in Early Elementary Education from the University of Vermont and is beginning her second year teaching at Rosarian. Previously, she spent eleven years teaching kindergarten, first, and second grades in Palm Beach County public schools. She focused strongly on differentiated instruction as a classroom teacher. Mrs. Dougherty has received extensive training through Columbia University Teachers College for primary writing skills and development. She also worked as the head writing liaison for Lucy Calkins in the Palm Beach County School District. Mrs. Dougherty will work with the classroom teachers to coordinate the educational needs to ensure the students in the Gifted & Talented Program are challenged in ways that are appropriate to their abilities.


Joy VanDyke joins Rosarian as both a Guidance Counselor and STEM Teacher. Mrs. VanDyke has earned her Master’s of Education in School Counseling and Guidance from Florida Atlantic University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing and Art from Palm Beach Atlantic University. She is currently enrolled in a STEM leadership certification/graduate program through the American College of Education. Some of her accomplishments include earning a grant to create an outdoor classroom and self publishing a book, Inspired Art, which introduces art instruction through literature, object-based learning, thinking routines, thinking maps, and STEAM.

Erika Handley joins the school as the Art Teacher: replacing Evie Erickson who retired after 25 years. Mrs. Handley’s experience includes over 17 years in Fine Arts education. She most recently taught K-3rd grade art at Palm Beach Day Academy. Mrs. Handley is a dedicated educator committed to creating a classroom atmosphere that is stimulating, encouraging and supportive for all students. Her kind, compassionate, and flexible approach to art instruction allows her to meet students’ individual needs and interests.


Denise Lawrence joins the Social Studies Department as a 7th and 8th grade teacher. She comes from St. Ann Catholic School, some of her responsibilities included IB Coordinator, Media Specialist, and 5th grade teacher. Mrs. Lawrence received her Bachelor of Arts in History from University of Florida. She is dedicated to developing connections with students to boost engagement and overall learning while helping to build important life-long skills.


Tricia Rielly attended Rosarian (Class of 1988) 6th through 9th grade and returns as a7th and 8th grade science teacher. She comes to Rosarian from St. Ann Catholic School where she taught 6th through 8th grade general sciences. Mrs. Rielly received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Florida Atlantic University, her Bachelor of Science in Forest Resources and Conservation from University of Florida, and her Masters in Education (major in Environmental Education) from Florida Atlantic University. Prior to teaching science, Mrs. Rielly worked in the field of science--as a researcher for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a biologist for Toxikon Corporation, and a compliance officer for the Department of Environmental Protection.


Will Searcy joins the Middle School Religion Department. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia's McIntire School of Commerce and also works as a writer, producer, videographer and marketing professional. He is the co-author of Through the Tumbler, a book about Donna Berger's faithful journey through tragedy, and he writes a faith-based blog on her website. Mr. Searcy has a passion for his Catholic faith and sports. He has coached various age groups and sports over the last 10 years. Mr. Searcy spends each day seeking to learn more about the Lord and His perfect love for us. He looks forward to sharing the Spirit of God and that perfect love with his students in the classroom and players on the court/field.


Elizabeth Sellers joins the Middle School Math Department.  Prior to coming to Rosarian, she had over 12 years of experience teaching Middle School Math and Honors Algebra I, most recently at Palm Beach Day Academy. While teaching, she also served as a local police officer for 14 years. Mrs. Sellers has always been involved in student life outside of the classroom, including coaching sports and assisting with guidance and curriculum initiatives.

Kimberly St. John has been a part of the Rosarian Early Childhood faculty for the past three years and is moving to 6th Grade Language Arts this year. Mrs. St. John received her Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education from Florida Atlantic University and is currently pursuing her Master's Degree at Barry University, studying Exceptional Student Education. As a published short story author, Mrs. St. John has a passion for both reading and writing. She was on the All New York State Academic team for writing and a major contributor to LaGuardia Community College's literary magazine.


Misael Valera joins the Fine Arts team as a Music Teacher. Mr. Valera has studied in both Havana, Cuba and Toronto, Canada. He holds his Bachelor’s Degree in classical guitar and piano and chamber ensemble and concerto. He is teaching music theory and will work alongside Gay Dedo who will continue to focus on choral music. Mr. Valera has served as a music pastor and teacher, including 9 years at Christ Fellowship. In addition to teaching and loving music, Mr. Valera currently serves as the Lead Pastor at Instrumento de Tu Gloria Hispanic Church in Royal Palm Beach.


“We welcome all of the new faculty members to our Rosarian family. As we begin a new school year, we continue our commitment to excellence in spiritual development, academics, athletics, and the arts-- providing our students with a ‘foundation for life’ that prepares them for all future endeavors,” stated Mrs. Trethewey.


Rosarian Academy, founded in 1925, educates students from early childhood through eighth grade and offers an exceptionally strong academic program enriched by athletics, visual and performing arts, and community service opportunities. STEM, coding, art, drama, music theory, and Spanish classes begin in kindergarten. The independent, Catholic school is located on Flagler Drive in downtown West Palm Beach and is sponsored by the Adrian Dominican Sisters. Bus service is available throughout Palm Beach County. For more information, visit or call 561.345.3106.

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