Faculty and Staff

Our teachers and staff are committed followers and lovers of Christ who are united in serving the Lord through the field of education. We believe, above all else, that we are to "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind.'" (Luke 10:27a)

Mrs. Erin Ciulla

Head of School

erinc@odessachristianschool.org

 

Mrs. Ciulla, together with her husband, Mr. James Ciulla, founded Odessa Christian School in 2008 out of obedience to the Lord’s calling. Mrs. Ciulla holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the University of Tampa. Prior to founding Odessa Christian School, she worked at a group home for young people with developmental disabilities for 15 years, including 10 as co-director. During that time, Mrs. Ciulla developed with her mother-in-law (and co-director at the group home), Mrs. Diane Ciulla, an equine therapy program for individuals with emotional and developmental disabilities, focused on the therapeutic and learning benefits of being active in nature, and adventured with Mr. Ciulla and their two sons.

 

From Mrs. Ciulla:

 

I love Jesus, I love to learn, and I love adventure! As Head of School at OCS, my heart is to combine all three of these in a challenging, inspirational, and joyful educational experience for each and every one of our students. The thrill of seeing students grow and discover they are learning not only content, but also how to learn, how to create, and how to live – for Jesus, others, and self – is such a joy! I rejoice at being a part of teachers and students connecting over a math hurdle, writing challenge, or spiritual breakthrough, and count it an honor to be called to this position.

 

I pray every parent recognizes and embraces the ideals of an education from a biblical worldview and growth mindset focus, and that instills perseverance and personal responsibility in their children – not only at school, but also for life. From learning to read to traipsing around Spanish Colonial ruins, from multiplication facts to writing, producing, and acting in a full length play, learning is what one makes of their opportunities. Learning is about so much more than textbooks and standardized tests. OCS shines the light on opportunities – students learn how to embrace them!

 

My favorite activities include reading (I may have a book problem) - preferably with some hot tea and our two dogs on either side of me on the couch, and adventuring with my family and friends, especially if it involves the outdoors, water, mystery, and/or history. While I love to read, I am hard pressed to name just one favorite book, though, if I had to choose, Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte) would probably be way up there, along with pretty much anything by Alcott, Rosenberg, and Grisham. Braveheart, Sound of Music, Downton Abbey, and Seinfeld are all on my screen time list. I hold unwaveringly to God’s word, and I am pretty sure I am divergent. J

 

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart

    and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways submit to him,

    and he will make your paths straight.

 

Mrs. Amanda Mummau

Curriculum and Instructional Specialist

Upper Grades Teacher

amummau@odessachristianschool.org

 

Mrs. Mummau holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education with a minor in Bible from Clearwater Christian College. She married her best friend, Abe, in 2002, taught in public school for 4 years before taking time off to raise her girls, and has been teaching for 9 years at OCS. Mrs. Mummau and her family have been a part of OCS since the very beginning, and, in May 2021, her oldest daughter will have gone from Kindergarten to graduation at OCS!

 

Mrs. Mummau is famous for answering questions with a question to help students not only discover the answer, but to learn HOW to discover the answer. Mrs. Mummau tirelessly seeks out ways to help all her students grow, and helps them learn to always embrace the challenge, to never quit, and that the reward is worth the effort!

 

From Mrs. Mummau:

 

I love being there for students’ “aha!” moments, and seeing students go from shy and unsure to confident and willing to help others understand. Being able to see students grow academically and socially, and having alumni return to let me know how well OCS prepared them for college and future success are some of the things I love about being a teacher.

 

I love OCS for my own children - the small class sizes, the camaraderie across grade levels, the academic challenge with a growth mindset emphasis. For myself, the positive staff, the ability to focus on teaching and not discipline issues, and being able to incorporate spiritual emphasis at all times.

 

I believe parents should send their students to OCS for a positive, Christian environment that focuses on the whole child, a growth mindset emphasis, accountability, and the rigorous curriculum.

 

S-H-I-R-E SHIRE SHIRE SHIRE!

 

Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—
    he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm—
    he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.

Mr. Santo Ciulla

Physical Education, Upper School Bible, Genius Hour

Clubs

sciulla@odessachristianschool.org

 

Mr. Ciulla – known affectionately as “Coach” – was born and raised in Florida. Coach attended Christian school from kindergarten through grade 12, and is a 2015 graduate of OCS. Coach Ciulla graduated from Southeastern University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration with a concentration in leadership. He is also a licensed pilot and brings a sense of adventure and an “out of the box” approach to learning. 
 
Coach Ciulla has a strong sense of understanding for his students; he works diligently to think back to how he felt as a student and uses that knowledge to reach and teach others. Coach attended the Ron Clark Academy educator training program in June 2017, as well as the Get Your Teach On conference in February 2019, which have made lasting impacts on his approach to effectively combining content with student engagement. 
 
From Coach Ciulla:
 

I love being a teacher because of how fulfilling it is to see students excel in school and conquer difficult tasks. 

Parents should choose Odessa Christian School for their children because OCS is awesome! It prepares you for life. Speaking on a personal account, I was nervous about my first year of college because I thought I wasn't ready to learn at that level... I soon realized that, thanks to my middle and high school education at OCS, I would excel in all of my classes with ease while my other colleagues struggled with what I felt were simple courses.
 
OCS is unique because of its fun and new style of learning as well as the beautiful outdoor-oriented campus. I love having fun! PE and Genius Hour rock!
 
Proverbs 3:3-4
Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.

Mrs. Popy Mazza

Elementary Grades

pmazza@odessachristianschool.org

 

Mrs. Mazza was born in Englewood, New Jersey and moved to Tarpon Springs, Florida as a child. She attended St. Petersburg College with a focus in administration, spent 19+ years working in healthcare administration, and is the co-founder and principal owner of a surgical/medical consulting company.

 

Mrs. Mazza has been married for over 20 years to her husband, Jason, and is the loving mom of 2 boys. Their family has been a precious part of the OCS family for the past 10 years, with her son, Yanni being a 2021 graduate, and her son, Zane, now moving into 6th grade! How time flies!

From Mrs. Mazza:

 

In 2020, I was given the opportunity here at OCS, to help and guide some of our elementary students in learning how to read, write, and conquer math. I enjoyed seeing the excitement on the students’ faces when they successfully completed a challenging task. Needless to say.... I enjoyed it so much that here I am back again! 


I love the unique learning methods that OCS uses and that students have the ability to engage in mastery-based learning. OCS has a beautiful campus and a very personal, friendly environment. Teachers care about their students’ success and want to help them succeed in all walks of life. 

 

Parents should send their students to OCS because of the real world skills they get to learn in a close-knit environment. As both a teacher and a mother of an OCS graduate, I’ve firsthand seen the knowledge and skills students have developed in working with others, public speaking, and real-world events: skills students will need to be successful in the future. 

 

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭43:2‬ ‭

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”

Mr. Jim Ciulla

Director of Operations

jimc@odessachristianschool.org

 

Mrs. Diane "Grandma" Ciulla

Agriculture Teacher

Landscaping

Mrs. Beverly Kidwell

Advisor

bkidwell@odessachristianschool.org

 

Mrs. Kidwell, originally from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, attended the University of South Florida for 2 years and has been in Christian ministry for 30+ years. Ministry has taken her all over the United States, but her heart is here in the Tampa Bay area.

 

She is married to Pastor Brad Kidwell. They have a married daughter, Adrienne, and a  grandson, Shepherd, who has stolen Mrs. Kidwell’s heart!

 

Mrs. Kidwell has dedicated her life to assisting parents in “raising up children in the way they should go so that when they are older, they will not depart from it,” and she is well loved!

 

From Mrs. Kidwell:

 

I love OCS’ campus, where the presence of the Holy Spirit can be tangibly felt! Close relationships are developed here between one another – students and faculty - and with Christ.

 

I love seeing the fruit from sowing the seed of the word into kids!!

 

Ephesians 3:16-19

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Section 1002.421(2)(h), Florida Statutes requires that classroom teachers at all Florida registered schools meet one of the following requirements:

  • 3 or more years of public and/or private school teaching
  • Special skills, knowledge, or expertise that qualifies them to provide instruction in subjects taught
  • Baccalaureate Degree or higher

OCS meets or exceeds this requirement. 

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