Our Staff

Our staff creates the school climate and encourages students to love learning. Get to know a little about us!


Wendy Bradshaw

Director & Upper Primary Instructor

Dr. Wendy Bradshaw is the founder and director of The Cygnet School, and teaches the Upper Primary class. She holds a doctoral degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Special Education from the University of South Florida (2015). She also earned her Master of Arts from the University of South Florida (2006) in Special Education with specialized coursework for Autism Spectrum Disorders. She earned her undergraduate degree (2003) in Preschool/Primary, Elementary, and Special Education at Florida Southern College. Dr. Bradshaw has served in multiple roles in the field of education, including preschool and elementary teacher, early interventionist, and college instructor. 

"Farmer Alex" Ruesing

Electives Instructor

Farmer Alex is the father of four Cygnet students and the proprietor of Lifegarden Farm, which grows many types of produce and specializes in all kinds of peppers. He teaches our students the basics of beekeeping through tending and harvesting honey from our school beehive. He also teaches gardening, where students learn to grow and harvest many edible plants, along with the ins and outs of vermiculture and composting. 


Jennifer Stukey

School Administrator

Dr. Stukey is the mother of three Cygnet students (and one future student!) and serves as the business administrator for the school, handling tuition, compliance, budgeting, and data collection. She has a doctoral degree in Human Services Administration from Walden University and a rich history in college administration as an assistant dean and through teaching master's level courses in business administration. 

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Susan Leopold

Lower Primary Instructor

Susan graduated from the University of South Florida in 1992 with a BS in Elementary Education (K-6). She is also a graduate of the Suncoast Area Teacher Training Honors Program. Susan has more than 20 years of experience in teaching at private schools, traditional schools, and as a home schooling mother with five children of her own. 

Carolina Villavicenio

Lower Primary Assistant and Electives Instructor

Carolína graduated from George Jenkins High School and has worked with young children for the past decade in several different capacities. She is knowledgeable of developmentally appropriate practices and enjoys guiding our youngest students through both structured and play-based activities to acquire reading and math skills. She is also a native Spanish speaker.


Sara Jones

Secondary Co-op Supervisor and Art Instructor

Sara supervises and teaches small groups in the Secondary Co-Op academic class and serves as our Art Electives instructor. Sara is a local artist who was home educated through middle school before attending traditional secondary school and Hillsborough Community College for Art. Sara's artwork has been featured in several publications and she has been an invited artist at many events and galleries. Sara enjoys helping students tap into their artistic talent and introducing them to various media and techniques to broaden their knowledge.


Kevin Peoples

Middle Grades Instructor

Kevin graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. He taught in the public school system for 13 years before deciding that he would rather teach children in creative and interesting ways. Kevin enjoys teaching through games and encouraging children to read and write for enjoyment. 

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