Meet Our Teachers
5th Grade - Claire Haas

We are very excited to have Mrs. Claire Haas join the Gulf Pointe Academy teaching staff and take the reins of our inaugural fifth grade class. Mrs. Haas received her Bachelors of Science degree in Broadcast Communications and Philosophy. She also holds a Master's degree in Education-Curriculum and Instruction from Belmont University. Mrs. Haas has been in the education field for 19 years as a teacher, mentor, manager and coach. Mrs. Haas has taught in private and parochial schools in Tennessee and Maryland, as well as worked in charter and public schools. Mrs. Haas recently relocated from Baltimore and now lives in Gulf Breeze with her husband and two teenage children.

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are very excited to have Mrs. Claire Haas join the Gulf Pointe Academy teaching staff and take the reins of our inaugural 5th grade class. Mrs. Haas received her Bachelors of Science degree in Broadcast Communications and Philosophy. She also holds a Master's degree in Education-Curriculum and Instruction from Belmont University. Mrs. Haas has been in the education field for 19 years as a teacher, mentor, manager and coach. Mrs. Haas has taught in private and parochial schools in Tennessee and Maryland, as well as worked in charter and public schools. Mrs. Haas recently relocated from Baltimore and now lives in Gulf Breeze with her husband and two 
4th Grade - Susie Howell
We are pleased to welcome Susie Howell back as GPA's fourth grade teacher. After graduating with a Bachelors of Science degree from the University of Colorado, Mrs. Howell began a 10 year career as a Director of Wellness in the health care industry. For the past several years, she has been a patient care coordinator at Andrews Institute. In addition to co-founding Live Oak Church with her husband Pat, Mrs. Howell has spent over 20 years in children's ministry; with extensive experience developing and teaching Sunday school, homeschooling her daughter with a classical education, discipleship courses, and bible study groups. Mrs. Howell and her husband have one son at the Air Force Academy, a second son at Mississippi State University, and an 11 year old daughter. Last Spring, Mrs. Howell's class finished the Iowa Test of Basic Skills in the top 1% of the country.
3rd Grade - Stephanie Bowman
Returning for her fourth year, we are pleased to announce that Mrs. Bowman will be leading our third grade class. After graduating from the University of Texas with a degree in biology, Mrs. Bowman began her career in the field of Cytology at Wilford Hall Medical Center. She also spent time as a substitute teacher and volunteer in Portales, NM. Mrs. Bowman has been married for 14 years to her husband who is active duty Air Force at Hurlburt Field. She and her husband have three children who are 12, 9, and 8 years old. Mrs. Bowman has two children who attend GPA. Last Spring, Mrs. Bowman's GPA class finished in the top 1% of the country on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills.
3rd Grade - Toni Hall
Joining Mrs. Bowman in the third grade as an Assistant Teacher, we welcome Mrs. Hall to the GPA teaching staff. Mrs. Hall received her Bachelors of Science degree from Valdosta State College and taught 1st grade for several years in a private school. Most recently, Mrs. Hall has been teaching 5th and 6th grade students in Classical Conversations. Mrs. Hall is married and has two children.
2nd Grade - Michelle Collins
We are pleased to welcome back Michelle Collins for her fourth year as a GPA second grade teacher. After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Business and a Master’s degree in Administration, she spent ten years in finance, banking and corporate trust administration. Mrs. Collins returned to school and earned her second Master’s degree in Education. She has a passion for children’s classical literature and fondly reminisces about her own high school days when she studied Latin. Mrs. Collins has been married to her husband for 28 years and they have two children. Her husband is an attorney and has served in the US Army Reserves for 29 years. Last Spring, Mrs. Collin's GPA class finished in the top 1% of the country on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills.
2nd Grade - Sheila Murray
Returning for her fifth year at Gulf Pointe Academy, Mrs. Murray has an extensive history of successful teaching with a specialty in mathematics. She graduated from the University of Texas with a Bachelors of Science degree in Education. Mrs. Murray is formally trained in working with gifted and talented children and has taught many Honors courses in mathematics. She has served as Department Chairperson, Curriculum Development & Alignment Specialist and has been honored with a Teacher of the Year nomination. Mrs. Murray was married for 20 years to the late USAF Academy graduate and Lt. Colonel, Daniel Murray. They have two boys ages 17 and 14 years old attending St. Mary’s Catholic School & FWB High School. Last Spring, Mrs. Murray's class finished in the top 1% of the country on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills.
1st Grade - Julie Kneen
Returning for her third year, we are pleased to welcome back Mrs. Kneen as a first grade teacher. Mrs. Kneen began her undergraduate work at Cal State Fullerton, where she met her future air force husband and lived several years abroad in Germany. Mrs. Kneen continued her education at Azusa Pacific and Wayland Baptist University. Prior to joining GPA, she taught internationally through the Department of Defense and then 1st - 6th grades for ten years at an area private school. Mrs. Kneen has also served as a Religious Education Teacher for the past 11 years. She and her husband have been married 20 years and they have four children. Last Spring, Mrs. Kneen's GPA class finished in the top 1% of the country on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills.
1st Grade Lead - Leah Hooks
We are pleased to announce Ms. Hooks is returning to the GPA teaching staff and has been promoted to first grade teacher. After graduating with a Bachelors of Science degree in Education and then completing her teaching practicum, Ms. Hooks headed west to teach young 3-5 year old children horseback riding at a premiere Colorado dude ranch. After spending two seasons at the ranch, Ms. Hooks began her classroom teaching as a substitute in Birmingham. After deciding she was ready to become a lead teacher, Ms. Hooks found the Gulf Pointe teaching opportunity a great fit for fulfilling her desire to educate children in a classical, traditional environment. Ms. Hook's has one brother, and is looking forward to becoming an aunt this winter.
Kindergarten - Sara Rice
We are pleased to welcome back Ms. Rice for her fifth year as a GPA kindergarten teacher. Ms. Rice has a very strong track record in private elementary education, consistently producing students who are better prepared and more successful than their counterparts. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Wisconsin with a Bachelors of Science degree in Elementary Education, during which time she also studied European civilization and French in Limoges, France. Ms. Rice has taught for 18 years in many capacities, including teaching Thai children at the International Community School in Bangkok, inner-city public schools, and private Christian classrooms. Last Spring, Ms, Rice's class finished in the top 1% of the country on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills.
Kindergarten - Heather Bergman
We are pleased to welcome back Mrs. Bergman for her third year as a GPA teacher. After successfully completing her 1st year at GPA as an assistant pre-k teacher, Mrs. Bergman has been promoted to kindergarten teacher. Mrs. Bergman graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a Bachelors of Science degree in Education. She was the recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Academic Excellence and nominated for the National Dean’s List. Mrs. Bergman has international teaching experience in Baumholder, Germany and has also taught elementary school in Minnesota. Mrs. Bergman is married and has two children who attend GPA.  Her husband is a systems engineer at Hurlburt and a communications officer in the Air National Guard. Last Spring, Mrs. Bergman's class finished in the top 1% of the country on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills.
Kindergarten - Terah DeFore
We are pleased to welcome Mrs. DeFore for her first year at GPA, as she leads our new third kindergarten class. Mrs. DeFore received her Bachelors of Fine Arts degree from the University of Georgia and managed a successful career with the same commercial design firm for the last 14 years. She has previously been involved in leading GPA’s art club and spent time last Spring co-teaching in our kindergarten program. She and her husband have been married for 14 years. Her husband served for 10 years in the US Navy, and is currently a simulator instructor and Navy reservist on the F35. Both of Mrs. DeFore's children attend Gulf Pointe Academy.
Pre-kindergarten Lead - Laurie Matthews
We are excited to have Laurie Matthews back for her fourth year as our lead pre-kindergarten teacher. Mrs. Matthews is a specialist in early childhood education and brings many years of experience in teaching at a private preschool. She spent the prior 10 years as the lead preschool teacher of the four year old program at Good Shepherd Lutheran Preschool in Gulf Breeze. Mrs. Matthews has been married for 21 years. She and her husband have made Navarre their home and are raising their children here. They have a son leaving for college, a son in 10th grade, and a daughter in 5th grade at GPA.
Pre-kindergarten Lead - Amy Schannep
We are pleased to welcome Mrs. Schannep to the Gulf Pointe Academy teaching staff. Mrs. Schannep recently graduated from California State University and taught kindergarten in Alabama last year. Mrs. Schannep and her husband relocated to the Emerald Coast last Spring. In addition to her passion for teaching young children, Mrs. Schannep was also a collegiate all-star swimmer and continues competitive swimming today. Mrs. Schannep is married to Jonathan, a United States Air Force Staff Sergeant.
Pre-kindergarten & Preschool Lead - Rose Cloud
We are pleased to welcome back Mrs. Cloud for her third year. Mrs. Cloud is leading a combined class this year that consists of pre-kindergarten and preschool children. GPA has implemented this combined classroom format in the past and had much success. Mrs. Cloud has been part of the GPA staff for the past several years, serving as our extended care coordinator prior to teaching. After working several years in the construction and building industry, Mrs. Cloud moved to Navarre. She is an active member of our community and has served in many roles as substitute teacher, church volunteer, and women’s outreach coordinator. Rose has been married 13 years to her husband Jason, who is an IT executive based at Hurlburt field. They are the parents of two children, Savannah and Jackson. Both of her children are students at Gulf Pointe Academy.
Preschool Lead - Danielle Cowart
We are excited to announce that Mrs. Cowart is returning for her second year as our lead preschool teacher. Mrs. Cowart has extensive experience working with young children in a private school setting, serving as a youth development coordinator, teaching Sunday school, and serving in numerous community volunteer and outreach programs. Mrs. Cowart has been married to her husband Phillip for 12 years, who serves as a flight safety officer in the United States Air Force. All three of their children; Natalee, Bradley, and Brennan attend Gulf Pointe Academy.
Piano Teacher - Tianna Rogers
We are delighted to welcome Tianna Rogers as our first full-time piano instructor. Ms. Rogers teaches private piano instruction, group piano lessons, and develops new music performance programs at GPA. She is an accomplished musician with a Masters of Music Degree in Piano Performance from University of Southern Mississippi. Ms. Rogers completed her undergraduate work at Belhaven University; earning two degrees - a Bachelor of Arts in Music in Collaborative Piano with a Piano Pedagogy Emphasis and a Bachelor of Arts in History. Ms. Rogers is the oldest of five children and her family lives in the Dallas, TX area.
Choir Director & Piano Teacher - Gran Jer
Returning for her fourth year as GPA's Choir Director, Gran Jer is an accomplished pianist and dance instructor who brings a wealth of classical chorus knowledge and experience to the school. Gran Jer graduated with honors from DePauw University, where she developed a passion for classical education and history while studying abroad. She then launched her very successful career as Republican Staff Director at the Indiana State House. Gran Jer is married to Big Geo, lives part-time in Italy, and enjoys spending time with her six grandchildren.
Piano & Violin Teacher - Yoana Hilt
We are pleased to welcome back Mrs. Hilt for her 4th year at GPA. Mrs. Hilt has a Bachelors and Masters degree in Music. She is a classically trained musician who plays in many area orchestras. Mrs. Hilt has been teaching private lessons for 7 years in Piano, Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Violin, Viola, Harp, and Voice. Mrs. Hilt has over 37 GPA students in private music instruction and she also leads the GPA Strings Ensemble; a group of 7 students who play Violin, Viola, and Cello. Mrs. Hilt recommends that students begin with piano and after two years, add violin, viola, or cello. Mrs. Hilt is married and to Jonathan Hilt and expecting her first child this Fall.
GPA Board Members:

President & Director of Operations - Dianne J. Hamer (Mayer)
Vice President - Robert S. Hamer
Treasurer - O. Andrew Covington
Secretary - Sheila S. Murray