Lower School Creative Team (K-3)
Find Your TRUE NORTH at North Tampa Christian Academy
Heidi Gomez – Southern Adventist University in Tennessee
Kindergarten, Project-Based Learning Specialist (Social Studies)
Heidi Gomez graduated from Southern Adventist University with a B.A. in Liberal Arts Education and a minor in English. Teaching is Gomez’s passion, and she uses her skills as a bilingual speaker to facilitate communication and enrich her lessons. She applies her cultural background to teach children about the beauty and diversity of God’s world.
Gomez loves to make learning fun, personal, and interactive, and enjoys teaching through centers, small group instruction, and engaging activities. She takes the time to sit with each of her students individually to help each one learn how to make learning personally meaningful. Through this one-on-one time, she helps her students develop the skills they need to think critically and creatively. Gomez believes strongly in teaching her students to respect and love each other just as God loves them.
Helen Mateo, MA
1st Grade Teacher Math Specialist K-3 Creative Team
After receiving her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Fitchburg State College, Helen Mateo earned a Master’s degree in Bilingual Bicultural Education from the University of Connecticut. Her passion for teaching led her to 23 years in both public and private schools. During her time at Tampa Adventist Academy, Mateo established the Title 1 Program and spent five years serving as a Special Needs Coordinator. Not only did she tutor 11th and 12th grade English, but thanks to her fluency in Spanish, she taught 7th and 8th grade Spanish and translated letters and meetings. She now serves at North Tampa as a first grade teacher as well as the Math Specialist for the K-3 Creative Team.
When Mateo isn’t in the classroom, she loves to read, take walks, and spend time with family. Her son currently attends Adventist University of Health Sciences in Orlando and her daughter is a North Tampa 8th grader.
Mateo is devoted to helping students enjoy learning, and she is committed to providing developmentally-appropriate experiences in the classroom. She is intentional in creating relationships with her students and their families and helps her students see Jesus in all aspects of their lives.
April Nowotny, MS
Second Grade, Project-Based Learning Specialist (Science)
As a young girl, April Nowotny knew that she wanted to become a teacher. She grew to attend Andrews University in Michigan, where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Language Arts. She then went on to receive a Master of Science with an emphasis in outdoor education from Southern Adventist Academy in Tennessee.
She has instructed students ranging from kindergarten to fourth grade, and finished her most recent position at Tampa Adventist Academy, where she served for eight years, teaching second grade.
Outside of the classroom she enjoys reading, photography, scrapbooking, and traveling, and she and her husband have two children who will be attending North Tampa. Nowotny is passionate about teaching and showing her children the love of Christ. She strives to instill a love of learning in all of her students while helping them walk closer with Jesus.