Deborah J. Smith, Founder and Teacher of Brilliant Minds, has over thirteen years of experience working with innovative school systems and eight years of experience teaching elementary and middle school children in the classroom and after-school programs. Prior to becoming a teacher, Ms. Smith earned a Bachelor of Science in International Business Management from Arizona State University and worked on a team of charter school developers at Edison Schools, Inc. in New York City. While teaching elementary students in South Florida charter schools, Ms. Smith earned a Master of Science in Education from Nova Southeastern University and professional certifications in K-6 Education, Middle School Mathematics 6-9, and Yoga for Kids. She has held various leadership positions at the regional and school level and proudly earned awards of Teacher of the Semester and Teacher of the Month. Ms. Smith is excited to combine all of her unique academic, business, and life experiences to create a model education program dedicated to bringing out the best in every child.
Deborah J. Smith
Kyle Butler-Harris has been in South Florida since 2003. She spent 5 years working at the Arts Academy of Hollywood as the Director of Communications and Visual Arts working as the primary contact with students and families overseeing and teaching art classes. She also taught Sunday school and volunteers as a library assistant at Nativity School. Prior to living in Florida, Kyle held a career in television for over 20 years in New England where she was also a philanthropist working for the cause of domestic violence and children's services. Kyle is married with one daughter and in her spare time she is a commissioned artist, providing group and private art sessions for children.
Ms. Raquel Rivas earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Florida International University with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis and Developmental Research Psychology. Throughout her academic career she has earned various honors and research grants. Aside from teaching the Brilliant Minds After School Enrichment Program, Ms. Rivas is currently a researcher at the Infant Development Laboratory at FIU and plans to attend a Ph.D. program in the near future. Her background in psychology has equipped her with sensitivity to the interpersonal issues and the conflicts that young children experience throughout their complex cognitive development. She has a passion for learning and teaching and strongly believes that a great teacher is one who never stops the quest of learning.
Mrs. Reiskind has over two years of teaching experience at Hollywood Academy of Arts and Science and within the Broward County school system. She is certified to teach grades K-6 in Florida and will complete her Bachelor of Elementary Education from the University of Phoenix in January of 2011. Before Mrs. Reiskind decided to work with children, she was a District Manager for 18 years. Her main focus was training managers and assistant managers for a prestigious retail chain. After having her twins, her priorities shifted away from travelling for work purposes and towards becoming highly involved in education and her children's school. While volunteering at Hollywood Academy of Arts and Science, Mrs. Reiskind noticed the need for substitute teachers and began substituting in Broward County and at HAAS. It was then that Mrs. Reiskind decided that she wanted teaching children to be her career. Mrs. Reiskind is very excited about joining the Brilliant Minds team so she can educate children in a fun, nurturing environment where she can empower children to be the best individuals they can grow into.