Dr. Laura Macartney
Dr. Laura Macartney is a passionate educator with 18 years of experience in elementary and middle school settings. She is honored to begin her first year as Principal of the incredibly special school that is DCMS. Originally from Michigan, Dr. Macartney holds a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Education from Hope College, a Master’s degree in Bilingual Education and the Art of Teaching from Aquinas College, and a Ph.D. in Instructional Leadership from Northcentral University. During her career, Dr. Macartney has served as a classroom teacher, literacy specialist, teacher leader, and professional development and leadership specialist. She has worked in Michigan, Florida, and the jungle of Costa Rica. Her experiences have been in two large urban school districts, a small suburban district, and a remote rural environment in the heart of the rainforest. She has taught all subjects to multiple grade levels and specializes in the development of literacy and language.
Dr. Macartney is committed to meeting the unique social-emotional and academic needs of all students through a positive, nurturing, and globally-minded school culture. She believes that education must center on engaging, relevant, and purposeful instructional activities enable all students to reach their fullest potential. Dr. Macartney is proud to be a part of DCMS, a truly unique school where exceptional learning opportunities occur daily. She brings her two oldest children to DCMS with her, while her youngest child attends the Early Learning Center. The entire Macartney family is thrilled to reside on Eleuthera and looks forward to enjoying many island adventures together!
Ms. Nikki Elliot
Assistant Principal & Secondary Placement Coordinator
Originally from a small town outside of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Ms. Elliott, joined the Deep Creek Middle School team in 2014 and is eager to be part of the crew again.
In 2008, Ms. Elliott received a degree in Integrated Science from Grand Valley State University with a minor in elementary education. Before making her journey to Eleuthera, Ms. Elliott taught science for five years in Michigan, working to integrate environmental, place-based education into traditional middle school classrooms. Upon arriving at DCMS, Ms. Elliott continued her work in science for three years before transitioning into her current role as Assistant Principal.
This is Ms. Elliott's second year as Assistant Principal at Deep Creek Middle School. She is passionate about finding and organizing international travel opportunities for students. Ms. Elliott coordinates the Summer Camp Placement Program at DCMS, working to solidify as many opportunities as possible for her students in The Bahamas, the United States and Canada. In addition, Ms. Elliott coordinates and leads DCMS' yearly Grade 8 Exchange Program and plans travel for students to attend the Plastic Ocean Pollution Solution Youth Summit in Dana Point, CA. New to Ms. Elliott's role this year is Secondary School Placement Coordinator. In this role, Ms. Elliott will support Grade 9 students and families in their search for education beyond DCMS either in The Bahamas or abroad at a boarding school.
Ms. Elliott is grateful to have found the island of Eleuthera and DCMS. She believes everyone should experience living in a different country at least once to open one's eyes to new ways of living and appreciation for other cultures. Ms. Elliott loves her morning coffee, has an obsession with vinyasa yoga, and finds it difficult to turn down a road trip.
Ms. Kaitlin Lederer
Social Studies & Physical Education
Ms. Kaitlin Lederer, originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is excited to begin her first year at DCMS as the social studies and physical education teacher. Ms. Lederer received her Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education and Special Education from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Two and a half years ago, she completed her teaching practicum at Central Eleuthera High School and continued to travel back and forth to volunteer at camps and spend time during the holiday breaks. Ms. Lederer is grateful to be back on Eleuthera in a community that she has been eager to call home. Having spent the last two years in the classroom in Philadelphia, Ms. Lederer has a passion for helping students identify their strengths and gaining confidence inside and outside of the classroom.
When she’s not in the classroom, Ms. Lederer can be found swimming in the ocean, eating conch salad, or taking pictures of island adventures.
Ms. Sophia Smith
English Language Arts
Sophia L. Smith has been a part of our nurturing community for the last four years as our English teacher. She is from Nassau, Bahamas and she holds a Bachelor’s of Education degree in Secondary Education English and Literature from The College of the Bahamas. She enjoys cultivating the future leaders of The Bahamas through a hands-on approach to Language Arts. She is very passionate about literacy and pushes students to become avid readers. She is currently pursuing her Master's in Literacy Instruction from The University of the West Indies Open Campus. She resides with her husband, daughter, and sister in Deep Creek.
Ms. Jennie Parks
Math G7 & G8 Health, Religious Knowledge G8 & G7 Skills
Jennie Parks, originally from Fort Worth, Texas, is starting her sixth year teaching in the Bahamas and her thirteenth year of teaching overall. She is thrilled to be starting another year with the DCMS team. Ms. Parks received her Bachelor of Science in education from LeTourneau University, a small Christian university in east Texas. Having passion for students achieving their best and becoming problem solvers gives Ms. Parks a strong dedication to each student in her classroom. During her down time, she is reading, crocheting, snorkeling, or singing!
Mrs. Marcela Carroll
Science & Spanish
Mrs. Marcela Carroll is anticipating her second year as the Science and Spanish teacher at DCMS to be even better than her first. She moved to South Eleuthera with her family, after living in Vermont, Florida and Colorado. Mrs. Carroll is originally from Bogota, Colombia, but moved to Florida to complete high school and university, finishing with a B.S in Biology from Florida International University. As a young professional, Mrs. Carroll worked for various wildlife conservation organizations, raising Atlantic Salmon for restoration projects and tending to injured raptors at the Vermont Institute of Natural Science. It was during that time that she decided to pursue a teaching career, earning her teaching degree in 2008. Later on she attained teaching endorsements in Science and Spanish. Mrs. Carroll has been a classroom teacher to hundreds of students throughout the K-12th grade levels. Mrs. Carroll is thrilled beyond words for the opportunity to be part of the DCMS staff once again. She shares her passion for teaching and living lightly with the staff, students, and families of Deep Creek Middle School. Mrs. Carroll lives on Cape Eleuthera and loves spending time with her family and sharing unforgettable experiences with all the CEIS community.
Ms. Phoebe Hannah
Phoebe Hannah originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is entering her second year teaching at Deep Creek Middle School. After completing her teaching practice at Central Eleuthera High School two years ago, Ms. Hannah knew she would be drawn back to Eleuthera’s friendly community, caring citizens, and luring ocean. With Bachelors of Science in Middle Grades and Special Education from West Chester University of Pennsylvania, Ms. Hannah intends to focus on giving extra support to various types of learners throughout her time at DCMS as well as teaching math for grades 7 through 9. With a goal of being able to reach every student, Ms. Hannah has a passion for helping students discover their potential and make steps to getting there.
When she is not teaching, you can find Ms. Hannah exploring Eleuthera, taking photographs, playing with her potcake, Cappy, and collecting driftwood and sea glass from her favorite beaches.
Ms. Rashida Sweeting
Rashida Sweeting is a native of Water Ford, Eleuthera. She attended Wemyss Bight Primary and Preston H. Albury High School. Before DCMS, Ms. Sweeting worked as a special education teacher with Exceptional Education Outreach and as a tour guide at Princess Cays. She has a passion for children and Bahamian culture, and is so excited to be working at DCMS.
Ms. Rachel Raczynski
Art and Health Science
After volunteering as a Health Science high school teacher for one year on one of the most secluded and least visited countries in the world, the Marshall Islands, Miss Raczynski continued to have the desire to teach in a small island community. Consequently, this aspiration came true, as she joined Deep Creek Middle School’s team this year as the Art and Health Science teacher.
Originally from Lewiston/Auburn, Maine or “the other LA”, Miss Raczynski has always had some sort of connection to the outdoors. In the winters in Maine, she tries to ski as much as possible and absolutely loves anything and everything relating to snow. For a time, Miss Raczynski worked as an Environmental Educator in Ocean Park, Maine. She wanted to spark the natural curiosities of her students to learn beyond a traditional classroom setting. Miss Raczynski wants to continue to have her students think about how people impact the environment as one of Deep Creek Middle School’s Eco Club facilitators.
At Allegheny College in a small town in Northwestern Pennsylvania Miss Raczynski received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a minor in Art History. She particularly enjoyed studying Cognitive Psychology, which is the study of mental processes, such as language, memory, and problem solving. As for Miss Raczynski’s formal art education, she attended Walnut Hill School for the Arts and the Rhode Island School of Design Pre-College Program.
Miss Raczynski has been working and volunteering in various teaching positions over the past 6 years, for all grade levels. She believes as a teacher you have the responsibility to encourage students to set goals for themselves and to accept their failures. If a student fails at something, they just need to keep trying and that is what counts. When Miss Raczynski is not trying to get to know her students better, she can be found collecting shells, creating art for her friends and family, reading articles relating to history, and watching documentaries of all sorts.