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Faculty and Staff

Sandra Smith-Jones, Principal

Ms. Smith-Jones is an experienced educator with over twenty-five years of dedicated service in the field of education. Her passion for literacy and educational leadership has driven her career, and she is currently pursuing a Literacy Leadership Post-Professional Certificate from the College of William and Mary.


Ms. Smith-Jones holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from
Regent University, where she gained valuable insights into effective educational practices and leadership strategies. Her educational journey also includes a bachelor’s degree from Hampton University, where she obtained a solid foundation in her chosen field.

Continuously striving for personal and professional growth, Sandra recently obtained a Leadership Certificate from the University of Rochester Leadership Coaching Program. This certificate program has equipped her with additional knowledge and skills necessary to lead, coach, and inspire educational communities. Throughout her career, Sandra has demonstrated a deep commitment to student success and educational excellence. Her experience in various educational settings has allowed her to make a significant impact on the lives of countless students and colleagues. She has held leadership roles that have given her the opportunity to guide and support teachers, develop effective curriculum, and foster a positive learning environment.


In September of 2023, Ms. Sandra Smith-Jones was appointed to the principalship of Park Place School. 

Jennifer Whittington, Administrative Manager

Ms. Whittington has served as a core Park Place School team member for 5 years.  She brings amazing organizational skills to our demanding administrative needs – helping with student enrollment and record keeping, staff on-boarding, bookkeeping, processing donations and sending thank you letters.


Ms. Whittington is responsible for parent communications. She exemplifies the love of Christ as she selfishly and tirelessly serves others in whatever capacity presents itself.  

 Park Place Teachers
Elementary School 
3rd Grade - Mrs. Alphie Douglas 
4th Grade - Mr. Troy Davis 
5th Grade - Mrs. Cynthia Sylvester

Middle School
6th grade Homeroom - Mrs. Alphie Douglas - ELA Support Teacher
7th grade Homeroom - Mrs. Brittany Szkaradnik, Math Teacher
8th grade Homeroom - Ms. Breanna May, Social Studies and Science Teacher.

Resource Instructors
Mrs. Donna Harris - Physical
Pastor Mike Harris - Chaplain
Mr. Ben Mekkes - Music
Ms. Kiva Small - Art

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Alphie Douglas - 3rd Grade

Mrs. Douglas is an energetic veteran teacher with over 20 years of experience. Her love for the Lord and teaching are evident in her class and in the long-term relationships she has maintained with her parents and students over the years.


Mrs. Douglas earned a BS degree in Education and Interdisciplinary Studies, and has post graduate credits, as well. Her varied experience has been garnered working with children overseas in Africa, Dominican Republic, and Mexico, as well as in the United States. Mrs. Douglas fully embraces a statement coined by Dr. Howard Hendrick that "If a teacher stops learning today, he or she should stop teaching tomorrow.” 

Troy Davis - 4th Grade

Mr. Davis teaches 4th grade students at Park Place School. He earned an associate degree in education at Tidewater Community College and received his bachelor’s degree at Old Dominion University.

Mr. Davis knew at 17 years old God had gifted him to work with kids. He serves with the children's ministry at his church. He has led children’s ministry teams in Mexico for 9 years. Prior to coming to Park Place School, he worked at Norfolk Public Schools. 

Cynthia Sylvester - 5th Grade

Mrs. Sylvester is a compassionate and dedicated first year teacher looking to empower students with knowledge in education.  Her love for teaching is apparent in her class and is evident in her relationship with her students.  She frequently reminds her students that God has a plan for their life, often quoting Jeremiah 29:11.  

Mrs. Sylvester has over 30 years of experience working with children as a children’s church facilitator, youth choir director, and youth leader. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Studies.  She currently serves as a deaconess and children's church facilitator at Little Grove Baptist Church, Suffolk, Virginia.

Brittany Szkaradnik - Math, Middle School

Mrs. Szkaradnik is a first-year teacher at Park Place School. She teachers middle school math to 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students. 

Breanna May - Social Studies and Science

Ms. May is the instructor for middle school social studies and science. She is a graduate of Tidewater Community College. She is pursuing her degree from Virginia Wesleyan University. 

Mike Harris, Chaplain

Pastor Mike Harris believes that everyone needs a coach, mentor, or advocate.  And at Park Place School, Mike is able to fulfill each of those roles.  He serves as the school's chaplain and teacher of weekly Spiritual Formation classes. 

Pastor Mike is the coach of the Park Place Warriors basketball team.

Ben Mekkes - Music

Mr. Mekkes teaches elementary and middle school music. He leads the weekend worship experience at Tabernacle Church of Norfolk and has a love for music that is infectious.   

Keiva Small - Art

Ms. Keiva Small is a gifted local artist in the Hampton Roads area.   She teaches elementary and middle school visual art. 

Donna Harris - Physical Education
Mrs. Harris instructs physical education classes for middle school students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. 
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