Principal, Cynthia Cangelose
Mrs. Cangelose began her career with Polk County Schools in 1999 as a teacher at Bartow Middle. From 2002-2004, she was a Social Studies teacher at Compass Charter. Ms. Cangelose transferred to Kathleen Middle in 2004. Since 2006, she had been a Dean at Westwood Middle. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Social Science and a Master’s in Educational Leadership from the University of South Florida. Mrs. Cangelose has served Mulberry Middle as Assistant Principal and Acting Principal for the 2015-16 school year. Mrs. Cangelose was appointed principal as of the 2016-17 school year.
Assistant Principal of Administration, Erin Gonyea
Mrs. Gonyea began her career with Polk County schools in 1978 at Snively Elementary School as a fourth grade teacher. She has taught Fourth grade, First grade, Physical Education, and worked in the district for two years as Physical Education Specialist for grades K-8 all schools. Mrs. Gonyea designed and implemented a new core curriculum along with a district wide committee in 1993 for all schools to implement in Health and Physical Education. She has been nationally recognized for initiating a Bicycle Safety Programs in Polk schools, and held professional development for teachers throughout the state of Florida. She was Teacher of the Year at Sikes Elementary School in 1998. In 2006 she was a Reading Specialist at Sikes Elementary School. She became Assistant Principal at Kingsford Elementary School in 2007, and remained there until coming to Mulberry Middle School as Assistant Principal in January, 2012.
Mrs. Gonyea is a Boston native, receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Education and Physical Education from Bridgewater State College. She attended University of South Florida and received her Master’s in Educational Leadership in May of 1998.
Mrs. Gonyea lives with her husband Dave, and a daughter Casey who lives in Los Angeles, California.
Assistant Principal of Curriculum, James Bracey
Mr. Bracey began his career with Polk County Schools in 2004 at Dundee Ridge Middle School where he taught science, language arts, and served as a technology resource. He taught fourth and fifth grades at Alturas Elementary (2007-2011) and served as science coach at Alta Vista Elementary (2011-2014). In April 2014, he transferred to the grants department of Polk County Schools to serve as coordinator of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant. He was appointed Assistant Principal at Mulberry Middle School in July 2015.
Mr. Bracey received a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Leo University, a Master of Science degree from Nova Southeastern University, and an Educational Specialist degree from Nova Southeastern University.
Assistant Principal, Matthew Lasseter
Mr. Lasseter began his teaching career in 2005 at a residential treatment facility in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 2006, he moved to Florida and became a history, government, and economics teacher at Celebration High School in Osceola County. Mr. Lasseter then became a teacher at Crystal Lake Middle School (2007-2009), where he taught general and advanced American History. He also received the Teacher of the Year award in his first year of teaching there. In 2009, Mr. Lasseter became Dean of Students at Mulberry Middle School and has since transitioned to Assistant Principal.
Mr. Lasseter has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Alabama, a Master’s Degree in Education from Florida Southern College, and Educational Leadership certification from the University of South Florida.
Assistant Principal, Kaprilla Jennings
Kaprilla Jennings is an AP2 at Mulberry Middle School. She was previously dean of students at Southwest Middle School. She has worked with the district since 2005. She also taught reading and ESE before becoming a dean in 2010.
Dean of Students, Jazmin Merriam
Mrs. Merriam was born in Tampico, Tamaulipas, Mexico. She began her teaching career in 1997 teaching English for adults and kids in different private and public schools in Mexico. She continued teaching as she pursued her degree as Geosciences Engineer. She worked in the oil industry for several years. In 2008 she got married, and because of that, she moved to the United States where she started working as a preschool teacher for three years. She has been working for Polk County School board since 2013 as a Spanish teacher. She is currently pursuing her Master’s in Educational Leadership at Florida Southern College.