Dr. Mercy Nyman –Headmaster & Founder
Mercy Nyman began her education career in 1985. She has held positions both inside the classroom, teaching every age group from infants to adults, for 20 years, and outside the classroom as an education administrator since 2005. She conceptualized and founded The Key to Learning, a student-centric, holistic and non-traditional educational experience for students of all abilities, in 2017.
Nyman received her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Saint Thomas University in 1989. She received her first Master of Arts in Early Education in 1991 from Nova Southeastern University, her second and third Masters of Arts in Supervision and Administration and in Curriculum and Instruction in 2007 from the University of Phoenix, and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Educational Leadership in 2013. Nyman’s post-doctoral work is focused on behavioral analysis, specifically the nexus of non-heteronormative behavioral qualities and learning.
She is the author of Dynamics in Early Education, How High Can You Fly curriculum guide, Early Literacy One Letter at a Time, and Oral Language Development and High-Stakes Testing.
Nyman lives in Clermont, FL with her loving husband, Keith Winn, their terrier mix, Bailey, and their tabby cat, Jamie. Her daughter, Kristen Nyman, lives in Las Vegas, Nevada and works at a big technology firm.
Ashley Plate — Principal
Ashley Platé began her career in education in 2006, when God called her away from corporate Public Relations and placed in her heart a desire to teach. She taught high school and middle school English in both public and private schools, where she enjoyed inspiring a love of reading in her students. She has been part of The Key family since its founding in 2017, serving as Assistant Principal for five years before taking on the role of Principal in 2022. Mrs. Platé earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Advertising and Public Relations in 2005, and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership in 2020, both from the University of Central Florida (Go Knights!). She lives in Clermont with her husband Jonah and their two daughters.
Dawn Young — Administrator
Mrs. Dawn has 27 years of experience as an Event Coordinator for a national Christian music company. Her life has been in the ministry of serving others through her work and commitment. For the past 7 years, she has also run a management company for three Christian artists. She brings her organizational skills, planning skills, budgeting, and years of working with people in many different ministries. She enjoys serving others with the talents God has given her. She has always been involved in her children’s schools where she has been a volunteer and a part of the PTA/PTF. Mrs. Dawn has been with The Key to Learning since the beginning, first as a volunteer and initial Board member. She officially became employed in spring of 2018. Mrs. Dawn is currently the Board President and is the Administrator of The Key to Learning. She enjoys her work and loves working with the staff and families of TK2L. She has 2 grown children and she lives with her husband in Groveland, FL.
Keith Winn — IT Director
Keith Winn did not start out in the computer field. A long time aviation buff, he attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University where he obtained a B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering 1989. After using computers to design aircraft components for the US Navy and several aerospace companies, he decided in 1996 to leave the aerospace industry and work with computers full time. His first computer job was working for a small computer company as a technician running cables and troubleshooting computers and networks. This soon led to a jobs at Ryder Systems, Willow CSN and RightForce before helping found Wurlwind Solutions. He then left Wurlwind Solutions to begin teaching Math and Science in 2015. In 2017, when The Key started, he was the first Teacher. As The Key grew, he designed and built the IT infrastructure needed to support the students, Teachers and Staff. He continues to fully support the infrastructure along with every aspect of the school that supports the mission and vision of The Key.
Winn lives in Clermont, FL and is the husband of the Founder & Headmaster, Dr. Mercy Nyman.
Jessica McGill — Assistant Principal – Elementary
Jessica McGill graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Educational Studies from Principia College. During her time in college, she volunteered at a local elementary school in their third grade. She also spent a semester working in Early Childhood Education and helping teachers develop hands-on lessons for 3 and 4 year olds.
Since starting her career at The Key to Learning with Dr. Nyman, she has been the Lead Teacher of fourth and fifth grade; and has helped the elementary and secondary staff implement creative and collaborative lessons in the classroom with a focus on differentiation. In the last few years Mrs. McGill has joined the Leadership Team in an effort to help the school grow. As Assistant Principal she will now be able to effectively reach wider, giving the staff the tools and ideas to reach every student’s needs.
Before working at The Key to Learning with Dr. Nyman Mrs. McGill was a Coordinator of Operations at Disney’s Animal Kingdom working with guests and training cast members. During her time at Disney, she met her husband and since then they have moved to Groveland, FL where they live with their daughter and dog.
Anastasia Kanikovsky — Assistant Principal – Secondary
Anastasia graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in Elementary Education. Before pursuing her degree, she worked in a fourth and an eighth-grade classroom as a student teacher. Since graduating, Anastasia has spent her career as a middle and high school Mathematics teacher. Through Anastasia’s love of teaching, she discovered her passion for leading and serving the secondary team. This led her to taking on the role of Secondary Team Lead. These experiences have made for a very natural transition into the role of Secondary Assistant Principal.