Oak Creek Charter Faculty & Staff
Will Staros - Regional Vice President
FORZA Education Management
Mr. William Staros, Regional Vice President of FORZA Education Management, most recently served as the principal of Gulf Coast Charter Academy South. Over his nine years at GCCAS, he oversaw the school's enrollment expansion, the development of its STEM program, and left the school as a Florida Department of Education High-performing Charter School with an extended 15-year charter with Collier County. He continues to be extremely enthusiastic about working with the incredibly dedicated and talented staff, diligent and hard-working students, supportive parents, and the caring communities in which the FORZA schools are located.
William Staros was born and raised in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and attended Florida Gulf Coast University where he earned his bachelor's degree in Elementary Education in 2006. After his graduation from FGCU, he spent time in Savannah, Ga. where he taught fourth grade. He later returned to the west coast of Florida to continue his teaching and leadership career with time in Bonita Springs, Ft. Myers, and Immokalee, Florida before joining GCCAS in 2014. Mr. Staros earned his Master’s in Educational Leadership from The University of New England in 2011.
When he is not working, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Beth, and their two girls, Ella-Rose & Ava. Besides his passion for swimming, he enjoys cooking, returning to Savannah, Ga. for a taste of good Southern food, and escaping to Disney with his family.
He feels honored to have been the Principal of GCCAS and looks forward to developing relationships with all FORZA charter schools and child development centers. He invites all stakeholders to contact him and is happy to clarify any questions that they may have.
Jose Rubio - Regional Vice President
FORZA Education Management
Mr. Rubio graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology and Biology. Subsequently, he earned his Master of Science Degree in School Building Leadership from St. John’s University, New York.
Mr. Rubio began teaching in 2000 as a high school science teacher in his hometown of New York City.
During his second year of teaching, Mr. Rubio was chosen by his colleagues as a member of the School Leader Team at Manhattan Village Academy. In 2003, as a Grade Team Leader, his grade level received the award of the Best Grade Level Team by the school’s administration. In 2004, Mr. Rubio joined St. Raymond High School team, and the following year, he was credited with replacing the entire Chemistry curriculum. This alteration facilitated the overall school in attaining high scores, or, significant learning gains on the State’s Chemistry exams. In 2008, he was named Head of the Science Department. During his tenure as Head of the Science Department, he reconstructed the entire science curriculum and secured funds to build three new science labs at his school. During his teaching years at St. Raymond High School, he earned a scholarship that allowed him to return to St. John’s University for further study.
In 2015, he relocated to Washington, D.C. to become the Assistant Principal of a middle school, Meridian Charter School. Moreover, within four months, he was also named the Assistant Principal of the elementary campus concurrently. In 2016, he was hired by FORZA Education Management to become the Principal of Oak Creek Charter School of Bonita Springs K-8. It had been evident in the previous schools that he excelled in enhancing the school’s academic programs and advancements. At Oak Creek Charter School, he has also excelled in creating a vibrant and unified school environment where he is respected by all stakeholders. He has been contributory in generating a school setting with a warm and familial atmosphere where the children can thrive, additionally, it is one of those unique schools where that warm and family atmosphere is felt as soon as you enter the school doors. Moreover, Mr. Rubio was instrumental in enhancing the academic learning environment and school facilities at Bonita Springs, now Oak Creek Charter School of Bonita Springs. He is currently enrolled in his doctorate program in education at Florida Gulf Coast University. Mr. Rubio has begun his new role as our Regional Vice President with FORZA Education Management.
Yesenia Gonzalez - Principal
Mrs. Gonzalez currently holds a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the American College of Education (Indianapolis, IN. 2021) and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education (K-6) with an ESOL Endorsement from Barry University (Miami Shores, FL., 2000).
Mrs. Gonzalez started her career in 2000 in the city of Miami-Dade, where she was born and raised. During this time, she has served as a Team Facilitator, as the English Language (EL) Contact and as an elementary and middle school teacher. The 2022-23 school year will be her second year as an administrator and she is honored to be the Principal of Oak Creek Charter.
She is married to Mario Gonzalez, her high school sweetheart of 28 years. They have a twenty-year-old son and a four-year-old daughter. Her favorite activities include spending time with her family and going to the beach.
Mrs. Gonzalez is excited to lead the many talented teachers and students at Oak Creek Charter! Her vision is to establish trust and relationships with parents and all stakeholders in order to give the students what each and every one of them deserve—a top-quality, rigorous education that will prepare them well for success in college and life.
Aishia Buford- Assistant Principal of Student Services
Aishia Buford holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from Troy University in Troy, Alabama and a Master of Science Degree in Counseling and Psychology from Troy University in Troy, Alabama. Ms. Buford also holds a professional certification from the Teacher Ready Program of University of West Florida in Pensacola, Florida.
Ms. Buford’s teaching experience began in 2013 when she taught English as a Second Language in Shanghai, China. She was awarded the Star Teacher Award in Shanghai for outstanding performance and excellent service relationship with staff and students. She later went on to teach English as a Second Language in Anyang, South Korea in 2015.
Ms. Buford began working with Forza Education at the sister school Gulf Coast Charter Academy South in Naples, Florida in 2019. Her first year at Gulf Coast, she was awarded New Teacher of the Year. Ms. Buford was involved in several leadership roles such as Discipline Task Force Committee Co-Leader, Math Curriculum Vetting Committee, Aftercare Teacher, and Kindergarten Team Facilitator. She was also The Teacher of Distinction at Gulf Coast Charter Academy South in 2021-2022 school year and went on to compete for the Golden Apple Award in Naples, Florida.
In her free time Ms. Buford loves traveling, spending time with family and friends, makeup, fashion, reading, and photography.
Ms. Buford is excited to bring her unique perspective and experience to Oak Creek Charter school and looks forward to making a positive impact on students and colleagues.
Elizabeth Potts - Assistant Principal of Academics
Elizabeth Potts has been in education for eleven years, acquiring a variety of experience along the way. Mrs. Potts earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Middle Childhood education with a focus in Language Arts and Social Sciences from Kent State University (Kent, Ohio). She began her teaching career in Columbiana, Ohio as a Middle School reading teacher. While in Columbiana, she had the pleasure of coaching Girls Varsity Soccer. Upon moving to Florida in 2013, she secured a position as a Middle School ELA and Social Studies teacher in Fort Myers. After three years in the classroom, she earned teacher of the year. In 2016, Mrs. Potts took on a new role as the school’s Curriculum Specialist.
Mrs. Potts made the move to Oak Creek Charter School of Bonita Springs in 2018, serving as the lead Middle School teacher and Instructional Coach. During her time, she earned the accolades of back-to-back Teacher of the Year in 2019/2020 and FORZA Teacher of the Year. Mrs. Potts currently serves as the Assistant Principal of Curriculum, her passion for education and fostering teachers as they grow in their profession is steadfast. She wants to ensure that all students receive the best education and become lifelong learners.
Her husband serves as the P.E. teacher and Athletic Director at Oak Creek Charter. They have two sons James and Luke and live in Estero. In her free time, she loves to be active with her family, workout and read.