North Tampa Leadership
North Tampa President Orton Varona has a strong background in business and educational administration. Equipped with a unique history, diverse skill set, and a heart for education, Varona seeks to serve God in a role and environment where he can contribute the greatest amount of value.
Varona recently immersed himself in the growth and development of a burgeoning private school, North Dallas Adventist Academy. Under his leadership, the school experienced 11 years of consecutive enrollment growth, acquired and developed properties valued in excess of 25 million dollars, and greatly expanded their educational offerings.
Most appropriately described as a “builder,” Varona’s greatest professional accomplishments have occurred in start-up and change environments. He has served as an entrepreneur and has helped to grow multiple businesses from concept to disposition. He has also been a strategic consultant on commercial development projects with a combined asset value in excess of $2.5 billion. Varona knows what it means to take a project from vision to reality and is dedicated to putting that knowledge toward the growth, relevancy, and success of North Tampa’s future.
Stephen Herr, MA.
HEAD OF SCHOOL
Before joining the North Tampa team as the Head of School, Mr. Stephen Herr spent eight years as the principal of East Pasco Adventist Academy in Dade City, FL where he was able to see a 220% increase in enrollment through developing relationships with the church and community, helping the school become a Creation Health School, developing a stronger partnership with Florida Hospital and community organizations, and adopting and hosting an after school athletic program. Before working at EPAA, Mr. Herr was an administrator and teacher at Highland View Academy in MD from 2001-2009. Mr. Herr holds a bachelor’s degree in Religious Education from Southern Adventist University, a master’s degree in Religious Education from Andrews University, and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Andrews University.
Stephen and his wife Jamie have four children and live in the Wesley Chapel area. Stephen stated, “Children deserve the best education possible, and I’m thrilled to be able to contribute to this next phase of Adventist education at North Tampa.”
Kevin Cameron, M.ED.
UPPER SCHOOL PRINCIPAL
Kevin Cameron, a Canadian, started his career as a high school English teacher at Crawford Adventist Academy, in Toronto, where he spent 10 successful years. The highlight of his time at Crawford was developing a media department, writing and producing sold out stage plays, such as the locally celebrated feature film entitled “Hush”. With a B.A. in English Language Arts Education and a Master’s in Education with an emphasis in Leadership, Mr. Cameron was called to serve as principal at Ramah Junior Academy, a Pre-K-8 school in Cleveland, Ohio from 2011-2016.
As an entrepreneur with his own film and video marketing business, Kevin Cameron has made over 200 videos in the form of commercials, documentaries, promotional, and music videos through his media company. Kevin loves positively impacting young people and has a passion for storytelling. He loves sports, traveling and scintillating conversation; but most of all, you will probably find him spending quality time with his wife and two daughters.
Kevin Cameron is passionate about life and is honored to be a part of the team at North Tampa!
Merili Wyatte, MA.
LOWER SCHOOL principal
Before joining the North Tampa team as the Director of Early Childhood and Lower School, Mrs. Merili Wyatte served the past eight years as a kindergarten teacher, Special Needs Coordinator and VPK director at Tampa Adventist Academy. She has been teaching for 20 years, twelve of which were in the Hillsborough County Public Schools, teaching preschool special needs.
Mrs. Wyatte has a bachelor’s degree in Specific Learning Disabilities from the University of South Florida and a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction with a major in Special Education from Florida State University. She is also certified in Pre-K through Primary and held a National Board Certification in special needs.
Mrs. Wyatte is Cuban-American and is fluent in Spanish. Some of her hobbies include cooking, running, reading, and laughing. While she loves teaching, her most valuable role has been as a parent to her 2 beautiful children! As a parent and an educator, she values commitment to creating a sense of family among staff and students, embracing diversity, sharing Jesus and maintaining a developmental and holistic approach to education.