Cindy Bacot

Executive Director

I hold an advanced standing Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Florida State University. I am also an intentionally recognized Advanced Certified Autism Specialist (CAS) with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis. I have worked with the Children’s Home Society teaching behavioral and social skills classes for students with behavioral disorders, and also conducted training workshops for the FSU Center for Autism and Related Disabilities. Since 2008, I have been the Executive Director of Bacot Academy. I have a particular interest in genetic mutations and the environmental Epigenetics of Autism. In my free time, I enjoy reading, traveling, and spending time with my family.


Ashley Walderon

Assistant Director

Hi, my name is Ashley Walderon and I am the Assistant Director here at Bacot Academy. In our school, we strive to have a fun and energetic approach to our work.  I have worked here since the beginning of 2015 and love every minute of it. I am pursuing a degree in Education and am certified in CPR, Child Development, and Recognizing Symptoms and Illnesses. I believe that each student can have an impact in their community as they apply their knowledge and skills to whatever comes about. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with family and friends.




Vernon Walderon

Registered Behavior Technician /Teacher

I teach second and third grade at Bacot Academy. I first started working here as a volunteer in 2009. When a position came available, I was very excited to come on board. The foundation of my teaching is respecting individual differences and incorporating my students’ talents. I believe in a consistent, positive, and respectful approach. We all have something to contribute. I learn from my students each and every day. I am married and have a beautiful baby girl. I’m currently pursuing a degree in Special Education. I am certified in first aid and CPR and I am a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT). I never saw myself as a teacher but I wouldn’t change it for the world.





Shativia Ware


Hi, my name is Shativia and I have been in the education field for the past fifteen years. I gained a wealth of experience from working in Early Education. I have worked with both children and adults with varying disabilities. I like to teach with a hands-on approach and enjoy having a small class so that my students get the one on one teaching instruction that they deserve. In my spare time, I enjoy soy-based candle making and spending quality time with my family.




Danielle DeForest


Hi, my name is Danielle, I have an Associate in Art from Gulf Coast State College and am currently pursuing a Bachelors in communication with a minor in psychology from Florida State University. In my classroom, we work on functional communication and life skills. I incorporate American Sign Language as well as ABA practices.  I have been at Bacot since 2016, and love working with the wonderful students. I believe that God is the center of everything we do.




Tracy Brown


Hello, my name is Tracy and I teach the wonderful students in the Upper Elementary Classroom at Bacot Academy. I have 10 years of experience in the Special Education field and I have enjoyed every minute of my job. I strive to create a community of learners that promotes growth in a positive, fun environment. My passion for helping children progress in all areas of their development (academic, social, language, and motor skills) is a challenge that I am honored to accept daily. Personally, I have been married for 25 years and have two beautiful daughters in college. In my free time, I enjoy playing with our dog Tootsie, arts and crafts, and relaxing on the beach.


                              Mitch Pickard

Student Helper

My name is Mitch Pickard and I am the Student Helper that helps assist the teachers in the Early Learners Classroom.  I started in 2015, and I really enjoy helping! My dream job would be to work at Bacot as a full-time Teachers Assistant when I graduate. I love to see the children learn and interact with each other. Seeing them do their school work and fine motor skills makes me feel proud that they are doing their best. I enjoy playing for the Miracle League in the fall and spring. I also am very technologically savvy and help the teachers stay up to date with things happening around the community. I also have participated in the Special Olympics! I love what I do and hope to keep helping the kids grow!