Skip to content


Home » Alumni News » Transplanted

A long, winding path takes Seabra to her place at Foundation Academy.

According to Kayla Seabra (WC ’18), willingness to adapt, patience, and listening skills are not just skills every elementary school teacher needs but have also been essential for her survival. Her roots, once firmly planted in Columbus, were transplanted last fall when she moved with her family to Florida.

“If you had told me a year ago that I’d be moving to Florida, I’d have thought you were crazy. My plan was to stay in Ohio and do this, this, and this,” Seabra said. “The Lord crumpled that up and put me in a new spot.”

The new spot was Foundation Academy in Orlando (FA). In a six-month span, Seabra went from being a substitute teacher to a long-term substitute aide in a first-grade classroom to a full-time third-grade teacher.

“I knew I was arriving in Florida in the middle of the school year,” Seabra said. “I was doing different things, working two jobs, and saving money.”

The Worthington Christian graduate worked odd jobs, including as an animal technician at the Best Friend’s Pet Hotel in Disney World and doing many substitute teaching jobs. She waited for the right job and waited and waited.

Seabra often worked at the Foundation Academy during that time, subbing in every classroom from elementary to high school. In November, she landed a long-term teaching job as a first-grade aide.

“I got to know the teachers and students well,” she said.

The teachers and administrators also got to know Seabra’s strengths. At the end of February, one of the administrators approached her about taking over for a third-grade teacher who abruptly left the school.

“The teacher had gotten a great opportunity to work closer to her home,” she said. “The person said to me, ‘We usually wouldn’t do this, but we’ve seen you, and we know how you work inside the classroom and connect with the kids. We think you would be a good fit.’”

Towards the end of the school year, FA offered her the position full-time for the coming year. Seabra said taking over a classroom in the middle of a school year came with unique challenges.

Students had to get used to a new voice, a new vocabulary, and a new set of expectations.

“These kids didn’t know me. They were used to a certain teacher and teaching style,” she said. “(However) I feel like I’ve connected with all of them on different levels. There has been this mutual respect; they see me as ‘OK, she’s our teacher now.’”

Teaching students represents a change in direction for Seabra. She planned on working as an industrial engineer when she graduated from high school.

However, her grandparents suggested that Seabra and a cousin visit the Word of Life Bible Institute in Florida after high school. After the two visited, Seabra felt like this was the place she was meant to be.

“It was one of those eye-opening moments,” she laughed. “I thought, ‘Alright, Lord, I think you want me here.’”

Seabra worked as a camp counselor at the institute’s summer camp. Working with children convinced her to go into teaching, and she earned a degree in early education from Cedarville University.

While the experience exposed Seabra to strengths she hadn’t seen in herself before, her mother, Kara Seabra, and her grandfather, Paul Ward, both teachers, weren’t surprised when she told them she was thinking about going into education.

“My mom was excited. She said, ‘You have always been so good working with children,” she said. “My grandpa was only a teacher for a few years, but he said, ‘Do whatever makes you happy. We’ll support you in whatever you decide to do.’”

While her family gave her a teaching background, Worthington Christian created Seabra’s passion for teaching at a Christian school.

“I think Worthington Christian did a really good job building that biblical foundation in me,” she said. “I loved the teachers. (Kathy) White, my algebra teacher, made such a big impact on me. When they ask me to think of a good teacher, I always think of her because she was loving to all of us.”

Working at a Christian school gives Seabra a chance to continue guiding her students in the way her teachers influenced her.

“I’ve taught in a private, non-Christian school, and it wasn’t the environment I needed personally,” she said. “Obviously, we need people in the public schools, you know, to show that light for Christ. But for me, having that staff support, especially after moving to a new state, is a great feeling.

“I also get to teach God to these kids in certain situations. If someone’s having a hard time, I get to bring the Lord into it. I don’t have to tiptoe around what I believe.”

Get Connected

Subscribe to WC’s e-newsletter

Get a behind the scenes look at what’s happening at WC. ThisWeekWC is emailed each Wednesday during the school year.