Meet Our Team
James Alexander, DMD
Dr. James Alexander grew up just a few miles from Saint Augustine. As a child, he enjoyed a range of activities, including soccer, baseball, football, tennis, BMX racing, and music. Although he graduated near the top of his class, he joined the United States Marine Corps at a time when most of his friends were making plans for college. The Marine Corps helped mold Dr. Alexander into the man he is today. After serving, he attended Jacksonville University, graduating summa cum laude with a 4.0 and a bachelor’s degree in biology. Following that, he earned his DMD from the University of Florida College of Dentistry. In the years since, he has continued to learn, amassing an amazing 343 hours of continuing education in his first year after dental school alone. He has trained in endodontics, attended the Nash Institute, and completed the prestigious Implant Maxicourse in New York City. Dr. Alexander is currently a member of the: American Dental Association, Florida Dental Association, Academy of General Dentistry, American Academy of Implant Dentistry, and American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine. Today, Dr. Alexander lives in the community with his beautiful wife and three wonderful kids. In the time he has been in practice, he has developed a truly unique perspective on caring for patients. Everyone is treated equally, regardless of age, background, or particular insurance plan. He strives to provide old-fashioned customer service, with special attention provided to each patient. Dr. Alexander practices with a single motto in mind: “Do what is right for the patient, and everything else will follow.”
Jessica is our Business Coordinator. She is Dr. Alexander's wife and was born and raised in New York. She studied Musical Theatre at Jacksonville University and then worked in advertising for 5 years before joining her husband at his dental practice in February of 2013. As the practice's Business Coordinator, she handles many of the office's business operations: which include marketing, productivity, ordering, accounts receivable, and accounts payable. Jessica loves our team and our office and does all that she can to allow Dr. Alexander to spend his time doing what he loves: taking care of patients. When not at work, Jessica enjoys the outdoors, performing in local theatre, and spending time with her husband, three children, and puppy Zoey.
Laurie loves working with patients of all kinds, and she maximizes her effectiveness by offering at-home hygiene tips and tricks for patients throughout their teeth cleanings. Brand new to our office in 2017, Laurie holds an associate’s degree in dental hygiene, and she has been practicing in the dental field for more than two decades! She brings those years of experience to our patients, and loves having the opportunity to work in partnership with the other team members to provide excellent dental care for every patient she sees. Outside the office, Laurie is happily married to Robert, and the couple has three daughters, Kristen, Jessica, and Kylie. She loves spending time with family and friends, riding her two horses, Watson and Lily, and planning for a building her family’s dream farm.
Rusha Awad, DMD
Dr. Awad’s college career got started at the University of North Florida, where she completed her Bachelor of Science in Biology and a minor in Public Health in April of 2011, graduating with a Cum Laude Honors distinction. She received the UNF SWOOP Scholarship in 2011. She then went on to earn her Doctor of Dental Medicine from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine School of Dental Medicine (LECOM) in June of 2017, graduating with honors. She was the proud recipient of the LECOM academic scholarship in 2015 and 2017, which is awarded based on academic excellence. Today, Dr. Awad is a proud member of the following dental organizations: American Dental Association, Florida Dental Association, Academy of General Dentistry, and International Dental Implants Association. When she isn’t busy at the practice, Dr. Awad enjoys spending quality time with her family and friends, especially her niece Isabelle and nephew Allen.
Valerie is a wonderful addition to our front desk team in January 2019, bringing with her 20 years of experience in the dental field as both a scheduler and as a customer service representative. Her past experience working for a major dental supply company gave her an inside look into dental practices, which fueled her desire to learn even more. Valerie says, “What I love most about Alexander Dental is that everyone is professional and welcoming to each patient that entrusts their dental care to this practice. It doesn’t stop with the patients. It overflows to the entire staff. Everyone is helpful and positive.” Valerie is originally from Detroit, loves interacting with people, and has a passion for crafts and baking. She is the mother of two (one daughter and one son) and the grandmother of three. In her free time, you’ll find her walking the beach.
Jessalyn first joined our team in January of 2019, and she has seven years of experience in the dental field so far. She studied cosmetology at the Georgia Career Institute and also completed her EDDA certification at Practical Dental Assisting of Virginia Beach. As one of our assistants, she is a true team player and is always looking to improve her skills. She loves how nice and helpful the rest of our staff is too! In her free time, she enjoys walking, watching movies, fishing, dancing, and hanging out with her husband and dog Gabby.
Diana has always been a people person, and she enjoys working with our patients and putting them at ease using her sense of humor. She joined our practice in 2016 and brings over 18 years of experience to our team. As a hygienist, she’s responsible for performing thorough dental cleanings, a variety of patient screenings, and taking diagnostic X-rays among many other duties. She truly believes in the benefits of good oral hygiene and strives to help patients understand the importance of routine dental care (both in the office and at home) so they can enjoy a lifetime of healthy smiles. At home, you’ll usually find Diana watching tennis, spending time with friends and family, and spoiling her beloved dog.
As our office manager, we rely on Kim to keep both our team and our patients organized every day, and she really does a great job! She has over 22 years of experience and is friendly, outgoing, hardworking, and dedicated to helping every patient maximize their insurance so they can achieve their dental health goals while staying on budget. A native of Livermore, CA, Kim says, “I look forward to coming to work every day because our patients and staff are such great people. I love my work family!” On most weekends, you’ll find her walking along the beach, hiking mountains, going fishing, or camping with her husband, daughters, and son.
Originally from Jefferson City, Missouri, Vaniety has been working in the dental field for 9 years now. She just loves welcoming and comforting patients at Alexander Dental while assisting our doctors. What makes her perfect for her position is her high level of motivation to grow, learn, and exceed our patient’s expectations. When not hard at work, Vaniety loves traveling and spending time with her family and friends. She says that she “loves that this practice is patient-focused” and that she “loves learning new ways to give our patients the best care possible.”
Kaley will likely be one of the first friendly faces you see when you walk in our doors! She’s a great fit for the position because she truly enjoys meeting new people and helping them get the most out of their insurance benefits. Originally from Palatka, FL, Kaley has been in dentistry for 4 years and looks forward to working with our “fun and considerate staff” every day. Outside of dentistry, she has a passion for math, numbers, and problem solving, and she’s also an avid reader. She says that “my pets are my life,” and she likes to spend as much time at the beach that she can.
Originally from North Georgia, Carly moved to our area in April 2018, and we are so glad to have her join our Front Desk team in February 2019. She is no stranger to the dental office, however, as she comes to us with 7 year’s experience in the dental field as both a surgical assistant and as a front desk administrator. Carly is great at her job because she loves working as part of our team to make sure that things get done properly, since taking care of our patients and helping them is her number one priority. Carly says, “I love that Dr Alexander and his staff care about their patients so very much and make sure that they have the very best customer service and best treatment possible. I also love that they have the latest, most up to date technology.” When not at work, Carly enjoys hiking, camping, traveling, and trying new restaurants!
Marissa has been working in the dental field for well over two decades now, and she enjoys being able to care for patients alongside Dr. Alexander, Dr. Awad, and the rest of her talented coworkers here in St. Augustine. She has a genuine love for making people smile! Whenever she’s not busy at the office, she spends her free time hanging out with her kids and baking.
Originally from Australia, Taylah has lived in the states for 13 years now, and we are so happy that she has joined us in our practice as of 2018. She is one of the very friendly faces that you will see at our front desk. She was trained in office by the wonderful doctors and staff at Alexander Dental. She says, “The staff members here are so amazing and fun. They make me feel very welcomed and accepted. The patients are incredible as well, and the relationships I form make every day a new adventure!” In her free time, Taylah has a broad array of activities that she loves to pursue alongside her husband: from dancing to attending sporting events to outdoor activities to food and travel.
Sarah has been working in the oral healthcare field for over 30 years and counting! She holds several degrees, including her Associates of Science in Dental Hygiene, her Bachelor of Science in Health and Wellness, and a Master of Science in Oriental Medicine. She is additionally a Doctoral Candidate in Chinese Medicine, working towards a graduation date of April 2019. She loves the friendly, team-oriented nature of Alexander Dental and is proud to be one of the newest members of the staff. Outside of work, she has participated in many community volunteer projects over the years, including youth sports, charitable organizations, church events, activities supporting the arts, and medical and dental mission trips to foreign countries.
Brian Young, DDS
Dr. Brian Todd Young was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado and was raised in Jacksonville, Florida. His interest in dentistry began at an early age, as both his father and grandfather were practicing general dentists. Completing his undergraduate studies at the University of Florida, Dr. Young went on to earn his Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Shortly thereafter, he returned to the University of Florida to complete specialty training in periodontics and implant dentistry; he also attained a Master of Science degree. Dr. Young is a full-time, licensed periodontist and implant specialist with over 12 years of experience in the field of dentistry. He founded Perio Implant Services in 2002 and provides dental implant and periodontal surgical care in an itinerant setting. Currently partnered with Dr. Alexander at Alexander Dental, and other dentists in the Jacksonville area, Dr. Young offers his expertise and skills to Alexander Dental patients from the convenience of our St. Augustine office. Dr. Young is involved in progressive periodontal, dental implant, and bone regeneration clinical practice and specially trained in techniques involving minimally invasive, computer-guided dental implant surgery and tissue grafting techniques. In addition to his qualifications, experience, and education, Dr. Young upholds current certifications in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and Conscious Sedation (State of Florida permit.) Today Dr. Young is a proud member of the following dental organizations: American Academy of Periodontology, American Dental Association, Florida Dental Association, Academy of Osseointegration, Southern Academy of Periodontology, Jacksonville Periodontal Society, International Congress of Oral Implantology, American Academy of Implant Dentistry, and Pierre Fauchard Academy. Learn more about Dr. Young at Perio Implant Services.
Having been a Dental Hygienist for the past 16 yrs, Scheri is confident you will not only have a pleasant and stress free experience while with her in our office but will be cared for with the same compassion and conviction as if she were treating a member of her own family. "Patient comfort and well-being are what motivates me the most," she says Scheri grew up in Waterford, PA where she graduated from Fort Le Boeuf high School. Having done a report on teeth in high school Scheri had an immediate affinity for all things dental. After high school she entered and completed Dental Assisting School. She then moved to Florida, completed additional training at the University of Florida and become an Expanded Duties Dental Assistant working in the Palm Coast and Ormond Beach area for nine years.
Zoey will sit in your lap if you are scared.