Meet the Faculty

Faculty List

Note: Please click on the names to view the description.

Amalia Hughes - Spanish

Amalia was born in San Jose, Costa Rica and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree (cum laude) in Spanish from the University of South Florida.  An accomplished guitarist, Amalia uses songs to teach vocabulary and structure.  She takes the communicative approach to the teaching of Spanish, particularly in the early stages. The culture of countries where Spanish is spoken is also an important part of the students’ education and Amalia is able to draw on her personal experiences, as well as an extensive collection of items to make language acquisition lively and effective. Amalia led this year’s cultural field trip to Costa Rica.

Anne Scott Vela - Lower School Science, Social Studies & Music

Anne was educated at St. John’s College Maryland and at Columbia University. She majored in the History of Science and Mathematics and Philosophy with minors in Literature, Classics and a concentration in Music Studies. She is a very enthusiastic, hands-on teacher who loves working with her students on a variety of topics and activities. She encourages students to question and research and to be active during experiments, projects and class discussions. Her energy and enthusiasm are infectious and our students love working with her, whether it is inside the classroom or outside in our organic garden.

Benjamin Sperduto - Social Studies

Ben has a BA in Political Science and a Masters in History from the University of South Florida. In addition to teaching various history and social studies courses at high school and middle school levels, he spent six years as an editorial assistant for The Historian, a widely circulated history journal. Ben is a published author and his first novel, The Walls of Dalgorod, was published in 2015. He believes history is as much the story of our present as our past and works to help students discover and understand the connections between the two. Ben’s classes place a strong emphasis on analyzing historical sources and developing writing skills. Ben also co-produced this year’s play, Inherit the Wind.

Caroline Karp - Early Childhood

Caroline earned a BA from Florida State University, a Master of Arts in Elementary Education Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Colorado and completed the Educational Research Foundation’s “Trainer of Teachers” program.  An accomplished artist, Caroline has provided art and music instruction to young children for over 20 years.  Caroline is excited to build a hands-on active learning classroom community with the Early Childhood students again in the fall.  Artwork from her class receives high acclaim.

Danielle Fellerhof - Chess & Performance Arts

Danielle holds a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education with a minor in Theater from the University of South Florida.  A former Lower School and Early Childhood teacher at Lee Academy, Danielle has rejoined us to teach Performance Arts to our younger students and restart our Chess Club.

Danielle Roy - Mindful Yoga & Chess

Danielle holds a MS in Organizational Psychology, is a Certified Holistic Life Coach and is Kundalini Yoga Level 1 KYT-200 certified.  Teaching the art and skill of mindfulness lets Danielle share her knowledge and help people establish a healthy relationship between their mind and body.  Danielle will be teaching a Mindful Yoga class two mornings a week.

David Audet - Art

A professional artist in the fields of painting, sculpture, film and photography, David returns to Lee Academy to once again explore the visual arts with our students.  David holds a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from USF and founded, directed, or owned several Tampa Bay venues that have promoted artistic activities, including The Artists and Writers Café, Ground Zero Performance Gallery, Deep Carnivale, The Cuban Sandwich Show and Still and Moving Gallery.  Following his previous tenure at Lee Academy, David was Director of an arts-oriented intervention and diversion program for Hillsborough Community College.

David Deitz - Upper School Coordinator and Foreign Languages

David holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in languages and a post graduate diploma in education from the University of Leeds in England. He taught high school in France, Germany and England for many years.  In addition to being Upper School Coordinator, David directs our Latin, French and German programs. He takes the active participation approach to foreign language learning, encouraging students to converse in the language as much as possible. David also works with our Upper School students on career and college planning. He liaises closely with USF (Honors College) and Hillsborough Community College with regard to our Upper School Dual Enrollment program. David is experienced in leading student trips abroad.  In 2015-16, he took a group of seniors to France.

Jeff Floyd - Lower School Math, Physical Education, Asst. Lower School Coordinator

Jeff received his Bachelor’s degree from Manchester College in Indiana and has strong experience individualizing curriculum and preparing individual education plans.  His teaching style is very hands-on and visual, encouraging students to be active during experiments, field trips, projects and class discussions.  In Jeff’s physical education classes, he emphasizes teamwork and fair play. As Assistant Lower School Coordinator, Jeff and Lou Ann work together on Lower School responsibilities, including working with students and parents.

Karen Pullom - Upper School Mathematics

Karen earned a Master’s degree in Instruction & Curriculum from California State University and holds teaching credentials in Mathematics and Physical Education. She has many years of experience teaching math at high school and middle school levels in California.  Karen teaches critical thinking and problem solving through mathematics and incorporates real world experiences, art and kinesthetic opportunities in her classes.  She has also served as a health instructor, coach and athletic director.

Jennifer Deitz - Director

Jennifer holds a Bachelor’s degree in German and French, a Postgraduate Diploma in Education, a Postgraduate Diploma in the Law of Educational Management and a Master’s degree in Education Management, specializing in Curriculum Design and Assessment. She is responsible for all aspects of the program and is the focal point for communication from parents, faculty and the world outside Lee. Along with the Upper and Lower School Coordinators, Jen is responsible for curricula and is experienced in leading student trips abroad, including France in 2015.

John Hendrix - English, Literature and Theater

John holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Jacksonville State University, with majors in English and Music.  He has extensive experience in working with high ability students. During his teaching tenure, John has been chairman of English, Humanities and Drama departments at private schools in Georgia and Florida.  He also created an educational consulting business, helping school districts develop curriculum and preparation courses for SAT and other tests.  John is constantly augmenting the curriculum in ways that enhance educational skills, while keeping classes interesting and relevant.  John has successfully produced several school plays, including this year’s Inherit the Wind.

Linda Lacey - Founder

A graduate of Slippery Rock University, with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Education, Linda founded Lee Academy in 1983. She has made numerous presentations on gifted education at national and international conferences.  Linda is a member of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children, the National Consortium of Gifted Schools, the Florida Association for the Gifted, the National Association for Gifted Children.  She is presently studying nutritional health and fitness as it relates to enhanced cognitive, emotional and physical growth and development in children.

Lou Ann Willis-Fraser - Lower School Coordinator, Guidance Counselor, Language Arts & Group Dynamics Teacher

Lou Ann has a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education and a Master’s degree in Guidance, all from the University of South Florida. She also obtained a gifted endorsement from the State of Florida Department of Education. As Lower School Coordinator, Lou Ann helps students, parents and teachers work together effectively and successfully. She also teaches primary language arts and has compiled a curriculum that strongly addresses the needs of gifted learners. The group dynamics classes that Lou Ann designed teach many critical skills in the affective domain. Some of her goals for the guidance program are to support students in conflict resolutions, relationship-building and generating respect for themselves as well as others.

Mike Moore - College Guidance

Mike has been part of the Lee Academy “family” for many years, graduating two children, both National Merit Scholars. He earned his Master’s degree in Education from the University of Tampa and works with Upper School students in their search for the best college match.

Sharon Mejia - Upper School Science

Sharon earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology from Ohio State and a Master’s degree in Secondary Science from the University of South Florida. She has significant experience on the “applied side” of science, having worked in several distinguished programs, including the Birch Aquarium (San Diego), the Naturalist Outdoor School and the Center of Science and Industry (Columbus, Ohio). Sharon also designed science curriculum units for gifted students and taught them in the Johns Hopkins talent identification program. She is truly excited by the wonders of science and sharing her knowledge with others. Her hands-on approach has engaged Lee students from the very start, with numerous field trips and on-campus environmentally-sound projects, including the creation and expansion of a student-run organic campus garden. This coming year Sharon will be leading a trip to the Everglades and geologic/biologic research in southern California.

Sherry Jones - Computer & Yearbook

Prior to joining Lee Academy, Sherry worked as a teacher in the Hillsborough County Public School System while becoming proficient in a number of cutting edge computer graphics programs. She also is an experienced photographer and a member of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals.