A Midsummer Night’s Dream & Afternoon of the Arts
On the afternoon of April 1st Lee Academy students of all ages will be displaying their artistic prowess. An Art Display will begin at 12:45 PM, with displays of varying genres available for viewing throughout the campus (both inside and outside). There will also be an activity that students and parents can do together. Various ceramic items created by the young artists will be available for purchase (cash or check only). At 3:00 PM, Lee Academy students from Lower School A’s thru Upper School E’s will be presenting an adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The play will take place in an appropriate setting – on our outdoor stage, amongst the trees. Under the guidance of Danielle Fellerhof, students are being introduced into all aspects of the production, including acting, costumes, and set preparation. Academy students from all classes (from Lower School A’s thru Upper School F’s) will be presenting Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream on the afternoon of April 1st. The play will take place in an appropriate setting – on our outdoor stage, amongst the trees. Under the guidance of Danielle Fellerhof, students will be introduced into all aspects of the production during the Spring semester, including acting, costumes, and set preparation. Student art will also be on display as we celebrate an “Afternoon of the Arts.”

Guitar Class
Samuel Luna is providing instruction on this universally-loved instrument to eight interested students over a six-week period.  Designed for students at all levels of experience, this course provides individualized daily activities and recommendations, supported by videos, images, and handouts.


Nutrition Program:
With the start of the Spring semester, we introduced an interdisciplinary Nutrition program headed by our own Certified Holistic Nutritional Therapist, Patricia Florez. Students are learning all facets of nutrition, and the program includes “hands-on” experience with food production and preparation. Patricia is working with all our faculty members to integrate nutrition into many aspects of our curricula.

Butterfly Garden
Using a gracious gift from one of our families, we have constructed a large, screened butterfly garden. Situated in a partially shaded setting along the lake and adjacent to our organic garden, the butterfly garden is now ready for Spring planting and populating with butterflies. Students in all classes will have the opportunity to help in that process. The butterfly garden will then become a venue for study and learning, much like our organic garden and abundance of campus flora and fauna.

February Ski Trip
We took advantage of the Winter Break in February, to allow a few Upper School students to experience the winter wonderland that is the Colorado Rockies. Staying in a townhome bordering the national forest, the students were able to enjoy the plentiful snowfall and the surrounding wildlife. They took ski lessons at Arapahoe Basin and skied at the major resorts of Breckenridge and Beaver Creek. Fun was had by all!


Planet Turtle
Our Art program was part of a micro-grant from the Gobioff Foundation to our Art teacher Paula Allen. Planet turtle allowed Lee students to create drawings and animations for social media to remind the community how to keep our sea turtles safe during nesting season and all year. A marketing campaign to save baby sea turtles and their mothers during nesting season ( ultimately, we helped get some lights changed on the beaches by Duke energy)


Lunchtime Singing
Every Tuesday during lunch hour, Krista Lakin leads a group of students in a songfest. She works with students to help them improve their voices and develop a love for vocal music.




Faculty & Program Enhancements

New Teachers
For the 2022-23 school year, we recruited five new teachers and “re-purposed” one of our favorites in order to provide an even more varied and enhanced curriculum. Each of these teachers has a unique background and a true dedication to teaching.

Patricia Florez teaches Lower School Spanish and Computers and is working with our founder, Linda Lacey, to introduce a Nutrition program at Lee in the spring semester. Patricia holds Master’s degrees from her home country Columbia and from Georgia State University (in Spanish Literature). She is also a Certified Holistic Nutritional Therapist, having studied at the Nutrition Therapy Institute. We intend to introduce the Nutrition program to students at all levels, working with all our faculty members to integrate it into many aspects of our curricula.



Samuel Luna teaches Upper School Spanish and Music. Born and raised in Spain, Samuel has taught at various educational academies in Spain and the United States, serving as a teacher and administrator. He was also an adjunct professor and Spanish curriculum designer at Florida State College. Samuel is also invigorating our Music program, working with the students to bring out their instrumental musical talents.




Marina Benova teaches Language Arts to LS D and LS E students. Marina holds a Master’s degree from Slovakia in English & Literature and a second Master’s in Educational Studies from Johns Hopkins University. She previously worked as an Academic Specialist at Notre Dame of Maryland University.




Caroline Sakla will teach math to students from LS D through US A. Born and raised until 15 years of age in Egypt, Caroline has a Master of Arts in Teaching – Middle School Mathematics from the University of South Florida. She has taught a variety of mathematics classes, including Algebra Honors and pre-IB curricula. Caroline also has experience in curriculum development and started her own business. She will utilize both her academic and practical experience to bring mathematics to life for students at this formative stage.



Mark Shon is teaching Science to groups from LS G thru US E. He is also teaching the Algebra II class. Mark holds several degrees, including Masters in both Microbiology and Business Administration. He also has Florida Certifications in Earth & Space, Biology and Chemistry. During his career, Mark worked in biomedical science, cancer research, genetic engineering and bio-health. Mark will be able to incorporate his experiential background into the Science curriculum and labs.



Danielle Fellerhof has moved back into her area of strength, teaching Language Arts and Social Studies at LS A, B, and C levels. Danielle holds a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education with a minor in Theater from the University of South Florida. A former Early Childhood teacher at Lee Academy, Danielle was also the faculty advisor to the Lee Academy Chess Club for a number of years. She is using her background in Theater to produce the Shakespeare play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. With Danielle’s assistance, we are planning to restart the Chess Club, which was very successful and enormously popular with students of all ages.


Florida Holocaust Museum
On December 9th, Robert Emmett and John Hendrix will be taking students over to St. Petersburg to visit the Florida Holocaust Museum, where they will view notable artifacts, discover significant works of art, and connect with individuals who suffered or died in the Holocaust.


Hispanic Heritage Celebration
On October 21st, the entire campus was transformed into a celebration of all things Hispanic. The students were taught Latin dances, songs, and games by a professional team led by Joel Mejias. Everyone ate Hispanic food specialties on picnic tables decorated with colorful Table overlays. The highlight of the celebration was turning the entire lakefront yard into a group dance floor.



On January 17th, Lee Academy’s LS E & F students will participate in BizTown, an engaging, hands-on program that introduces 5th students to economic concepts, workplace skills, and personal and business finances in a student-sized town built just for them. JA BizTown creates an experience where students not only discover the intricacies of being a professional and members of the community but also discover the abundance of opportunities available within their city. This interactive, project-based program teaches students how to manage their own personal finances and the importance of becoming a successful professional.

Lee Academy’s  Lower School Science Fair was held on Friday, February 12th.  Students arrived very excited and well prepared as experts on their chosen topic.  The day included presentations for fellow classmates, students in other levels and teachers.  To keep the event safe and successful, students set up their display boards outside, one student per table, leaving ample space for maintaining an appropriate physical distance.  Although they weren’t able to participate in person, parents joined the event via Zoom to show support and enjoy student speeches. Those students currently participating from home were a part of the day as well.  They presented their information and board displays via Zoom to classmates and parents.

Our budding scientists described their experiments and shared their findings with great success!

Lee Academy incorporates the following guidelines in its approach to independent reading. The positive results of this approach are readily visible in the depth of comprehension in our students and their high levels of interaction with each other and in class discussions. It also creates a love of reading that will stay with them throughout their lives!

In preparation for an upcoming trip to the Florida Keys, students participated in a beach clean-up. The clean-up helped to address two key topics that the students have been learning about; coastal ecosystems and human impact on the environment.  After spending the afternoon cleaning, it was clear to students how important it is to not only take care of waste properly, but how to decrease the amount produced in general.  They discussed the realities of decomposition and the negative consequences that waste has on marine life.  This experience, along with the trip to the Keys, will increase student awareness of Florida’s unique ecological needs.  More importantly, they are learning that they can be advocates for their community and environment.

This Tampa Area literature festival was held on the Lee Academy campus.  Created by the Artists and Writers Group, Deep Carnivale featured  published authors, poets, scriptwriters, and artists from the area sharing and discussing their work with the audience, including conversations about writing, storytelling and related topics.  Campus venues will included Lee Academy’s outdoor stage, its lakefront deck and  multipurpose room, where some authors and filmmakers projected digital images related to their presentation.  Deep Carnivale also included readings by Lee Academy students, including a special homage to the important American poet Mary Oliver, who died in January. The festival was free and open to the public, who were able to enjoy our students and the following local artists:

Paul Wilborn discussed and read from his new book about Ybor City, CIGAR CITY: TALES FROM A 1980s CREATIVE GHETTO. David Audet showed some of his photographs that illustrated the book.

Ben Montgomery (Tampa Bay Times reporter and author) discussed GRANDMA GATEWOOD’S WALK: THE INSPIRING STORY OF THE WOMAN WHO SAVED THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL, winner of the 2014 National Outdoor Book Award for History/Biography. In 2010, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in local reporting and won awards for a series for Tampa Bay Times, “For Their Own Good,” about abuse at Dozier, Florida’s oldest reform school.

Poetry, always a major component of DEEP CARNIVALE, included readings by Silvia Curbelo, Melissa Fair, Lori Karpay, Maureen McDole, Rhonda J. Nelson, Gianna Russo and Allison Moore.

Kristy Andersen presented her feature documentary about Harlem renaissance writer, Zora Neale Hurston, created for the American Masters Series on PBS.

Bob Gonzalez (University of Tampa, head of theater program) performed NONSENSE with one of his students and discussed the Dadaist influence on language and art in the early 20th century

Fred Smith (Young adult author) discussed writing for teens and his newest book THE COOLEST LABELS.