Meet the Faculty

Faculty List

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

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 Florida Association for the Gifted,
and 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.

Jen 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 in Education, specializing in Curriculum Design and Assessment, all from the University of Leeds in England. Jen has taught in both England and Germany and has many years of experience in a variety of subject areas, including languages,
math and information technology. She is responsible for all aspects of the program and is the focal point of communication for parents, faculty and the world outside Lee. Along with the Upper, Middle and Lower School Coordinators, Jen is responsible for curricula. She is also our go-to person to keep computer systems up and running on a daily basis.

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 and area colleges with regard to our Upper School Dual Enrollment program. David is experienced in leading student trips abroad.

Paula Allen worked as a high school and middle school art and drama instructor in Florida and New York State public and private schools. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Art Education from The College of St Rose, Albany, New York, and a master’s degree in Theatre Arts from the State University of New York. in 2016, Paula completed a program at Vermont College of Fine Art with an MFA in Film. A graduate of the Entrepreneur Academy at the St Petersburg Chamber of Commerce, Paula was nominated for Woman of the Year in community service and was a winner of the Humanitarian Service Award by the Tampa Human Rights Council. She was a director for the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County’s TECO Gallery of Children’s Art, a public art program that served underserved children in Hillsborough County. Paula was a visual art instructor at Lee Academy for three years before working as an administrative consultant to businesses in the arts and nonprofit agencies in Tampa Bay.

Sarah earned two Bachelor’s Degrees – Mathematics Education and Physics from the University of Central Florida and has taught a variety of high school Mathematics and Science classes over the years in Orange County and the Diocese of St Petersburg, including AP Calculus BC and physics curricula. Having presented at AAPT as an undergraduate on student based learning, Sarah is excited to apply hands-on student focused techniques to help the students internalize the knowledge that they are presented with. She is excited to bring her real-world experiences and applications into the classroom to showcase the importance of mathematics in everyday life. Sarah believes that all students can excel in mathematics when equipped with the right tools, the right mindset, and taught with patience and enthusiasm.

For the past 16 years, Lauren has been teaching and developing engaging English courses as a college professor at various higher education institutions, including FSU, USF, Texas Tech, Embry-Riddle, and HCC. She received her Bachelor’s in English at the University of Florida, graduating Cum Laude. Thereafter, she received her Master’s in English Education and is currently ABD a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction, specializing in English Education. Lauren previously served as lead tutor for the Community Learning Centers in the Lee County School District. Based on her teaching effectiveness, she was appointed Sr. Program Coordinator for the Lee County School Board’s Tutoring Service for Education Enhancement. Throughout her career in academe, she has published multiple articles in various scholarly journals, presented at national academic conferences, contributed course materials to the first-year composition program at USF, received certification in Publishing and Editing from FSU, and created Embry-Riddle’s Online Writing Lab—a computer-based, self-reference program used to facilitate learning in grammar, language, research, and essay construction. Lauren’s expertise in designing innovative lessons and knowledge of best teaching practices seamlessly align with her commitment to student success.

Samuel was born and raised in Southern Spain where he went on to college to study Environmental Sciences and Marine Biology. Soon his passion for music took over and he began a new career teaching at various educational academies in Spain and the United States. Prior to joining our faculty, he was a teacher and administrator for private schools, focusing on developing Athletic and Fine Arts programs. He also served as adjunct professor and Spanish curriculum designer at Florida State College. Samuel is very excited to be part of the Lee Academy mission. He believes in the importance of education and seeks to bring out the inquisitive nature of others.

Rob holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Dayton, where he also earned a Post-Graduate License for Adolescent to Young Adults 7-12 Social Studies. Prior to joining our faculty, Rob worked at Dayton Early College Academy, where he taught social studies, started a debate club, organized a Washington DC field trip and worked as an academic advisor. Rob also served as a Congressional Intern for Congresswoman Judy Biggert.  He is presently working on arranging a field trip to Washington DC for our upper school students.

Elisabeth is a veteran Science teacher with close to two decades of experience working with different communities, students, and content areas. She has a Master’s degree in Science Education from the Florida Institute of Technology and a BA from New College.   Elisabeth holds teaching certification in Gifted Education, Biology, Earth/Space Science, and Middle Grades Integrated Curriculum.  She has spent most of her career working specifically with gifted learners and developing curriculum specialized to meet the unique and varied needs of gifted students.  Elisabeth believes that studying Science should be fascinating and fun, and is committed to offering a rigorous, engaging, and hands-on study of the universe to our students.

Jeff received his Bachelor’s degree from Manchester College 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. Jeff and Paula work together on Middle and Lower School responsibilities, including working with students and parents.

Patricia Flórez was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia where she completed a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Upon moving to Atlanta in 1998, she attained a Master’s degree in Spanish Literature from Georgia State University and taught Spanish in grades K-8.  In 2013, Patricia decided to go after a lifelong dream and became a Certified Holistic Nutritional Therapist.  After gathering several years of experience working as a Health Coach in the Wellness industry, she moved to Tampa to be closer to her family and work in the area of Nutrition.  In 2018, motivated by the passion to educate and enlighten younger minds, she returned to the educational field as a Spanish teacher EC3-8th grade and Bilingual Lead Teacher in St. Petersburg and Clearwater.

Alexandra holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Zoology from the University of South Florida. For the past decade, she has been an Adjunct Faculty Member in the Department of Natural Sciences at the State College of Florida while also tutoring students of all ages in various phases of the Science curriculum. Alexandra’s prior work in Science included stints at several academic institutions, a private environmental firm and the Southwest Florida Water Management District. She is also member of several professional organizations, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Alexandra has been active in community involvement throughout her career and is looking forward to helping the young minds at Lee Academy find enjoyment in learning about Science.

With a Bachelor of Science degree in Math, Science, and Education, Camellia has spent the last two years making learning come alive for budding first and third-graders at charter schools. She approaches the position as more than being a teacher. She is a guide on the journey of education, believing firmly that learning isn’t a one-size-fits-all process. Each child has a universe of potential, and Camellia is skilled in discovering and fostering the unique ways they shine. Camellia will bring the world of numbers and the wonder of life into the classroom.

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 the faculty advisor to the Lee Academy Chess Club for a number of years.  She is rejoining the Lee Academy faculty to teach Language Arts and to introduce more Theater to our younger students.

Candice grew up in Greenville, South Carolina and earned a Bachelor’s of Art degree in Art Education at Coker College. She taught in various schools in South Carolina for 13 years, including several years as Fine Arts Department Chair at a prominent college prep school. She has a love for all subjects, fosters creativity, and incorporates technology into a challenging curriculum. Candice is excited to join the faculty this year and re-introduce more clay and other media into the Art Program.

Sandra completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the University of South Florida and worked as a level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit nurse for 18 years. Having a passion for teaching others, she completed a Master of Nursing Education degree and was employed as a critical care nurse educator for several years. Sandra has always been enthusiastic about working with young children and has taken additional training in early childhood education. She has been a Lower School teacher at Lee Academy and is now looking forward to working with our youngest students.