Faculty & Program Enhancements
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.”
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.
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.
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!
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)
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
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.