Learning Intentionally Enhanced

Learning-i.e. serves students at The First Academy in two distinct ways: enrichment classes for Lower School students who qualify as academically talented or gifted, and support services for students with documented disabilities in grades three through twelve.

Learning-i.e. Enrichment Classes

The Enrichment classes are designed for academically talented and gifted students in Grades K-5. Kindergarten classes begin the second half of the school year. Students are invited to attend based on standardized test scores as well as classroom achievement. This program is self-funded and not covered as part of tuition or grade-level activity fees. Therefore, there is an additional yearly fee to be a part of the program. To learn more and find out how to enroll visit the Enrichment Course page.

Learning-i.e. Support Services

First Academy offers reasonable classroom accommodations for all students with a documented disability. If instructional support is needed beyond what the classroom teacher can reasonably provide, services through Learning-i.e. are available at an additional cost. Learning-i.e. serves students with documented learning differences as well as health or physical restrictions. Learning-i.e. staff is trained in exceptional student education in order to provide instructional support and to effectively coordinate related services. The goal for students served through Learning-i.e. is to learn strategies related to their particular disability, gradually needing less individualized instructional support, and eventually independently advocating for themselves in the college-preparatory learning environment. To learn more and find out how to enroll visit the Support Services page

Director Luci Higgins, Ed.D, MS, BS, BS

Dr. Higgins’ instructional experiences range from public to private schools, teaching from Transitional-Kindergarteners to Graduate Students, and extends to administrative roles and responsibilities. During her years as an exceptional education teacher in the Florida State School System, she was blessed with the ‘Wakulla County Teacher of the Year’ as well as being a recipient of the ‘Distinguished Educator of Florida’. After serving as an adjunct professor in the Graduate Teacher Education Program for Nova Southeastern University for thirteen years, Dr. Higgins was ready for a new role. In 2003, Dr. Higgins joined The First Academy and became both the Director of Curriculum and Instruction for K4-12 as well as the Director of The Learning Center. She also currently serves as the Middle School division principal and has been in this role since 2013.

Dr. Higgins holds a Doctorate Degree in Child and Youth Students from Nova Southeastern University; a Master’s Degree in Learning Disabilities, Emotional Disabilities, and Varying Exceptionalities – Magna Cum Laude – from the Florida State University. She also holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a minor in Theater from FSU.

Coordinator Tonya Roskaft, Ed.S.

Mrs. Roskaft comes to us after serving the past thirteen years in both the public and private school settings. Before moving to Florida, Mrs. Roskaft partnered with other educators and opened the first charter school in Georgia founded by teachers. Here she held many roles including Lead Mentor Teacher, School Improvement Plan Developer, Staff Development Chair and Testing Coordinator. She also helped develop the school’s standards-based report card and curriculum mapping. During this time Mrs. Roskaft obtained her gifted endorsement and began documenting her differentiated instruction for all learners in her classroom, which earned her school additional funding. After moving to Florida, Mrs. Roskaft taught first grade at Windermere Prep. Here she also organized and developed an enrichment program for high achieving students. Mrs. Roskaft currently teaches all of the Learning-i.e. classes at The First Academy and coordinates accommodation plans for students with documented disabilities.

Mrs. Roskaft holds a Specialist Degree in Education Leadership from Argosy University, a Masters of Education Degree in Early Childhood Education and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education from the State University of West Georgia. Mrs. Roskaft has a passion for empowering students to seek their personal best and enjoys working with families to create an action plan to meet the needs of the learner. Mrs. Roskaft is happily married to her husband Kristian and has two sons who attend The First Academy.

  • Facts at a Glance

    • 21,102

      Volunteer hours given by the Upper School Students last year.
    • 1,345

      Alumni since 1986.
  • The First Academy is Accredited by:

    • Florida Council of Independent Schools
    • Florida Kindergarten Council
    • Southern Association of Independent Schools
    • AdvancEd Southern Association of Colleges & Schools
    • Council on Educational Standards & Accountability
    • Association of Christian Schools International