Directory

Living Curriculum Influencers across our TFA campus

At The First Academy, from the classroom to the field, our faculty, staff, and leadership embody the Living Curriculum.

Directory

Leadership

Director of Athletics

Will Cohen

Director of Athletics

Will Cohen

Will Cohen, Director of Athletics

Mr. Will Cohen was born and raised in Orlando and has been serving at The First Academy since June 2012. Mr. Cohen served three years as the Assistant Director of Athletics and Assistant Baseball Coach and now serves as the Director of Athletics.

Mr. Cohen spent seven years at TFA as a student, graduating with The First Academy’s Class of 2008. After graduation, Mr. Cohen received his Bachelor of Science in Sports Administration from Samford University in Birmingham, AL. From Mr. Cohen’s experience as a student and staff member; the teachers, coaches, and administrators have had and continue to have an immeasurable impact on his life. He is blessed to partner with elite coaches and staff to encourage our student-athletes to not only advance their athletic abilities but to hold to high academic standards and continue to develop their personal relationships with Jesus Christ.

Mr. Cohen believes that the students, families, faculty, and staff make TFA the best Christ-Centered schools in America.

Senior Director of Advancement & Parent Relations

Sarah Donovan

M.Ed.

Senior Director of Advancement & Parent Relations

Sarah Donovan

M.Ed.

Sarah Donovan, Senior Director of Advancement & Parent Relations

As the former Director of The Extended Educational Programs and Admissions Director, Mrs. Sarah Donovan served as the leader of The First Academy Preschool, The Classical School (hybrid homeschool program), and The First Hope (special needs program), and Admissions Department. More recently Mrs. Donovan worked as the Director of Global Programming at ASU Prep, where she cultivated global relationships and business partnerships. Mrs. Donovan was raised in the rolling hills of northern Pennsylvania, and attended Penn State University where she received a Bachelor of Science in Elementary and Kindergarten Education. She continued her studies of Early Childhood Education at the University Chichester in West Sussex, England. Mrs. Donovan earned her Masters in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Central Florida. She then went on to obtain a Masters in Educational Leadership and Supervision from Stetson University. Mrs. Donovan’s endorsements include Exceptional Student Education and English for Speakers of Other Languages.

Mrs. Donovan previously served in the Orange County Public School district for ten years as an assistant principal, curriculum and instructional coach, and classroom teacher. She was honored as one of the district’s ‘Teacher of the Year’ and also received the ‘You Make a Difference Award’.

Mrs. Donovan has a passion for sparking a love of learning and leading in students. She is honored to serve with a team who shares the same joy and dedication to serving children in Christ. Mrs. Donovan and her husband Hart are proud parents of their daughter, Elle, who attends at The First Academy Lower School. They enjoy spending time together boating on the water.

Upper School Principal

Dr. Shayne Grove

Ph.D, Colson Fellow

Upper School Principal

Dr. Shayne Grove

Ph.D, Colson Fellow

Dr. Shayne Grove, Upper School Principal

Dr. Shayne Grove arrived at The First Academy with eighteen years in public education. She began her career as a high school teacher and then spent three years as a Middle School Assistant Principal of Curriculum and Instruction and her next ten years as an Elementary School Principal. In her role as a public school administrator, she earned the Middle School Administrator of the Year, PTA Principal of the Year, Elementary Principal of the Year, and the Minnie Woodruff Leadership Award. Dr. Grove received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business/Marketing from The University of Central Florida.

After completing her Master’s degree in School Leadership, she earned her PhD in Educational Administration at Capella University. Dr. Grove is an adjunct professor at Grand Canyon University and Indiana Wesleyan University teaching brain-based learning, curriculum and instruction, classroom management, school culture, data and school improvement, and various educational leadership courses.

Dr. Grove and her husband, Scott, have been married for 26 years and are the proud parents of two TFA Alumni: Cassidy and Dakoda. Scott is the head varsity baseball coach and teaches Lower School PE at TFA. Dr. Grove loves working with high school students each day.

Senior Director of Finance & Business Development

Leighann Harris

SHRM-P

Senior Director of Finance & Business Development

Leighann Harris

SHRM-P

Leighann Harris, Senior Director Finance & Business Development

With 17 years of public accounting under her belt, Mrs. Harris joined the business office at The First Academy in 2012. She began her career as an auditor with the international accounting firm Deloitte & Touche LLP where she specialized in banking, manufacturing, and publicly-held companies. She then worked in local and regional public accounting firms where she specialized in not-for-profit and government accounting, auditing and tax compliance. Mrs. Harris earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting with minor in Computer Science from Oral Roberts University and is a certified public accountant in California and Maryland.

Mrs. Harris is married to her husband, Lt. Colonel Scott Harris, and is proud to serve beside him during his 28 years on active duty with the United States Marine Corp. After serving in many different duty stations across the United States, they are happy to be back in Florida where they were born and raised. She has three children who are all TFA graduates. Mrs. Harris says, “Being a part of The First Academy has been a tremendous blessing to me and my family and I look forward continuing to serve in advancing the mission here at TFA.”

Middle School Principal

Dr. Natalie Holter

Ed.D.

Middle School Principal

Dr. Natalie Holter

Ed.D.

Dr. Natalie Holter, Middle School Principal

Dr. Natalie Holter is a Central Florida native who has been working in education for the last 20 years. She joined The First Academy in 2011 as the 12th-grade English and AP Literature teacher. In this role, she inaugurated the Senior Thesis project, the capstone graduation project that asks students to find the intersection between God and seemingly secular topics. As a certified SAT/ACT expert, she also launched a number of test preparation initiatives to help students improve their scores. She was recognized as “Christian Teacher of the Year” in 2014.

In 2018 she transitioned to the Middle School, first as its Academic Dean and later as its Principal. In this capacity, she directs the daily operations of the division. Her primary focus is ensuring a strong academic foundation and healthy emotional/social development in order to lay the best groundwork possible for student success in high school. She also coordinates the Learning ie program, focused on providing accommodations for students with learning differences. Her passion is building supportive relationships with her students and mentoring faculty to be the best teachers they can be.

Dr. Holter earned her Bachelor of Arts in History from Yale University, her Master of Liberal Studies in Humanities from Rollins College, and her Doctorate in Education with a focus on Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Central Florida. She was also blessed to attend Oxford University for one summer on a scholarship she won to pursue a more in-depth study of English literature. She is the proud mom of two TFA students, one of whom has attended since Kindergarten and the other since pre-Kindergarten.

Lower School Principal

Jennifer Jackson

M.Ed.

Lower School Principal

Jennifer Jackson

M.Ed.

Jennifer Jackson, Lower School Principal

Mrs. Jennifer Jackson joined The First Academy in 2010 as the Learning-i.e. Coordinator. In this role, she facilitated enrichment classes for academically talented and gifted students with an emphasis on critical thinking and technology. Mrs. Jackson also coordinated accommodation plans for students with learning differences. In addition, she assisted with TFA’s initial application for accreditation with the Florida Council of Independent Schools as well as the Florida Kindergarten Council in 2012 and remains involved with the accreditation process at TFA. Before joining The First Academy, she served 13 years in Florida public schools. Her roles in both Alachua and Orange counties included the following: special education teacher, elementary education teacher, curriculum resource teacher, and reading coach. She draws from all of her previous experience in her current role as the Lower School principal.

Mrs. Jackson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from Furman University as well as a Master of Education in Special Education from the University of Georgia. She holds endorsements in Gifted, Reading, and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). Mrs. Jackson firmly believes that all students can learn and succeed in a loving environment with high expectations. She also values the importance that Christian education plays in partnership with church and home. Being in the Lower School classrooms on a regular basis is a priority for Mrs. Jackson and plays a critical role in her leadership.

In 2014, TFA faculty and families selected Mrs. Jackson as the Christian Educator of the Year. Her experience as a classroom teacher at TFA gives her a unique insight and passion for serving the students, teachers, and families in Lower School.

Mrs. Jackson and her husband Jay have been married for 25 years and are blessed to have two daughters. Both Sarah and Lauren have attended The First Academy since Kindergarten.

Assistant Head of School

Brian Rose

MEA

Assistant Head of School

Brian Rose

MEA

Brian Rose, Assistant Head of School

Born and raised in Northwestern Pennsylvania, Mr. Brian Rose attended Hobe Sound Bible College and earned his Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Social Studies. He went on to earn a Master of Education Administration from Columbia International University. He began his educational career in 1985 at Jupiter Christian School in south Florida then served 5 years at the Whitefield Academy in Louisville, KY.

In July 2005, Mr. Rose became Assistant Head of School at The First Academy. Married to his wife, Debra, since 1984; they are proud parents of two TFA Alumni – Michael (2011) and Lyndee (2013).

Director of Strategic Initiatives

Gissel Valois

Director of Strategic Initiatives

Gissel Valois

Gissel Valois, Director of Strategic Initiatives

Gissel Valois has worked at The First Academy for more than 9 years. She currently serves as the Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Management and Leadership Team. Mrs. Valois serves TFA in many ways, including assisting the Human Resources team with professional development and handbook management. Mrs. Valois supports many campus-wide initiatives and events; she also leads the Diversity task force guiding the responses of TFA in the areas of racial harmony and campus unity.

In August of 2021, Mrs. Valois led the implementation of the first ever food service program at The First Academy, Flik Dining services. The program has been a tremendous success and our students and staff are truly grateful to have fresh meals prepared and served on campus. Mrs. Valois oversees all of our campus catering requests and the day-to-day menu selections for our dining services.

Mrs. Valois earned her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a minor in Office Systems Management from the University of Montclair State. Prior to working at TFA, she worked as an Executive Administrator and Project Coordinator in the Margin & Risk Department for Merrill Lynch in New York.

Mrs. Valois and her husband Juan have been married for 17 years and are blessed to have two daughters. Both Brianna and Jianna are proud TFA students.

Head of School

Dr. Steve Whitaker

Ph.D

Head of School

Dr. Steve Whitaker

Ph.D

Dr. Steve Whitaker, Head of School

Dr. Steve D. Whitaker has served as the Head of School at The First Academy since July 2003. During his tenure, the school has advanced a bold spiritual formation agenda, experienced outstanding enrollment growth, and has witnessed remarkable scholastic achievements. Multiple capital campaigns led to major renovations and expansion of the Lower School, the building of a new Upper and Middle School, the opening of the Tennis Center, a renovation of the Boyd-Moline Library, a Black Box Theatre, a new $10.5 million Field House/Gymnasium Facility, and the addition of the Gather Space and Royal Eatery. The First Academy families have generously pledged over $55 million to fund these initiatives.

Dr. Whitaker has written on a variety of topics, including school culture, Christian living, generous giving, and Biblical worldview issues. He recently published a book entitled In God We Trust: Five Anchor Points for Turbulent Times. His past and present activities include serving on the ACSI Executive Board, FHSAA Board of Directors, FCIS Board of Directors, ABHE Board of Directors, and Charter Member for Council for Educational Standards and Accountability. In 2010, Dr. Whitaker founded Neighborhood Charter Schools, seeking to support urban churches in establishing charter schools for severely disadvantaged students.

After completing his Bachelor degree in South Florida, Dr. Whitaker received a Master of Education from MidAmerica Nazarene University and a Master of Arts degree in Education from the University of Louisville. He also earned his PhD from the University of Louisville in Higher Education Administration. He is married to Tricia and has three marvelous children (Amanda, Stephen, and Caleb).

Directors

Director of The First Hope

Angel Alexander

Director of The First Hope

Angel Alexander

Director of Operations

Rob Hensley

MDiv

Director of Operations

Rob Hensley

MDiv

Director of College Guidance

Joyce Kwak

Director of College Guidance

Joyce Kwak

Director of Human Resources

Gloria Leeks

Director of Human Resources

Gloria Leeks

Director of Development & Communications

Christina Richart

Director of Development & Communications

Christina Richart

Director of Admissions

Kristi Summers

Director of Admissions

Kristi Summers

Director of The Classical School & Nursery School

Robyn Whipple

Director of The Classical School & Nursery School

Robyn Whipple

Director of the Writing Center

Amanda Whitaker

M.S.

Director of the Writing Center

Amanda Whitaker

M.S.

Director of Technology

William Zavala

M.A.

Director of Technology

William Zavala

M.A.

Lower School

Lower School Teacher

Melissa Adams

Lower School Teacher

Melissa Adams

Lower School Teacher

Kay Bastian

Lower School Teacher

Kay Bastian

Lower School Teacher

Nicole Begley

Lower School Teacher

Nicole Begley

Lower School Teacher

Amber Brown

M.Ed.

Lower School Teacher

Amber Brown

M.Ed.

Lower School Teacher

Shelli Bryant

Lower School Teacher

Shelli Bryant

Lower School Teacher

Tammy Burns

Lower School Teacher

Tammy Burns

Lower School Teacher

Barbara Camblin

M.S.

Lower School Teacher

Barbara Camblin

M.S.

Aftercare Assistant

Kaylee Castanon

Aftercare Assistant

Kaylee Castanon

Lower School Teacher

Nell Chase

Lower School Teacher

Nell Chase

Lower School Teacher

Amy Cline

Lower School Teacher

Amy Cline

Administrative Assistant

Kerry-Ann Cole

Administrative Assistant

Kerry-Ann Cole

Lower School Teacher

Elaine Connell

M.A.

Lower School Teacher

Elaine Connell

M.A.

Lower School Assistant

Amanda Cospito

Lower School Assistant

Amanda Cospito

Lower School Media Specialist

Lisa DeBoom

M.Ed.

Lower School Media Specialist

Lisa DeBoom

M.Ed.

The Academies Coordinator

Nan Dix

The Academies Coordinator

Nan Dix

Lower School Teacher & Aftercare Coordinator

Lori Dowling

Lower School Teacher & Aftercare Coordinator

Lori Dowling

School Nurse

Sherrie Goesling

School Nurse

Sherrie Goesling

PE Teacher & Baseball Coach

Scott Grove

PE Teacher & Baseball Coach

Scott Grove

Aftercare Assistant

Yainiris Guitterez

Aftercare Assistant

Yainiris Guitterez

Lower School Principal

Jennifer Jackson

M.Ed.

Lower School Principal

Jennifer Jackson

M.Ed.

Jennifer Jackson, Lower School Principal

Mrs. Jennifer Jackson joined The First Academy in 2010 as the Learning-i.e. Coordinator. In this role, she facilitated enrichment classes for academically talented and gifted students with an emphasis on critical thinking and technology. Mrs. Jackson also coordinated accommodation plans for students with learning differences. In addition, she assisted with TFA’s initial application for accreditation with the Florida Council of Independent Schools as well as the Florida Kindergarten Council in 2012 and remains involved with the accreditation process at TFA. Before joining The First Academy, she served 13 years in Florida public schools. Her roles in both Alachua and Orange counties included the following: special education teacher, elementary education teacher, curriculum resource teacher, and reading coach. She draws from all of her previous experience in her current role as the Lower School principal.

Mrs. Jackson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from Furman University as well as a Master of Education in Special Education from the University of Georgia. She holds endorsements in Gifted, Reading, and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). Mrs. Jackson firmly believes that all students can learn and succeed in a loving environment with high expectations. She also values the importance that Christian education plays in partnership with church and home. Being in the Lower School classrooms on a regular basis is a priority for Mrs. Jackson and plays a critical role in her leadership.

In 2014, TFA faculty and families selected Mrs. Jackson as the Christian Educator of the Year. Her experience as a classroom teacher at TFA gives her a unique insight and passion for serving the students, teachers, and families in Lower School.

Mrs. Jackson and her husband Jay have been married for 25 years and are blessed to have two daughters. Both Sarah and Lauren have attended The First Academy since Kindergarten.

Lower School Assistant

Lawanda Jackson

Lower School Assistant

Lawanda Jackson

Aftercare Assistant

Genikah Jean

Aftercare Assistant

Genikah Jean

Lower School Assistant

Lindsey Keenen

Lower School Assistant

Lindsey Keenen

Lower School Teacher

Melanie Lader

Lower School Teacher

Melanie Lader

Lower School Assistant

Jennifer Lajoie

Lower School Assistant

Jennifer Lajoie

Lower School Receptionist

Sue Lamp

Lower School Receptionist

Sue Lamp

Lower School Teacher

Chrissie Land

Lower School Teacher

Chrissie Land

Lower School Teacher

Kristen Leader

M.S.

Lower School Teacher

Kristen Leader

M.S.

Clinic Assistant & Lower School Aide

Haley Lee

Clinic Assistant & Lower School Aide

Haley Lee

Lower School Teacher

Yahaira Loperena

M.S.Ed.

Lower School Teacher

Yahaira Loperena

M.S.Ed.

Lower School Assistant

Susan Lowder

Lower School Assistant

Susan Lowder

Lower School Teacher

Ursula Marshall

Lower School Teacher

Ursula Marshall

Lower School Teacher

Kathy Martin

Lower School Teacher

Kathy Martin

PE Teacher & Basketball Coach

Chris Mayberry

M.S.

PE Teacher & Basketball Coach

Chris Mayberry

M.S.

LS Assistant Principal

Ardis Meloon

M.A.

LS Assistant Principal

Ardis Meloon

M.A.

Lower School Teacher

Dr. Ashlee Mikels

Ed.D.

Lower School Teacher

Dr. Ashlee Mikels

Ed.D.

Lower School Teacher

Jenia Norris

MAT

Lower School Teacher

Jenia Norris

MAT

Lower School Teacher

Katherine Owen

Lower School Teacher

Katherine Owen

Lower School Teacher

Kara Pastis

M.Ed.

Lower School Teacher

Kara Pastis

M.Ed.

Lower School Assistant

Krisdil Pettay

Lower School Assistant

Krisdil Pettay

School Nurse

Melissa Pifer

School Nurse

Melissa Pifer

Lower School Teacher

Becky Render

M.S.

Lower School Teacher

Becky Render

M.S.

Lower School Receptionist

Kelleen Reser

Lower School Receptionist

Kelleen Reser

Lower School Teacher

Sarah Rosario

Ed.S.

Lower School Teacher

Sarah Rosario

Ed.S.

Lower School Teacher

Ashley Rowley

Lower School Teacher

Ashley Rowley

Lower School Assistant

Lesslie Santiago

Lower School Assistant

Lesslie Santiago

Lower School Teacher

Neia Santiago

Lower School Teacher

Neia Santiago

Aftercare Assistant

Deborah Santiago

Aftercare Assistant

Deborah Santiago

Lower School Teacher

Debi Savage

Lower School Teacher

Debi Savage

Aftercare Assistant

Delma Sawyer

Aftercare Assistant

Delma Sawyer

Lower School Teacher

Sharonda Snyder

Lower School Teacher

Sharonda Snyder

Aftercare Assistant

Brittany Stacks

Aftercare Assistant

Brittany Stacks

Lower School Teacher

Atlee Swartz

Lower School Teacher

Atlee Swartz

Lower School Teacher

Kayla Uth

Lower School Teacher

Kayla Uth

Lower School Teacher

Alyssa Vallieres

M.S.Ed

Lower School Teacher

Alyssa Vallieres

M.S.Ed

Lower School Aide

Judith Voegler

Lower School Aide

Judith Voegler

Lower School Teacher

Judy Williams

M.Ed.

Lower School Teacher

Judy Williams

M.Ed.

Middle School

Middle School Teacher

Young Chang

Middle School Teacher

Young Chang

Middle & Upper School Teacher

Cynthia Collins

Middle & Upper School Teacher

Cynthia Collins

Middle School Teacher

Paula Diehl

Middle School Teacher

Paula Diehl

Middle School Teacher

Dr. Tim Dix

D.Min.

Middle School Teacher

Dr. Tim Dix

D.Min.

Administrative Assistant

Mary Gooseman

Administrative Assistant

Mary Gooseman

Middle School Teacher & Chapel Coordinator

Allison Hodges

Middle School Teacher & Chapel Coordinator

Allison Hodges

Middle School Principal

Dr. Natalie Holter

Ed.D.

Middle School Principal

Dr. Natalie Holter

Ed.D.

Dr. Natalie Holter, Middle School Principal

Dr. Natalie Holter is a Central Florida native who has been working in education for the last 20 years. She joined The First Academy in 2011 as the 12th-grade English and AP Literature teacher. In this role, she inaugurated the Senior Thesis project, the capstone graduation project that asks students to find the intersection between God and seemingly secular topics. As a certified SAT/ACT expert, she also launched a number of test preparation initiatives to help students improve their scores. She was recognized as “Christian Teacher of the Year” in 2014.

In 2018 she transitioned to the Middle School, first as its Academic Dean and later as its Principal. In this capacity, she directs the daily operations of the division. Her primary focus is ensuring a strong academic foundation and healthy emotional/social development in order to lay the best groundwork possible for student success in high school. She also coordinates the Learning ie program, focused on providing accommodations for students with learning differences. Her passion is building supportive relationships with her students and mentoring faculty to be the best teachers they can be.

Dr. Holter earned her Bachelor of Arts in History from Yale University, her Master of Liberal Studies in Humanities from Rollins College, and her Doctorate in Education with a focus on Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Central Florida. She was also blessed to attend Oxford University for one summer on a scholarship she won to pursue a more in-depth study of English literature. She is the proud mom of two TFA students, one of whom has attended since Kindergarten and the other since pre-Kindergarten.

Middle School Teacher

Kyle Jackson

Middle School Teacher

Kyle Jackson

Middle & Upper School Teacher

Erin Mazza

Middle & Upper School Teacher

Erin Mazza

Middle & Upper School Teacher

Kim Moseler

Middle & Upper School Teacher

Kim Moseler

Middle School Teacher

Abbie Nestler

M.S.

Middle School Teacher

Abbie Nestler

M.S.

PE Teacher & Cheerleading Coach

Adrienne Pilz

PE Teacher & Cheerleading Coach

Adrienne Pilz

Middle School Teacher

Christy Requejo

Middle School Teacher

Christy Requejo

Middle School Teacher

Jeff Rossmeissl

M.A.

Middle School Teacher

Jeff Rossmeissl

M.A.

Middle School Receptionist

Roena Ruffin-Austin

Middle School Receptionist

Roena Ruffin-Austin

Middle School Teacher

Shannon Rymer

Middle School Teacher

Shannon Rymer

Middle School Teacher

Fran Schuessler

Middle School Teacher

Fran Schuessler

PE Teacher & Football Coach

Steve Schultz

PE Teacher & Football Coach

Steve Schultz

MS Assistant Principal

Michael Timpson

MBA

MS Assistant Principal

Michael Timpson

MBA

Middle School Teacher

Terra Townsend

Middle School Teacher

Terra Townsend

Middle School Teacher

Kristin Tyler

Middle School Teacher

Kristin Tyler

Middle School Teacher

Kari Ursu

MLA

Middle School Teacher

Kari Ursu

MLA

Upper School

Upper School Teacher

Adam Albert

Upper School Teacher

Adam Albert

Upper School Teacher

David Blackwell

MDiv

Upper School Teacher

David Blackwell

MDiv

Upper School Teacher

Letizia Branz

Ed.S.

Upper School Teacher

Letizia Branz

Ed.S.

Middle & Upper School Teacher

Cynthia Collins

Middle & Upper School Teacher

Cynthia Collins

Upper School Teacher

Jessica Damron

M.Ed.

Upper School Teacher

Jessica Damron

M.Ed.

Upper School Teacher

Yvonne Englund

M.S.

Upper School Teacher

Yvonne Englund

M.S.

Upper School College Advisor

Susan Gentry

M.S.

Upper School College Advisor

Susan Gentry

M.S.

Upper School Receptionist

Kailey Gibbs

Upper School Receptionist

Kailey Gibbs

Administrative Assistant

Mary Gooseman

Administrative Assistant

Mary Gooseman

Upper School Principal

Dr. Shayne Grove

Ph.D, Colson Fellow

Upper School Principal

Dr. Shayne Grove

Ph.D, Colson Fellow

Dr. Shayne Grove, Upper School Principal

Dr. Shayne Grove arrived at The First Academy with eighteen years in public education. She began her career as a high school teacher and then spent three years as a Middle School Assistant Principal of Curriculum and Instruction and her next ten years as an Elementary School Principal. In her role as a public school administrator, she earned the Middle School Administrator of the Year, PTA Principal of the Year, Elementary Principal of the Year, and the Minnie Woodruff Leadership Award. Dr. Grove received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business/Marketing from The University of Central Florida.

After completing her Master’s degree in School Leadership, she earned her PhD in Educational Administration at Capella University. Dr. Grove is an adjunct professor at Grand Canyon University and Indiana Wesleyan University teaching brain-based learning, curriculum and instruction, classroom management, school culture, data and school improvement, and various educational leadership courses.

Dr. Grove and her husband, Scott, have been married for 26 years and are the proud parents of two TFA Alumni: Cassidy and Dakoda. Scott is the head varsity baseball coach and teaches Lower School PE at TFA. Dr. Grove loves working with high school students each day.

Upper School Teacher

Neil Harrison

M.S.

Upper School Teacher

Neil Harrison

M.S.

Upper School Teacher & Football Coach

Roger Harvey

M.A.

Upper School Teacher & Football Coach

Roger Harvey

M.A.

Upper School Teacher

Vanda Harvey

Upper School Teacher

Vanda Harvey

Upper School Teacher & Cross Country Coach

Chad Hudson

Upper School Teacher & Cross Country Coach

Chad Hudson

Upper School Teacher

Steve Kavanagh

MDiv

Upper School Teacher

Steve Kavanagh

MDiv

Upper School Teacher & Football Coach

Leroy Kinard

Upper School Teacher & Football Coach

Leroy Kinard

Director of College Guidance

Joyce Kwak

Director of College Guidance

Joyce Kwak

Upper School Teacher & Basketball Coach

Keith Manning

MDiv

Upper School Teacher & Basketball Coach

Keith Manning

MDiv

Upper School Teacher

Elizabeth Markowitz

M.A.

Upper School Teacher

Elizabeth Markowitz

M.A.

Upper School Teacher

Daniel Martin

Upper School Teacher

Daniel Martin

Upper School Teacher

Michelle Mason

Upper School Teacher

Michelle Mason

Middle & Upper School Teacher

Erin Mazza

Middle & Upper School Teacher

Erin Mazza

Upper School College Advisor

Grayson Merritt

Upper School College Advisor

Grayson Merritt

Middle & Upper School Teacher

Kim Moseler

Middle & Upper School Teacher

Kim Moseler

Upper School Teacher & Football Coach

Dave Oliver

Upper School Teacher & Football Coach

Dave Oliver

Upper School Teacher

Sandra Peabody

Upper School Teacher

Sandra Peabody

Upper School Teacher

Janell Penny

M.Ed.

Upper School Teacher

Janell Penny

M.Ed.

Upper School Teacher

Florence Pierre-Louis

M.A.

Upper School Teacher

Florence Pierre-Louis

M.A.

Upper School Teacher

Jason Porrata

Upper School Teacher

Jason Porrata

US Assistant Principal

Reed Reynolds

M.S.

US Assistant Principal

Reed Reynolds

M.S.

Upper School Teacher

Dr. Kelly Scott

Ed.D

Upper School Teacher

Dr. Kelly Scott

Ed.D

Upper School Teacher

Robyn Sturgeon

M.S.

Upper School Teacher

Robyn Sturgeon

M.S.

Campus Pastor & Upper School Teacher

Dr. Scott Toenges

D.Min.

Campus Pastor & Upper School Teacher

Dr. Scott Toenges

D.Min.

Upper School Teacher

Seth Ury

Upper School Teacher

Seth Ury

Upper School Teacher

Casey Vaughn

M.A.

Upper School Teacher

Casey Vaughn

M.A.

Upper School Teacher

Cherith Walton

M.A.

Upper School Teacher

Cherith Walton

M.A.

Upper School Teacher & Wrestling Coach

Michael Weeldreyer

Upper School Teacher & Wrestling Coach

Michael Weeldreyer

The Classical School

TCS Assistant

Marie Chadwick

TCS Assistant

Marie Chadwick

TCS Teacher

Rebecca Davis

TCS Teacher

Rebecca Davis

TCS Program Coordinator

Christine Day

TCS Program Coordinator

Christine Day

TCS Teacher

Crystal Fitzgerald

TCS Teacher

Crystal Fitzgerald

TCS Teacher

Misty Gooding

M.S.

TCS Teacher

Misty Gooding

M.S.

TCS Teacher

Malia Gunnarsson

TCS Teacher

Malia Gunnarsson

TCS Teacher

Silvana Hacker

TCS Teacher

Silvana Hacker

TCS Teacher

Melissa Joynes

TCS Teacher

Melissa Joynes

TCS Teacher

Gina Keller

TCS Teacher

Gina Keller

TCS Teacher

Megan Lung

TCS Teacher

Megan Lung

Academic Advisor

Becky Mayberry

Academic Advisor

Becky Mayberry

TCS Teacher

Jennifer McDaniel

M.S.

TCS Teacher

Jennifer McDaniel

M.S.

TCS Teacher

Cheli Sigler

TCS Teacher

Cheli Sigler

TCS Teacher

Kathy Truex

TCS Teacher

Kathy Truex

TCS Teacher

Jennifer Utreras

TCS Teacher

Jennifer Utreras

Director of The Classical School & Nursery School

Robyn Whipple

Director of The Classical School & Nursery School

Robyn Whipple

The First Hope

Director of The First Hope

Angel Alexander

Director of The First Hope

Angel Alexander

Paraprofessional

Alyssa Alves

Paraprofessional

Alyssa Alves

Lead Teacher

Matt Buchanan

Lead Teacher

Matt Buchanan

Paraprofessional

Rosana Cardozo

Paraprofessional

Rosana Cardozo

TFH Lead Teacher

Jessica Evans

TFH Lead Teacher

Jessica Evans

Work Program Coordinator

Nancy Grindle

Work Program Coordinator

Nancy Grindle

Paraprofessional

Susan Hebert

Paraprofessional

Susan Hebert

TFH Program Coordinator

Bethany Heinlein

TFH Program Coordinator

Bethany Heinlein

TFH Lead Teacher

Marissa Henrie

TFH Lead Teacher

Marissa Henrie

TFH Lead Teacher

Laura Johnson

TFH Lead Teacher

Laura Johnson

TFH Lead Teacher

Paula Katutis

TFH Lead Teacher

Paula Katutis

Paraprofessional

Kathy Little

Paraprofessional

Kathy Little

TFH Art Teacher

Angela Lloyd

TFH Art Teacher

Angela Lloyd

Paraprofessional

Shelby Millikan

Paraprofessional

Shelby Millikan

TFH Lead Teacher

Amy Moore

TFH Lead Teacher

Amy Moore

Paraprofessional

Jamie Morris

Paraprofessional

Jamie Morris

TFH Lead Teacher

Michelle Owen

TFH Lead Teacher

Michelle Owen

Paraprofessional

Robin Peacock

Paraprofessional

Robin Peacock

TFH Lead Teacher

Michelle Rhein

TFH Lead Teacher

Michelle Rhein

TFH Lead Teacher

Saleemah Stroman-Williams

TFH Lead Teacher

Saleemah Stroman-Williams

Athletics

Soccer Coach

Joshua Andone

Soccer Coach

Joshua Andone

Concessions Coordinator

David Brock

Concessions Coordinator

David Brock

Sports Information, Football Operations & MS Athletics

Bo Burgess

Sports Information, Football Operations & MS Athletics

Bo Burgess

Director of Athletics

Will Cohen

Director of Athletics

Will Cohen

Will Cohen, Director of Athletics

Mr. Will Cohen was born and raised in Orlando and has been serving at The First Academy since June 2012. Mr. Cohen served three years as the Assistant Director of Athletics and Assistant Baseball Coach and now serves as the Director of Athletics.

Mr. Cohen spent seven years at TFA as a student, graduating with The First Academy’s Class of 2008. After graduation, Mr. Cohen received his Bachelor of Science in Sports Administration from Samford University in Birmingham, AL. From Mr. Cohen’s experience as a student and staff member; the teachers, coaches, and administrators have had and continue to have an immeasurable impact on his life. He is blessed to partner with elite coaches and staff to encourage our student-athletes to not only advance their athletic abilities but to hold to high academic standards and continue to develop their personal relationships with Jesus Christ.

Mr. Cohen believes that the students, families, faculty, and staff make TFA the best Christ-Centered schools in America.

Softball Coach

Jake Gangelhoff

Softball Coach

Jake Gangelhoff

Softball Coach

Kaley Gangelhoff

Softball Coach

Kaley Gangelhoff

PE Teacher & Baseball Coach

Scott Grove

PE Teacher & Baseball Coach

Scott Grove

Assistant Director of Athletics & Basketball Coach

Kevin Hall

Assistant Director of Athletics & Basketball Coach

Kevin Hall

Soccer Coach

Mark Hansen

Soccer Coach

Mark Hansen

Upper School Teacher & Football Coach

Roger Harvey

M.A.

Upper School Teacher & Football Coach

Roger Harvey

M.A.

Assistant Director of Athletics & Football Coach

Russell Holley

Assistant Director of Athletics & Football Coach

Russell Holley

Upper School Teacher & Cross Country Coach

Chad Hudson

Upper School Teacher & Cross Country Coach

Chad Hudson

Head Athletic Trainer

Jessica Kenning

MAT

Head Athletic Trainer

Jessica Kenning

MAT

Upper School Teacher & Football Coach

Leroy Kinard

Upper School Teacher & Football Coach

Leroy Kinard

Upper School Teacher & Basketball Coach

Keith Manning

MDiv

Upper School Teacher & Basketball Coach

Keith Manning

MDiv

PE Teacher & Basketball Coach

Chris Mayberry

M.S.

PE Teacher & Basketball Coach

Chris Mayberry

M.S.

Football Coach

Chris Miller

Football Coach

Chris Miller

Tennis Coach

Bob Newsome

Tennis Coach

Bob Newsome

Upper School Teacher & Football Coach

Dave Oliver

Upper School Teacher & Football Coach

Dave Oliver

Athletics Coordinator

William Pikalow

Athletics Coordinator

William Pikalow

PE Teacher & Cheerleading Coach

Adrienne Pilz

PE Teacher & Cheerleading Coach

Adrienne Pilz

PSAC Manager & Football Coach

Jordan Richards

PSAC Manager & Football Coach

Jordan Richards

Golf Coach

Robin Rosado

Golf Coach

Robin Rosado

PE Teacher & Football Coach

Steve Schultz

PE Teacher & Football Coach

Steve Schultz

Administrative Assistant

Danielle Shelburne

Administrative Assistant

Danielle Shelburne

Assistant Director of Athletics & Weightlifting Coach

Trey Tyler

Assistant Director of Athletics & Weightlifting Coach

Trey Tyler

Upper School Teacher & Wrestling Coach

Michael Weeldreyer

Upper School Teacher & Wrestling Coach

Michael Weeldreyer

Advancement

Senior Director of Advancement & Parent Relations

Sarah Donovan

M.Ed.

Senior Director of Advancement & Parent Relations

Sarah Donovan

M.Ed.

Sarah Donovan, Senior Director of Advancement & Parent Relations

As the former Director of The Extended Educational Programs and Admissions Director, Mrs. Sarah Donovan served as the leader of The First Academy Preschool, The Classical School (hybrid homeschool program), and The First Hope (special needs program), and Admissions Department. More recently Mrs. Donovan worked as the Director of Global Programming at ASU Prep, where she cultivated global relationships and business partnerships. Mrs. Donovan was raised in the rolling hills of northern Pennsylvania, and attended Penn State University where she received a Bachelor of Science in Elementary and Kindergarten Education. She continued her studies of Early Childhood Education at the University Chichester in West Sussex, England. Mrs. Donovan earned her Masters in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Central Florida. She then went on to obtain a Masters in Educational Leadership and Supervision from Stetson University. Mrs. Donovan’s endorsements include Exceptional Student Education and English for Speakers of Other Languages.

Mrs. Donovan previously served in the Orange County Public School district for ten years as an assistant principal, curriculum and instructional coach, and classroom teacher. She was honored as one of the district’s ‘Teacher of the Year’ and also received the ‘You Make a Difference Award’.

Mrs. Donovan has a passion for sparking a love of learning and leading in students. She is honored to serve with a team who shares the same joy and dedication to serving children in Christ. Mrs. Donovan and her husband Hart are proud parents of their daughter, Elle, who attends at The First Academy Lower School. They enjoy spending time together boating on the water.

Admissions Specialist

Joe Fana

M.Ed.

Admissions Specialist

Joe Fana

M.Ed.

Creative Marketing & Alumni Manager

Megan Fleming

M.Ed.

Creative Marketing & Alumni Manager

Megan Fleming

M.Ed.

Admissions Assistant

Jillian Jackson

Admissions Assistant

Jillian Jackson

Admissions Coordinator

Jill Pierce

Admissions Coordinator

Jill Pierce

Director of Development & Communications

Christina Richart

Director of Development & Communications

Christina Richart

Advancement Assistant

Ellen Stewart

Advancement Assistant

Ellen Stewart

Director of Admissions

Kristi Summers

Director of Admissions

Kristi Summers

Aftercare

Aftercare Assistant

Kaylee Castanon

Aftercare Assistant

Kaylee Castanon

Lower School Teacher & Aftercare Coordinator

Lori Dowling

Lower School Teacher & Aftercare Coordinator

Lori Dowling

Aftercare Assistant

Yainiris Guitterez

Aftercare Assistant

Yainiris Guitterez

Aftercare Assistant

Genikah Jean

Aftercare Assistant

Genikah Jean

Aftercare Assistant

Deborah Santiago

Aftercare Assistant

Deborah Santiago

Aftercare Assistant

Delma Sawyer

Aftercare Assistant

Delma Sawyer

Aftercare Assistant

Brittany Stacks

Aftercare Assistant

Brittany Stacks

Arts

Middle & Upper School Teacher

Cynthia Collins

Middle & Upper School Teacher

Cynthia Collins

Middle School Teacher & Chapel Coordinator

Allison Hodges

Middle School Teacher & Chapel Coordinator

Allison Hodges

Middle & Upper School Teacher

Erin Mazza

Middle & Upper School Teacher

Erin Mazza

Middle & Upper School Teacher

Kim Moseler

Middle & Upper School Teacher

Kim Moseler

Upper School Teacher

Jason Porrata

Upper School Teacher

Jason Porrata

Lower School Teacher

Debi Savage

Lower School Teacher

Debi Savage

Lower School Teacher

Atlee Swartz

Lower School Teacher

Atlee Swartz

Upper School Teacher

Casey Vaughn

M.A.

Upper School Teacher

Casey Vaughn

M.A.

Library

Lower School Media Specialist

Lisa DeBoom

M.Ed.

Lower School Media Specialist

Lisa DeBoom

M.Ed.

Director of the Writing Center

Amanda Whitaker

M.S.

Director of the Writing Center

Amanda Whitaker

M.S.

Finance & Human Resources

Accounting Specialist

Amanda Baldessari

MBA

Accounting Specialist

Amanda Baldessari

MBA

School Store Manager

Patty Billsborough

School Store Manager

Patty Billsborough

Concessions Coordinator

David Brock

Concessions Coordinator

David Brock

The Academies Coordinator

Nan Dix

The Academies Coordinator

Nan Dix

Tuition Management & Accounts Receivable Specialist

Larissa Galloway

Tuition Management & Accounts Receivable Specialist

Larissa Galloway

Auxiliaries Program Manager

Corey Gilchrist

M.A.

Auxiliaries Program Manager

Corey Gilchrist

M.A.

Senior Director of Finance & Business Development

Leighann Harris

SHRM-P

Senior Director of Finance & Business Development

Leighann Harris

SHRM-P

Leighann Harris, Senior Director Finance & Business Development

With 17 years of public accounting under her belt, Mrs. Harris joined the business office at The First Academy in 2012. She began her career as an auditor with the international accounting firm Deloitte & Touche LLP where she specialized in banking, manufacturing, and publicly-held companies. She then worked in local and regional public accounting firms where she specialized in not-for-profit and government accounting, auditing and tax compliance. Mrs. Harris earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting with minor in Computer Science from Oral Roberts University and is a certified public accountant in California and Maryland.

Mrs. Harris is married to her husband, Lt. Colonel Scott Harris, and is proud to serve beside him during his 28 years on active duty with the United States Marine Corp. After serving in many different duty stations across the United States, they are happy to be back in Florida where they were born and raised. She has three children who are all TFA graduates. Mrs. Harris says, “Being a part of The First Academy has been a tremendous blessing to me and my family and I look forward continuing to serve in advancing the mission here at TFA.”

Director of Human Resources

Gloria Leeks

Director of Human Resources

Gloria Leeks

Human Resources Coordinator

Lizaira Llerena

M.Ed.

Human Resources Coordinator

Lizaira Llerena

M.Ed.

Accounts Payable Specialist

Diane Powers

Accounts Payable Specialist

Diane Powers

Operations & Technology

Operations Coordinator

Michele Fetterhoff

Operations Coordinator

Michele Fetterhoff

Director of Operations

Rob Hensley

MDiv

Director of Operations

Rob Hensley

MDiv

Operations Specialist

Dean Middleton

Operations Specialist

Dean Middleton

PSAC Manager & Football Coach

Jordan Richards

PSAC Manager & Football Coach

Jordan Richards

Director of Technology

William Zavala

M.A.

Director of Technology

William Zavala

M.A.